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 "debt" ...

  • 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.
  • Degree of Debt

    “Degree of Debt” is a multi-state investigation by Raycom Media that exposes one of the most crippling impacts on the U.S. economy, the virtual explosion of student debt. The numbers are staggering. Over 41 million students owe a collective $1.4 trillion; a figure that dwarfs credit card and auto loan debt combined. Of that $41 million in debt, nearly 8.1 million of those people are currently in default. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next decade the federal government will make $81 billion in profit from student loans, over $8 billion a year. The Raycom investigative series used several federal databases along with shoe leather reporting to educate our viewers/readers on the biggest offenders and what needs to change. http://www.vimeo.com/leezurik/IREDegreeofDebt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y09_yQ9Bwo&feature=youtu.be
  • Chicago does little to control police misconduct - or its costs

    The City of Chicago spent more than $210 million for police misconduct lawsuits from 2012 to 2015, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis. The Police Department exceeded its annual budget for lawsuits by almost $50 million, on average, in each of those years. Yet, unlike some other major cities, Chicago doesn’t analyze the lawsuits for trends, identify the officers most frequently sued, or determine ways to reduce both the cost of the cases and officer misconduct. Rather than rein in the practices that lead to these settlements, officials have borrowed millions to pay for police lawsuits, adding to the city’s crippling debt.
  • The Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story was a first-of-its-kind analysis of debt collection lawsuits. Crunching data from five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — we found that, even controlling for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones. This finding was drawn out through in-depth reporting on the ground in St. Louis. We focused on one neighborhood, Jennings, a mostly black suburb that borders Ferguson in north St. Louis County, to illustrate the impact.
  • The Property Tax Crisis

    An examination of the regressive property tax system in New Jersey, which has more in common with feudal states than the United States. Our examination shows how it is the wellspring of the state’s myriad problems, from government corruption to a stalled economy to the highest-in-the-nation debt. The series sparked a public outcry for reform, with more than 14,000 signing our petition for change, and pledges from half the Assembly members to address the issue. http://php.app.com/taxpain/
  • The Debt Trap

    This weeklong investigative series revealed how car-title lending businesses in Virginia are using loopholes in the law to exploit consumers and evade regulators. Since the series aired, the governor announced he wants to crack down on the industry and several lawmakers introduced bills to address loopholes outlined in the stories. http://wamu.org/the_debt_trap
  • Electric Boondoggle

    A $2.5 million prize from the prestigious taxpayer-backed X Prize competition wound up rewarding a troubled company that's been accused of running penny-stock scams. A two-month Greenwire investigation uncovered a cascade of suspicious transactions and dubious claims by Li-Ion Motors Corporation Court documents, interviews and the company's own filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission found that the company has plowed through $50 million in investors' money with little to show for it other than millions of dollars of debt, a $250,000 IRS lien, angry customers and allegations that it was involved in "pump and dump" stock schemes.
  • Black Arts

    This is an investigation of San Francisco's for-profit Academy of Art University, the country's largest private art school. I examine the questionable business model that produced a nearly billion-dollar fortune for its owners, the Stephens family. Meanwhile, the university produced abysmal graduation rates, high levels of student debt and poor job placement. Former employees alleged illegal compensation for high-pressure recruiting tactics. And the university had serious land-use violations on most of its 40-some prime properties, benefiting, critics say, from close ties to leading San Francisco politicians.
  • Sports At Any Cost

    We teamed up with The Chronicle of Higher Education to tell how in an era of soaring college costs and mounting student debt, universities are spending billions of dollars to prop up their sports departments. Our overview feature showcases deep reporting from Georgia State, which has invested millions into a football program that hasn't attracted much support.
  • Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story this year was a first-of-its-kind analysis of debt collection lawsuits. Crunching data from five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — we found that, even controlling for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones. This finding was drawn out through in-depth reporting on the ground in St. Louis. We focused on one neighborhood, Jennings, a mostly black suburb that borders Ferguson in north St. Louis County, to illustrate the impact. https://projects.propublica.org/garnishments/