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 "coffee" ...

  • Cosecha de Miseria (Harvest of Misery)

    A yearlong investigation by Telemundo and The Weather Channel gathered evidence that child labor is commonplace during the coffee harvest in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico -- illustrating in stark, human terms the failures and limitations of an elaborate global system of third-party monitoring established by the coffee industry to assure its sourcing is ethical, and a violation of international agreements and laws meant to prohibit child labor. By following the supply chain to the source, the investigation also revealed how global agreements and the laws of nations prohibit such labors by children, who were found filling and lugging heavy bags of coffee while living in harsh conditions. Result: A documentary in which reporters take viewers on a gritty, real-world tour to the bottom of the murky coffee supply chain, where feel-good marketing clashes with harsh realities socially conscious consumers may find surprising if not shocking.
  • Gasping for Action

    It’s been known for years that diacetyl destroys lungs. Yet the federal government has failed to regulate it. Now, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation has found the buttery flavor chemical is injuring coffee workers and has seeped into other products such as e-cigarettes.
  • Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us

    Caffeinated is a wide-angle investigation of the science, culture, business and regulation of America’s favorite pick-me-up. The book explores this addictive, largely unregulated drug found in coffee, energy drinks, teas, colas, chocolate, and even pain relievers. Caffeinated explains why caffeine has such a powerful effect on everything from boosting our mood to improving our athletic performance, as well as how—and why—brands such as Coca-Cola have ducked regulatory efforts for decades. And the book shows how caffeine is quietly used to reinforce our buying patterns, and how it can play a role in promoting surprising health problems like obesity and anxiety.
  • Excessive Speculation Distorts Commodity Markets, Harms Consumers

    The topic of our series was excessive financial speculation in commodity markets. Throughout one year, I worked on a series of labor-intensive investigative pieces showing how the influx of financial speculators in the futures market had distorted the price of crude oil, coffee, cotton and other commodities.
  • Excessive Speculation Distorts Commodity Markets, Harms Consumers

    The topic of our series was excessive financial speculation in commodity markets. Throughout one year, I worked on a series of labor-intensive investigative pieces showing how the influx of financial speculators in the futures market had distorted the price of crude oil, coffee, cotton and other commodities.
  • The Other Side of Mercy

    "On Nov. 29, 2009, Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four Lakewood police officers in a Pierce County coffee shop, committing one of the worst crimes in the history of the Pacific Northwest. "The Other Side of Mercy" chronicles Clemmons' criminal history, exposing a variety of system breakdowns that set the stage for this shocking ambush."
  • Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce and Culture

    "Starbucked explores the phenomenal rise of the Starbucks Corporation and the coffee-crazy culture that fueled its success. It combines a narrative of how the coffeehouse phenomenon took hold with an investigation into the ethical issues that swirl around the company."
  • "Uncertain Innocence: What Convicted Sue Reser"

    This story is about the conviction of Pamela Sue Reser. She was sentenced to life in prison for sexual violence against her own children. After spending 3 1/2 years in prison, her kids recanted the testimony that put her in prison. An order by the judge set her free, and the charges were dismissed a month later. Her kids alleged that their adoptive mother's brother had done the molesting. He had brainwashed the kids into believing Reser had sexually abused them. The charges against their uncle were dismissed.
  • "Winning Without Food and Cigars"

    Using the face of Judy Taylor, a longtime Kentucky lobbyist, Swope describes the new world order under a strict statehouse lobbying law. The "no-cup-of-coffee" restriction barring gifts from lobbyists to legislators changed the Capitol climate, but Taylor says it's "more professional." Lobbyists must use new techniques, including getting into lawmakers' districts, to reach them in the new era devoid of lavish receptions.
  • Making Waves. As U.S. trade grow, shipping cartels get a bit more scrutiny. The price fixing pact hurt consumers, critics say; lines defend the system. How Philadelphia took a hit.

    According to the article, "Every two weeks, in an unobtrusive office building here (in Rutherford, N.J.), about 20 shipping-line managers gather for their usual meeting. They sit around a long conference table, exchange small talk over bagels and coffee and then begin discussing what they will charge to move cargo across the Atlantic Ocean. All very routine, except for one detail: They don't work for the same company. Each represents a different shipping line, supposedly competing for business. Under U.S. antitrust law, most people doing this would end up in court."