Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "watchdog" ...

  • Watchdogs on Short Leashes

    A Center for Public Integrity study reveals that "more than half of the nation's state legislatures have no independent oversight of elected legislators' ethical conduct." One of the major findings is that only 23 states have independent commissions that investigate or enforce violations of ethical conduct violations. Some lawmakers have used the budget writing process to 'punish' their ethics commission, the Center finds. The vast majority of the existing commissions fail to initiate any large investigations because they lack power and financial support. The report includes nationwide overview and state-by-state breakdowns, comparing the state commissions' budgets, significance of findings and actual enforcement power.
  • Quiet Giant: Independents, Rite Aid gird for battle

    Maine Times reports on the aggressive expansion of the national drugstore chain Rite Aid in Maine. The corporation's growth makes some competitors and industry watchdogs uneasy, the reporter points out. The story examines how the takeover of the pharmaceutical business by chains like Rite Aid and its biggest competitors - Shop n' Save and Walmart - has impacted drug prices and consumer rights. Small drugstores are losing business, as insurance companies force them to sell at prices lower than they can afford. Meanwhile, chains like Rite Aid can afford their own managed-care plans, and are still interested in buying independent stores, the Times reports.
  • Chosen few get bulk of S.F.'s arts funding

    San Francisco Chronicle looks at the disparity in funding for art organization, and finds that "institutions flush with cash garner most aid while those in need struggle." The story exposes how - due to support from wealthy philanthropists and government aid - the San Francisco Symphony has excess funds that far exceed watchdog groups' standards. A major finding is that, in distributing art funding, state and local government authorities consider artistic quality and potential impact on the community, but not financial need. The report points to the sky-rocketing salaries of the directors of the largest art entities in San Francisco. It also includes tables with data on money received and spent by large art and cultural groups in the city.
  • Spotlight: Corrupt local government

    The Boston Globe reports "Bribery, nepotism, cronyism, favoritism. Exposing these crimes at the federal and state level has become the bread and butter of investigative journalists. But over the last decade, money and mandates have been shifting ... to the local level. ...In a nine-month project examining government at the grass-roots, the Globe's Spotlight Team found that corruption is thriving, unchecked for the most part by prosecutors or other watchdogs. In 16 communities, ... a team of reporters uncovered illegal and unethical acts by municipal officials, who saw government as a vehicle to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of average citizens..."
  • Wheels of Fortune

    The Sentinel investigates the watchdogs of Florida's wheels-for-the-needy service, a program that provides transportation for the poor, elderly and disabled. This service is paid for by taxpayers, and The Sentinel discovered those who are appointed to oversee the program spend even more of the public's money and profiting from doing so. Many of those who sit on the Board of Directors for the program are the same people whose businesses benefit form how the money is spent. Some of the board members have ties to contributions to many legislators who have helped keep the board active and have made lenient regulations for the appointment and expansion of board members.
  • Deadly Needles

    The two, three-part series chronicled the deadly risks of medical syringes and blood-drawing devices. The stories disclosed how needle manufacturers, watchdog agencies and global health organizations have ignored, denied or suppressed those risks for years.
  • Diluted Enforcement: State watchdog lags in policing water polluters

    For decades, Minnesota has enjoyed a national reputation as a leader in environmental enforcement. In an investigation it was found that this reputation no longer exist. Citties and industries, large and small, have been allowed to release toxic chemicals into the air and water repeatedly with little fear of punishment by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
  • Deaf and Damned

    A deaf man named Artie Martinez languished among the criminally insane in the Arizona State Hospital for nearly 40 years. For years, he had no legal guardian, no watchdog group, no friends and a family spread far and wide. It turns out he probably never had been psychotic.
  • Toxic deception: How the Chemical industry manipulates service, bends the law and endangers your health

    Toxic Deception documents how the federal departments and agencies that are supposed to protect American consumers, farmers and workers from toxic chemicals have failed as watchdogs because they have been defanged by manufacturers and industry groups.
  • State Liquor Authority: Bumbling Bureaucracy

    The five-day series exposed the New York State Liquor Authority as a sleeping watchdog that allows violent nightclubs and bars to flourish throughout New York City.