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 "Midwest" ...

  • WSJ: The Forces Behind America's Political Divide

    Why are Americans so divided? The Wall Street Journal set out to answer this question in a set of visually-driven stories that made novel use of economic and demographic data, as well as through an analysis of the original response files from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that unearthed new insights. Our exploration found that America's political divisions are being driven by economic and social forces that are fairly new in politics.
  • Migrant farmworker housing abuses

    Based on extensive interviews and a review of thousands of inspection reports, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has found that chronically poor living conditions persist because the government agencies responsible for enforcing housing standards are often overwhelmed by workload or rendered ineffective by inadequate budgets and toothless policies. Abusive housing practices of both multibillion-dollar agribusiness corporations and small-scale growers continue to flourish as a result. And migrant farmworkers season after season are left to live in rundown apartments, ramshackle trailers and converted motels.
  • Tragic Harvest

    In “Tragic Harvest,” the Star Tribune revealed that farm deaths in Minnesota and other Midwestern states spiked in the past decade, and that virtually nothing is being done to combat the problem here. In fact, state and federal officials charged with overseeing workplace safety were unaware of the surge in deaths. We showed that most of the deaths are occurring on small farms that are exempt from government oversight, and that most fatal accidents occurred because farm workers violated workplace safety rules. We also showed how Washington, one of the few states to enforce workplace safety rules on small farms, has been able to reduce fatal accidents and significantly improve conditions for farm workers.
  • Devastating Virus

    Most people think food comes from the grocery store. So when a devastating virus hit the hog industry in Spring 2013, few people probably noticed except when it came to paying a lot more for bacon that summer. At Harvest Public Media, a public radio collaboration based in the Midwest, we know that food production is an expensive, complicated process. We investigated Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, a fast-spreading virus never before seen in the U.S., finding an intriguing international story and a significant failure by the U.S. agency that oversees agriculture.
  • Sins of the Family

    Arizona is a state not that far removed from the frontier. It is a place to which someone can move and establish themselves anew, a place where a boy can come for college, make a fortune in business, enter politics, and be elected governor, without having to talk about his past. In Doug Ducey's case, it was as if his life began when he first signed up for classes at Arizona State University. Ducey, the Republican who became Arizona governor in November, talked continually during his campaign about his Midwestern family values, but even under questioning, only provided scant details about his upbringing. The Toledo-reared Arizona state treasurer at the time never talked about his family, except to say his father was a police officer and his mother was a homemaker back home. In their report, headlined "Sins of the Family," Phoenix New Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting discovered that Ducey's maternal relatives made up a powerful, organized-crime family in Toledo, Ohio, some having served prison time for their crimes. Indeed, his uncle has fled to a Caribbean island to escape prosecution. To this day, Ducey has not talked about his maternal family's criminal endeavors, though his reluctant campaign confirmed the facts of New Times and CIR's report after it was published. The report established that his convicted maternal grandparents played a big role in his upbringing. While running for governor, he said repeatedly that they taught him the meaning of family. This is a story of obfuscation by a political candidate, who claimed that everything about him was transparent, not of political corruption, since no evidence was uncovered that candidate Ducey benefited financially from the family business.
  • farm Injuries

    We all need to eat. Our lives depend upon it. Yet, each day hundreds of thousands of farmers put their own lives at risk for our sustenance. One slip and their lives can be changed forever - or worse. The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting took a collaborative look at farm injuries in the top two corn-producing states in the country.
  • Emergency text alert system inconsistent across college campuses

    In the wake of violence across college campuses in recent years, the wide range of percentages of college students who receive emergency notifications via text message reflect the inconsistent and patchwork emergency notification systems that U.S. universities and colleges use. In addition, universities vary on how they keep track of who and how many receive these alerts. But a review of university procedures at about two-dozen universities by Midwest student reporters revealed that universities automatically send out emergency notifications to school email addresses, but often allow students to opt-in for text messages. In fact, many schools do not require students to register for and receive text messages.
  • Heroin LLC

    Heroin, LLC is a multimedia investigation by WBEZ and The Chicago Reader that explores the supply chain and impact of heroin in the Chicago metro area and the Midwest. Heroin overdose deaths are up in Illinois. The drug is purer, it’s readily available, and the street price has plummeted. WBEZ and the Chicago Reader set out to examine how heroin gets to Chicago, how it moves throughout the city and suburbs, and how it is moved then throughout the Midwest. Our focus was this supply line, and the lives affected--often ruined--along the way.
  • Frac Sand Fever

    Four stories, together with maps and graphics, detailing the environmental, regulatory and ethical dilemmas that have accompanied a sudden sand-mining boom that has swept across the rural Upper Midwest to supply "frac sand'' for the nation's burgeoning oil and gas hydro-fracking industry.
  • IJEC: Mental health on campus

    After the mass shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois, legislatures and university officials nationwide said they were taking extra measures to upgrade mental health treatment for students and to improve security on campuses The Investigative Journalism Education Consortium – a group of faculty and students at Midwest universities - decided to examine what actually had been done. What they found is that the number of college students seeking mental health care from their universities is soaring as is the severity of the mental health problems students have when they arrive on campus. The consortium also found most campuses do not have the number of counselors and resources needed. In addition, we found some universities have moved slowly or not at all to improve security and to develop effective building evacuation plans.