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.

Search results for "NPR" ...

  • The University of Louisville Foundation Bought An Empty Factory In Oklahoma—Because A Donor Asked

    Reporter Kate Howard revealed how the University of Louisville’s nonprofit fundraising arm bought an abandoned factory in Oklahoma at the behest of a major donor. The multi-layered $3.47 million-dollar transaction had no academic purpose, did not result in any revenue for the organization and appeared to be an ethical breach and tax code violation.
  • Doubled Up In Solitary Confinement

    This seems like a contradiction. Put a prison inmate into a solitary confinement cell and then give him a cellmate. It’s called “double-cell solitary confinement”: Two inmates considered so dangerous and violent that they’re removed from the general prison population but then put together in one tiny cell, together for 23 to 24 hours a day. NPR’s Investigations Unit exposed this little-known practice that is common in federal and state prisons. The series showed how double-cell solitary confinement results in high levels of prison violence and sharply increases the likelihood of inmates killing other inmates.
  • Politics of Pain

    “Politics of Pain,” a multi-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press, examines the politics behind the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, with a unique look at how drugmakers and their allies sought to block and delay legislation and thwart other steps intended to combat opioid abuse while pushing their own profitable but unproven remedies. Drug companies and allied advocates spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions at the state and federal level over the past decade, more than eight times what the formidable gun lobby recorded for political activities during the same period. Using a network of paid allies, drugmakers also created an echo chamber that quietly derailed efforts to curb U.S. consumption of the drugs while pushing new, harder-to-abuse formulations of their products that have not been proven to reduce overdose rates.
  • Advanced Black Lung Cases Surge in Appalachia

    An NPR investigation identified ten times the number of cases of the worst stage of the deadly coal miners' disease black lung as federal researchers reported. NPR's findings indicate Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF), as its called, strikes many more miners and at far higher rates than previously recognized. The report comes as the federal program that provides medical benefits and cash payments to miners stricken with black lung is threatened by a multi-billion dollar debt and challenges to ongoing funding.
  • Bias on the bench

    Florida legislators have struggled for 30 years to create an equitable justice system. But a Herald-Tribune investigation, involving an unprecedented analysis of tens of millions of electronic records, shows that black defendants are punished more severely than white defendants who commit the same crimes and have similar criminal backgrounds. Judges in Florida offer blacks fewer changes to avoid jail or scrub away felonies. They give blacks more time behind bars – sometimes double the sentences of whites. No news organization, university or government agency has ever done such a comprehensive investigation of sentences handed down by individual judges on a statewide scale. http://projects.heraldtribune.com/bias/
  • Spies in the Skies

    America is being watched from above. Government surveillance planes, operated by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, routinely circle over most major cities. We assembled an unprecedented picture of the operation’s scale and sweep by analyzing more than 4 months of aircraft tracking data for about 200 federal aircraft.
  • Dollars for Docs

    ProPublica first published Dollars for Docs, our comprehensive database of payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting, etc., in 2010. Millions of people have looked up their doctors, and hundreds of news organizations have used the data to tell important investigative stories. But it was only this year that, thanks to some painstaking work, we were able to match pharmaceutical payments with prescribing habits. And our findings were dispositive: Doctors who take payments tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs. Moreover, thousands of doctors who have had disciplinary actions against them by their state licensing boards are still getting pharma payments, and a greater share of physicians who work at for-profit hospitals take payments compared to those working at nonprofit or government facilities. https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/d4d-hospital-lookup
  • WWII Secret Mustard Gas Testing

    This investigation uncovered new details about once-classified chemical weapons experiments conducted by the U.S. Military during World War II, in which African American, Puerto Rican and Japanese American troops were exposed to mustard gas to look for racial differences that could be exploited in battle. The series also revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ failure to compensate troops who were used in World War II chemical tests, despite promises made more than half a century earlier. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/22/415194765/u-s-troops-tested-by-race-in-secret-world-war-ii-chemical-experiments http://www.npr.org/2015/06/23/416408655/the-vas-broken-promise-to-thousands-of-vets-exposed-to-mustard-gas http://www.npr.org/series/417162462/world-war-ii-secret-mustard-gas-testing
  • Home Sweet Hustle

    For 15 years, the Portland nonprofit Give Us This Day occupied a unique place among foster-care agencies in the state of Oregon. Its four group homes served the most troubled, challenging kids in the state—children who had been sexually abused, starved, beaten and abandoned. It was the state’s only African-American-run foster care agency, a distinction that made it especially valuable to the state agency that manages housing for foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services. The executive director of Give Us This Day, Mary Holden, was lauded as a human-rights champion. Give Us This Day was also unique in how leniently it was regulated by state officials. The state turned a blind eye to more than 1,000 police reports at foster homes run by Give Us This Day. It regularly paid large cash advances to the provider—something no other foster-care agency requested so regularly. And the Department of Human Services ignored years of allegations that Give Us This Day neglected children.
  • Unprepared

    Unprepared was a multi-platform series, culminating in a broadcast documentary, that examined Oregon's failure to prepare for the known risk of a major earthquake. Reporters conducted hundreds of interviews, accessed government documents and built their own databases in a year-long effort that exposed many inadequacies in current seismic preparedness and the state’s lagging response. http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-coastal-towns-cease-to-exist/ http://www.opb.org/television/programs/ofg/episodes/2701/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/earthquake-oregon-bridges-collapse/ http://www.opb.org/aftershock/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/oregons-seismic-achilles-heel/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/unprepared-schools-and-hospitals-at-risk/ http://www.opb.org/news/widget/seismically-vulnerable-bridges-in-oregon/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-fuel-breakdown-90-percent/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/oregon-earthquake-14-gallons-water/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/living-off-your-quake-kit-weekend-wrap-up/ http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/earthquake-what-holds-us-back-from-being-prepared-for-a-disaster/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/new-hospital-planned-in-tsunami-zone/ http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/unprepared-towns-along-coast-manage-tsunami-risk-in-different-ways/