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.

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  • KPCC Sexual Misconduct Investigation

    A first-of-its-kind investigation into Los Angeles County revealed more than one hundred sexual misconduct cases that ended with settlements or judgements paid for with public funds.
  • In Donors We Trust

    Everyone knows that college is more and more expensive to attend. So why are college and university endowments skyrocketing and now worth more than $567 billion? We started with the University of Michigan, lauded as one of the world’s best public universities which had stockpiled an endowment worth more than $11 billion. We found that university officials invested a good chunk of that endowment – one of the country’s largest among public institutions - in hundreds of private funds across the world. More importantly, our months-long investigation identified a select group who had secretly benefited: top university donors and alumni investment advisers who run private equity, hedge and venture capital funds and real estate investment firms. After our stories published throughout 2018, the university changed its investment policies; rerouted nearly $2 million into more student aid; made new investments based in the state; publicly released university executive compensation information after losing a FOIA lawsuit brought by the Free Press; and saw two university regents (i.e., trustees) lose their elections in November to those who promised more financial transparency and accountability based on our reporting.
  • How a donkey became one of the best mayors in Brazil

    The report revealed an industry of awards for politicians in Brazil. The certificates are granted against sums of money paid cash, usually upon a fake opinion poll in which these politicians are supposedly recognized by the population.
  • In a Kashmir Valley, a Massive Dam Threatens to Wash Away Lives

    Through a combination of shoe-leather reporting (including days spent hiking through one of the most remote regions in Indian-administered Kashmir) and advanced simulation techniques, this story proved that a dam proposed by the Indian government will displace tens of thousands more people than the dam’s designers said it would. This story and animation, published in both English and Urdu, led to the dam project being removed from the Indian government’s fast track list.
  • Full Measure: The Foreign Connection

    Foreigners are barred from directly giving money to American politicians and political parties. But it turns out, there’s a legal way around that. It involves well-connected middlemen in the U.S., PR firms, and lobbyists, acting as foreign agents. They’re paid huge sums to get foreigners access to U.S. government officials that most Americans will never have. They may even help write our laws and direct your tax dollars to foreign interests. And when so many are talking about a foreign issue- for example, Russia, you can bet foreign agents are in the background pulling strings. For the past eight months, we’ve been examining The Foreign Connection to Russia and Ukraine.
  • Fire Mutual Aid

    Several years ago tips to our newsroom led to what would be come a multi-year effort. Over the course of the years Action News Investigates uncovered slow fire response times as result of a broken and poorly managed system. In 2015, those investigations told in a station-produced documentary won a 2015 Peabody Award. That was only the beginning. Investigative reporter Paul Van Osdol has continued to stay on top of all fire and EMS response stories in the years that followed. In 2018, those stories were prominent once again. This entry highlights several failed responses to fires that in some case, if more efficient, could have saved lives. The entry also highlights the results of these investigations, a state commission review of local fire departments.
  • ESPN Outside the Lines/E:60: “Spartan Secrets”

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • Direkt36: Russian arms dealers

    Two Russian arms dealers operating in Hungary, Vladimir Lyubishin Sr. and Jr., were apprehended as a result of a U.S. DEA sting operation in late 2016. The Lyubishins wanted to supply a Mexican drug cartel with weapons to protect shipments of cocaine against US authorities and rival gangs. In reality, the Russians were negotiating with paid DEA informants. After the arrests, however, the Lyubishins managed to escape US justice thanks to Hungary’s Kremlin-friendly government as Hungary denied Washington’s request for extradition and sent the two arms dealers to Moscow instead. The operation as well as the extradition scandal was kept secret and was first revealed by my story.
  • Daily Herald: Illinois tollway series

    The Illinois tollway, governed by a nonelected board of political appointees, is the only option to get around the Chicago region for millions of drivers who spend $1.3 billion annually to use the system. While hardworking customers paid tolls, tollway executives and board directors were quietly hiring political insiders for high-paying jobs, handing lucrative contracts to firms where their relatives worked, and weakening bylaws to water down the tollway board’s conflict-of-interest rules. As the Daily Herald exposed nepotism, patronage and excessive spending at the tollway, the agency’s leaders fought back. Tactics included denying FOIAs, concealing information and accusing the newspaper of harassment. The Daily Herald’s investigation caught the attention of other media, two governors and state lawmakers who ultimately fired the tollway board of directors in early 2019. Legislators credited the Herald’s investigative series with alerting the public about what Gov. J.B. Pritzker referred to “unethical behavior.”
  • CinEnq: Professor accused of sexual misconduct

    Performer Bradley Garner was accused by several of his students of sexual misconduct that spanned two decades and involved minors. Yet, he quietly retired from the University of Cincinnati and was still teaching elsewhere. This story exposed the truth behind Garner’s departure -- that he faced allegations of sexualizing students, having sex with students and secretly filming it and texting explicit messages to students. It shone a light on the abusive flute studio he was running and the harassment those he taught around the country said they had to endure. And it prompted immediate action to protect future students.