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 "The Lens" ...

  • The Lens: Power Plant Astroturfing

    Lens reporter Michael Isaac Stein confirmed that actors were paid to support Entergy New Orleans' proposed power plant in eastern New Orleans. A city investigation resulted. The company was forced to release thousands of pages of documents about the power plant campaign, which we found was much larger in scope than the so-called "astroturfing" in 2017 and 2018.
  • Tech Behind Bars

    "Tech Behind Bars" is a deeply reported, multi-media three-part examination of the growing intersection of the corrections system and the technology industry. Part 1, "Inside the prison system’s illicit digital world," explores the growing problem of smartphone smuggling inside federal and state prisons, and reveals dozens of social media profiles of inmates currently serving time in several states, many of whom were using the internet illicitly from their cells. Part 2, "After years behind bars, can prisoners re-enter a digital society?", explores what happens to inmates after they're released from length prison stays, and are forced into a world and a job market that expects them to have familiarity with the tools of the digital age, and profiles Code 7370, a program at San Quentin State Prison that is equipping inmates with computer skills in preparation for their re-entry. Part 3, "Can technology and prisons get along?", is an examination of the growing number of attempts to integrate modern technology into correctional facilities, through the lens of the Napa County Jail, which is giving tablets to its inmates in attempt to keep them up to speed with the digital revolution.
  • Use of Force: How the courts respond to police violence doesn’t always lead to justice

    This story examines how law enforcement officers justify using deadly force through the lens of three questionable Houston-area police shootings and one Texas law enforcement official who routinely defends officers in court as an expert witness.
  • Katrina 10: The New Levees

    Of all the questions asked about New Orleans’ progress 10 years after the disaster that killed nearly 1,500 residents and clouded its future, the most persistent has been this: Is it safer now? Interviews with engineers and storm experts for the "Katrina 10: The New Levees" investigation, by The Weather Channel and The Lens, resulted in answers filled with caveats and concerns. The best summation: It’s safer for houses, but not necessarily for the people who live in them.
  • City cancels plans for Super Bowl drone despite enthusiasm and interest from NOPD, others

    After The Lens began asking questions about New Orleans' plans to use a U.S. Homeland Security Department aerial drone to monitor Super Bowl crowds, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city is scrapping those plans. The policy change contrasted with the city’s recent efforts to acquire an unmanned aerial vehicle.
  • Good Samaritan's case exposes police department inconsistency

    A controversial New Orleans Police Department policy of releasing the criminal records of crime victims ended after The Lens' pointed out inconsistencies in the application of the practice. When a father of two died trying to stop another woman's carjacking, the department praised him as a Good Samaritan and highlighted his years of volunteering for their office, but didn't mention his criminal record. After we searched his background, we published that he had a history of arrests for marijuana possession and LSD distribution that spanned as far back as the '80s. Shortly after our story, the department ended the policy.
  • Death Takes A Policy

    In a look at how the insurance industry has transformed from its traditional bread and butter of selling life insurance to selling complex financial products, ProPublica's Jake Bernstein and This American Life's Alex Blumberg explore how one man used variable annuities to make a fortune at the expense of other people dying. The story is told through the lens of Joseph Caramadre - a Rhode Island lawyer who is adept at exploiting fine print. Caramadre would offer $2,000 to $10,000 dollars to people who were close to death in exchange for their personal information so that he could buy an annuity on their life and then pocket any profit when that person died. Some involved with Caramadre's plot viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood, offering sorely-needed financial support during their last days, while others cast him as a criminal taking advantage of people in a vulnerable state. While the ethics of his scheme are debatable, insurance companies and the government don't think there's much to dispute as criminal charges were brought against Caramadre for engaging in identity theft, conspiracy, and two different kinds of fraud for preying on the sick and deceiving the terminally ill to make millions for himself and his clients.
  • Dangerous Contact Lenses

    Reporters found color contact lenses being sold at a Dallas-area flea market. The employees let multiple people try the lenses on. Not only is this very unsanitary, it's also dangerous.
  • (Untitled)

    Dateline: NBC report revealed that many contact lens wearers are being misled by Bausch and Lomb. The company markets its family of contact lenses under three different names, each with a different price. Dateline: NBC reported that the lenses in each family are exactly the same despite the price and packaging differences. (Nov. 14,1995)