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 "women" ...

  • Hansen Files-Supplements

    Dateline NBC exposed how unsafe practices in the booming dietary supplements industry – and lax government regulation – are allowing poisonous products to reach store shelves. Digging deep into government records, product recalls, criminal counterfeiting cases, plus state and federal civil court files, Dateline documented actual examples of dangerous products and falsified test results. In one case, workers at U.S. supplement maker used five-gallon buckets and women’s pantyhose in an attempt to filter suspicious black flecks out of a liquid vitamin supplement bound for retail stores – including GNC. Dateline’s investigation didn’t stop at reviewing records. In a hidden camera sting, Dateline exposed so-called “dry-labbing” – the practice of certifying products without really testing them. Dateline set up its own supplement company, created sample products, deliberately spiked them with poisons, and then hired labs to test them. One lab specializing in supplements missed every poison – and told correspondent Chris Hansen the dangerous products were safe to sell. In spite of these documented threats to public health, federal officials acknowledged that labs that test dietary supplements are neither licensed nor inspected.
  • Incredible Claims

    Mammograms are painful procedures that have been criticized for false positives and exposing patients to radiation, naturally some women were intrigued by the promise of digital breast thermography. Thermography is non-invasive scan that, according to the manufacturers and practitioners, can detect breast cancer up to 10 years before a mammogram. There’s just one problem: doctors say it doesn’t work. CBC identified over 50 thermography clinics in Canada, many of which claimed their equipment was able to detect breast cancer and save women from having to undergo mammograms. The American FDA had recently ordered Meditherm, a major manufacturers of thermography equipment, to stop making “false and misleading” claims about their products ability to diagnose illness. When we checked with Canadian regulators, both federally and provincially, each said another level of government was responsible for regulating thermography devices. CBC worked for weeks gathering interviews, information and documents related to thermography, all the while Canadian lawmakers stood by their original statements, saying thermography was not their problem. Across the country CBC started airing radio stories on the morning of November 27. By the evening news two provinces (Manitoba and Newfoundland) said they would take action against local clinics, and Health Canada said they were blocking the import of thermography devices into the country.
  • The Hansen Files: Daycare Criminals

    Childcare advocates claim that inadequate state laws have made it easy for people with criminal convictions to get licensed to care for children—often with deadly consequences. Their evidence was often anecdotal--ripped from headlines of children dying in the care of someone whose past wasn't revealed until after the child had been harmed. When we looked into the problem we soon discovered that even when a criminal history disqualifies a potential candidate from childcare, states often grant licenses nonetheless. Parents not only aren’t informed of this, but some states actively conceal this information. And we found there are no existing databases that report caregivers’ criminal records or the results of background checks, so we set out to compile our own. The creation of that database then led us to an extensive, year-long data search in five states, from original arrest reports and police narratives to jail records, court records, state licensing files, exemption reports, inspection records and more. These records helped us unravel the many ways people with criminal records were able to get licensed. We then visited several centers and conducted an experiment in one state, submitting applications for childcare background checks for three women--all of them convicted murderers.
  • Broken Shield: Police force fails to protect state’s most vulnerable residents

    Decades ago, California created a special police force to investigate crimes and unexplained injuries inflicted upon some of society’s most vulnerable citizens – men and women with severe autism and cerebral palsy living in taxpayer-funded institutions. This police force, the Office of Protective Services, works exclusively at state developmental centers that have been the scene of horrific abuses. We sought to bring this story to readers in many forms, from working on all platforms, distributing condensed versions and delivering broadcast video stories to our partners, to creating a graphic novel video on one particularly human story -- a woman who was raped, apparently by a janitor. We also created an ebook of the series of stories and an interactive tracker that detailed key milestones of legislation drafted and signed into law. Producing this work on every platform helped to maximize audience reach and heighten the impact.
  • iLied: Exposing Mike Daisey’s Fabrications of Apple’s Supply Chain in China

    This two-part investigation exposed fabrications in American monologuist Mike Daisey’s narrative about the Chinese factory workers who make Apple products, and also gave a voice to the Chinese men and women who were at the center of the international debate about factory conditions. Daisey had gained a worldwide platform as Apple’s most prominent critic; Reporter Rob Schmitz’s investigation proved that the details on which Daisey had built his compelling story were fabricated. Schmitz’s investigation aired on Marketplace and This American Life on March 16, 2012 and made international headlines, sparking a debate about journalistic truth. Schmitz’s April 2012 follow-up stories broadcast the points-of-view of actual Chinese factory workers and their employers, and helped re-shape the narrative about working conditions at Apple suppliers. Schmitz’s investigation became the most downloaded story in each program’s history. Hundreds of media organizations covered the work, sparking thousands of news articles and commentaries about the findings and the issues it raised. Online components of the work – which included podcasts, photo, and video – demonstrated the reach and longevity of multimedia storytelling; a video Schmitz shot of an iPad assembly line went viral with more than 2 million views on Youtube. The work continues to be discussed in case study format at journalism schools around the U.S., including an ethics class at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
  • Broken Shield

    Decades ago, California created a special police force to patrol exclusively at its five state developmental centers – taxpayer-funded institutions where patients with severe autism and cerebral palsy have been beaten, tortured and raped by staff members. But California Watch found that this state force, the Office of Protective Services, does an abysmal job bringing perpetrators to justice. Reporter Ryan Gabrielson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, exposed the depths of the abuse inside these developmental centers while showing how sworn officers and detectives wait too long to start investigations, fail to collect evidence and ignore key witnesses – leading to an alarming inability to solve crimes inflicted upon some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. Dozens of women were sexually assaulted inside state centers, but police investigators didn’t order “rape kits” to collect evidence, a standard law enforcement tool. Police waited so long to investigate one sexual assault that the staff janitor accused of rape fled the country, leaving behind a pregnant patient incapable of caring for a child. The police force’s inaction also allowed abusive caregivers to continue molesting patients – even after the department had evidence that could have stopped future assaults. Many of the victims chronicled by California Watch are so disabled they cannot utter a word. Gabrielson gave them a resounding voice. Our Broken Shield series prompted far-reaching change, including a criminal investigation, staff retraining and new laws – all intended to bring greater safeguards and accountability.
  • Fraud on the Job

    KING 5 dedicated nearly a year to dig into the complex world of the federal minority contracting program. The program is intended to remedy past and current discrimination against minority and women-owned contracting businesses who want a shot at working on federal highway projects. But instead of fostering equal opportunity, KING found staggering fraud and abuse in the taxpayer-funded program. The investigative series titled “Fraud on the Job" was born. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is responsible for administering the program. WSDOT contracts with a small state agency, the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) to certify which contractors qualify as "disadvantaged business enterprises" or DBEs. They also make sure that once in, the companies aren’t cheating or becoming too big to qualify. The state’s share of billions of federal highway funds comes with some strings attached, including a requirement that a certain percentage of money spent on transportation projects be reserved for minority-owned firms. The results of the “Fraud on the Job” series were swift and extraordinary. Two days after the first story aired, the governor ordered the Washington State Patrol to conduct a criminal fraud investigation. She also ordered a top-to- bottom review of OMWBE. Two weeks later, the governor asked the director of OMWBE to resign. Another top manager quit and another was fired. Two of the companies KING exposed as defrauding the government were removed from the DBE program by the state. State and federal legislation is now being drafted to stop the cheating. And now the FBI and the Inspector General of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation are investigating.
  • The Clarks: An American Story

    The Huguette Clark story began as a feature, a tale of mystery. Investigative reporter Bill Dedman began with a simple question: Why are the mansions of one of America's richest women sitting vacant? The result morphed into a breaking story, spawning criminal investigation by the Manhattan district attorney and most recently the U.S. attorney's office.
  • Model Workplaces, Imperiled Workers

    The Center's series exposed serious problems with an ever-expanding government program that promises results through cooperative regulation but often has failed to protect the nation's working men and women. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Programs, known as VPP, recognize "model workplaces" and offer them an exemption from regular inspections. But in many cases, this government stamp of approval was a hollow trophy, allowing companies to avoid scrutiny and to attract employees. Even after preventable tragedies at these sites, OSHA rarely cracked down.
  • The High Costs of Wrongful Convictions

    A seven-month investigation by the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions reveals the wrongful convictions of 85 men and women for violent crimes in Illinois has cost taxpayers more than $214 million, and imprisoned innocent people for more than 900 years. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators committed nearly 100 felonies.