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 "Alaska" ...

  • From criminal to cop in Alaska’s most vulnerable villages

    The rape and death of a teenage girl in a remote Alaska village led to this investigation revealing that Alaska communities routinely hire criminals as police officers.
  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Fairbanks Four Taste Freedom

    Christmas week Alaska Natives and other supporters cheered as the Fairbanks Four were freed after serving 18 years for a murder committed by others who've been identified through new and old confessions. Release came through a settlement following a contentious five-week evidentiary hearing forced by Alaska Innocence Project. That effort arose from UAF Journalism Professor Brian Patrick O’Donoghue’s, student-assisted, 14-year investigation of a local teen’s fatal 1997 beating. When the professor was forced to the sidelines defending his reputation in July, court-savvy undergraduate Julia Taylor tweeted 25 days of hearings that backed up more than a decade of coverage about flaws in the original case identified through UAF Journalism’s Hartman Justice Project public-service investigation.
  • The Pentagon’s $10-Billion Bet Gone Bad

    This body of work is the result of reporter David Willman’s investigations of the nation’s dauntingly complex missile-defense programs. The articles reveal how program after program was sold to Congress based on false and misleading claims – ultimately amounting to waste on a grand scale. The U.S. spent $2.2 billion alone for a giant, floating radar that was supposed to scan the skies for long-range missiles from North Korea or other “rogue” nations. But the radar spends most of the year mothballed at Pearl Harbor – and has never docked at its intended Alaskan berth. The “SBX” radar, Willman reported, will never fulfill its intended strategic mission.
  • Hartman Justice Project

    Recent developments in Alaska Innocence Project’s battle for exoneration of the so-called Fairbanks Four, a largely Athabaskan group of men serving sentences ranging from 33-75 years for John Hartman’s 1997 murder. O'Donoghue has been dogging, with the help of undergraduate students, what now appears to wrongful convictions in this case for more years than I care to count, exposing many flaws in a police investigation drawing direction from drunken confessions, trials sporting lying witnesses and racist prosecutorial branding, jury misconduct that (briefly) overturned one verdict in 2004.
  • American Catch

    In American Catch, award-winning author Paul Greenberg takes the same skills that won him acclaim in Four Fish to uncover the tragic unraveling of the nation’s seafood supply—telling the surprising story of why Americans stopped eating from their own waters. In 2005, the United States imported five billion pounds of seafood, nearly double what we imported twenty years earlier. Bizarrely, during that same period, our seafood exports quadrupled. American Catch examines New York oysters, Gulf shrimp, and Alaskan salmon to reveal how it came to be that 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat is foreign. Despite the challenges, hope abounds. In New York, Greenberg connects an oyster restoration project with a vision for how the bivalves might save the city from rising tides. In the Gulf, shrimpers band together to offer local catch direct to consumers. And in Bristol Bay, fishermen, environmentalists, and local Alaskans gather to roadblock Pebble Mine. With American Catch, Paul Greenberg proposes a way to break the current destructive patterns of consumption and return American catch back to American eaters.
  • Shell 'Beer Can' Crushed

    A KUOW Freedom of Information Act request revealed the severity of a maritime accident that the world's largest energy company and the U.S. government sought to downplay or avoid comment on. News outlets from Alaska to England, including the New York Times, Financial Times and Hearst Newspapers have cited the KUOW scoop in their ensuing coverage. Our story has also resulted in Congressional and Interior Department inquiries into the accident involving equipment Royal Dutch Shell planned to use in support of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
  • United in Largesse

    United in Largesse is about extravagant spending and lack of accountability in the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union, which has its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City Star found that the union president’s salary and expenses far topped those of the presidents of the country’s largest unions and that the union had hired numerous officers’ relatives at robust salaries. The story also showed that union officials traveled by charter or first class to attractive destinations, squandered money on exclusive pheasant-hunting expeditions and Alaskan fly-fishing adventures and gave expensive cars as gifts to retiring officers. The Star also raised serious questions about conflicts of interest involving union pension fund trustees.
  • Who is Joe Miller?

    The ongoing series provided as much information as possible to voters about a newcomer to Alaska state politics -- Joe Miller.
  • Two Worlds: Government Contractors, Alaska Natives

    The investigation documents the Alaska native corporation program's failure to help impoverished native shareholders it was designed to help. Despite this, the program received $29 billion in contracts over the last decade while the government looked the other way.