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 "ProPublica" ...

  • Walking While Black

    “Walking While Black,” a meticulously researched and powerful reporting project, showed Jacksonville's enforcement of pedestrian violations to be racially disproportionate. Using hard-won data from a variety of local and state agencies, Topher Sanders and Ben Conarck, both veterans of reporting in Jacksonville, showed the disparities across every category of pedestrian tickets in Duval County. They then found those ticketed, and chronicled the impact — on their driver’s licenses, on their credit ratings, on their day to day ability to work and raise families in a city notorious for its lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Bombs In Your Backyard: Investigating One of America’s Greatest Polluters

    The military might of the United States has come at an extraordinary environmental price. The nation’s defense technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil, where they have polluted fields and rivers, contaminated drinking water and put legions of people’s health at risk. For the first time, this project examined the full extent of the damage — 39,000 sites adding up to an area larger than the state of Florida, affecting millions of people. Our stories exposed the Pentagon’s routine practice of open burning of hazardous waste; its reliance on incompetent or fraudulent contractors that dump waste or fake cleanups; its four-decade campaign to make a dangerous and pervasive chemical explosive appear safe and avoid regulation; and its explicit refusal to comply with federal environmental laws even when the exposure of young children to lead poisoning from munition was at stake. We gained exclusive access to the Pentagon’s complete environmental dataset, and created a news application which for the first time mapped searchable data about contaminated sites across U.S. territories.
  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • LA Times & ProPublica: Trapped in a Deadly Chase

    Our investigation took a close look at the dangerous toll of Border Patrol tactics used to chase and catch smuggler vehicles near the border. Our reporting found that, even as many modern police agencies move away from high-speed chases and place tighter restrictions on when their officers can pursue suspects, the Border Patrol allows its agents wide latitude to use them to catch people trying to enter the country illegally, a practice that often ends in gruesome injuries and death.
  • The New Republic and The Investigative Fund: Political Corruption and the Art of the Deal

    President Donald Trump has railed against the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it a crime for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials or partner with others who are doing so. But reporter Anjali Kamat uncovered an extensive history of lawsuits, police inquiries and government investigations connected to the Trump family's real estate partners in India, reporting that appeared as the cover story of the April The New Republic and formed the basis of two episodes of Trump Inc., a podcast series from WNYC and ProPublica that digs deeply into the secrets of Trump's family business.
  • SB Tribune/ProPublica: Criminal Justice in Elkhart, Indiana

    Reports by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed deep flaws and abuses of power in the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana -- from new revelations in the wrongful convictions of two innocent men, to the promotions of police supervisors with serious disciplinary records, to the mishandling of police misconduct cases -- and led to the resignation of the police chief, an independent investigation of the department and criminal charges against two officers.
  • Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica: Half-life

    The series Half-life, a partnership between the Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica, explored health and safety conditions for nuclear workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The says it has complied with federal workers’ safety rules since the mid-1990s, but The New Mexican and ProPublica found thousands of lab workers have filed benefits claims for cancer, and hundreds more have died, as a result of work done in the last two decades — a generation in which nuclear work conditions were supposed to be safe. Reporting found these workers face steep hurdles and are more frequently denied benefits than older generations. The Department of Energy has also rarely held Los Alamos contractors accountable for safety issues and has taken steps to limit independent oversight of safety conditions at federal nuclear sites nationwide.
  • ProPublica: Zero Tolerance

    ProPublica published a secret recording from inside a border patrol detention center which captured the anguish of children separated from their parents and forced the Trump Administration to reverse its family separation policy, then dug deeply into conditions at detention centers where thousands of separated children and unaccompanied minors have been sent.
  • ProPublica: Unprotected

    Katie Meyler leveraged the internet and a compelling story to launch a charity to educate vulnerable Liberian girls and save them from sexual exploitation. ProPublica revealed how, as Meyler gained international plaudits and fundraised over $8 million, girls as young as 10 were being raped by founding staff member Macintosh Johnson, with whom Meyler had a sexual relationship. The charity then misled donors and the public about what had happened, failed to safeguard all his possible victims even once they knew Johnson had AIDS when he died, and later abandoned to prostitution at least one of the girls who had testified against him in court.