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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

  • Coal Uncovered

    "Coal Uncovered" is a two-part local news investigation into the coal handling industry on the Mobile River, and its effects on the citizens living in downtown Mobile, Ala. Folks living in the area worry their health is at risk due to the consistent build-up of what appears to be coal dust on their homes. FOX10 News hired an independent laboratory to test dust samples taken from five locations across downtown, to see if coal dust was indeed the culprit. The test results revealed every sample contained significant percentages of coal dust, validating the concerns of the residential community. Further, this investigation exposes a caught-on-camera phone call made by a tax-dollar paid coal industry leader, allowing FOX10 News to inform the public about what really goes on behind industry lines. This investigation exposes the effects of a powerful industry in Mobile, of which residents and school children are withstanding every day. It holds tax-dollar funded agencies accountable, and gives a voice to the people of downtown Mobile, whose complaints and concerns have long been ignored.
  • New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

    New Jersey’s student loan agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, has some of the most aggressive collection tactics in the industry with few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. ProPublica’s series lays out how HESAA’s loans have unraveled lives – sending many families into financial ruin – to the point they’ve been described as “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”
  • Unprotected

    An NBC 5 investigation found the Texas Department of Transportation failed to put up guardrails in locations where state and federal guidelines suggest they should have been installed. In some of those spots with no guardrails drivers have died after colliding with large concrete bridge posts that sit unprotected, some just feet from the roadway.
  • Carbon Wars

    Climate change can seem abstract and overwhelming. Pollution, likewise, can seem intractable. In fact, macro subjects like these can be brought down to ground level, as evidenced by "Carbon Wars," an unsparing look at the fossil-fuel industry with the aim of accountability — calling out companies that poison our air and water and feed global warming, and regulators and politicians who can’t or won’t do their jobs.
  • Stealing Hope

    Thousands of infants are happily adopted in the U.S. each year, but many prospective parents are duped during the process by scammers who fool them with fake babies. Most of these con artists never attempt to extort any money from prospective parents, making them all but impossible to prosecute. They seem content playing a sick game with very desperate people and they steal nothing more than hope.
  • Science for Sale

    Corporations facing lawsuits or stricter regulation are steering millions of dollars to scientific consulting firms, to the detriment of public health. As the Center for Public Integrity explains in “Science for Sale,” industry-backed research has exploded — often with the aim of obscuring the truth — as government-funded science dwindles. The effects of this phenomenon are felt not only in courtrooms but also in agencies that issue rules to try to prevent disease.
  • Heroin Hits Home: A Search for Answers

    Ohio is ground zero of the heroin/opiate epidemic. More people die from overdoses in our state than any other (including California, which has three times our population.). WJW-Cleveland has covered the rise of the epidemic for years, but pivot here to where they think, at times, investigative journalism should go: searching for answers to problems that they reveal. In this case, those problems include: 1) a government policy that encourages doctors to prescribe more opiates in the middle of a heroin crisis; 2) a system that, on the federal level, treats marijuana very differently from opiates - many patients and some lawmakers believe legalized medical marijuana may well reduce the opiate epidemic; 3) a prioritization of public health policy that seems upside down: why is more money given to diseases that kill few Americans compared to one that is on track to become a "Vietnam" every year:? The DEA estimated 47,000 Americans would die from an overdose in 2016. Given that incredible number, they think that just reporting on the crisis as reporters do car accident deaths is today insufficient journalism. So we set out in a prime-time program to search for answers.
  • Dark Money: London's dirty secret

    ''Dark Money: London's Dirty Secret'' pierced a world that is normally hidden from all but those who enjoy great wealth or great power: the world of financial secrecy. At a moment when public debate is dominated by inequality and tax evasion, the Financial Times turned a glaring spotlight on the City of London and explained its role in a global system of illicit finance that serves the kleptocrats, criminals and the super-rich. One of the most-read stories of the year on FT.com, Dark Money was a riveting narrative that exposed a system designed to look impenetrable to outsiders. The City’s secrecy specialists spin webs of front companies, offshore accounts and dummy directors that allow tainted wealth to flow around the globe incognito. This system takes dirty money and makes it look clean. It creates a secret world whose existence is corrosive to the rest of society – a piggy bank for untouchable power.
  • America’s Chernobyl?: Inside the Most Toxic Place in the Nation

    In the course of a six-month investigation, the NBC News Investigative Unit discovered that numerous workers are sick and some have died at a Department of Energy nuclear site, and documented allegations from workers that the US government is covering up the danger. Their report on NBC’s Today Show prompted legislative action and raised larger questions about the ability of the federal government to store some of its most dangerous waste.
  • Sick and Imprisoned

    This entry chronicles an investigation into the healthcare of inmates at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, including the treatment of the mentally ill. It starts with the death of Henry Stewart, who was vomiting blood and begging for help from officials in the days before he died. The investigation goes on to detail how the jail treated inmates such as Jamycheal Mitchell, who died a year before Stewart, as well as the larger problems with how Virginia cares for the incarcerated and mentally ill.