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 "economy" ...

  • Hard Labor

    “Hard Labor” exposed the threats facing America’s invisible backbone – steelworkers, coal miners, fishermen, farmworkers and factory technicians, whose sweat equity helps buildings rise from the ground, crops travel from the fields to dinner plates, and the economy hum. Across the U.S., across scores of blue-collar industries, workers are being injured and killed by the thousands with little protection from Congress and the federal agencies that are supposed to safeguard them: the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard.
  • A story of hope, and a lopsided deal

    A six-month Boston Globe investigation revealed that a contractor from California was repeatedly employing impoverished, drug-addicted men from an evangelical church to renovate hotels across the country. The story started in Boston, where reporter Casey Ross discovered that the contractor, Installations Plus, was paying illegally low wages to workers trucked up from Victory Outreach Church in Philadelphia. He also traced the illegal behavior to other Massachusetts communities and then to California, where he spent several days tracking down Victory Outreach members who recalled working for the contractor in that state. The result of his reporting was a richly detailed narrative that took readers into a little-known corner of America’s underground economy. After the story’s publication, the state of Massachusetts announced an effort to strengthen labor enforcement against companies that fund and manage projects where significant violations are found. In addition, California labor officials initiated an investigation into the employment practices of Installations Plus.
  • War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City

    The hour-long documentary War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City takes an unprecedented look at the impact of corruption on the East St. Louis, Illinois area, one of the poorest and most violent communities in America. The program was broadcast twice during prime time; Tuesday night at 8 pm on August 28, and the following Saturday night at 7 pm. This project was the result of an ongoing decade-long probe of government waste, corruption, police misconduct, and violence in East St. Louis and the surrounding villages by investigative reporter Craig Cheatham. Our documentary begins with a detailed look at police misconduct and corruption, how it has contributed to the breakdown of public safety in the East St. Louis area, and why local politicians tolerated such outrageous behavior by their officers. The second part of our documentary focuses on the impact of derelict and vacant housing, the slumlords who own the property and the people who live in some of the worst housing in the metro area. Our investigation also uncovered new connections between politicians and legendary slumlord Ed Sieron, who was business partners with a longtime mayor. In addition, KMOV revealed that of the 500 mostly rundown properties that Sieron owns in East St. Louis, only 13 were cited for code violations. That lack of accountability for the notorious slumlord, empowered him and made the people living in his homes feel powerless. War Zone also exposes the way East St. Louis communities have sold their economy to vice-driven businesses like strip clubs, liquor stores, a casino, and convenience marts that had a long history of selling illegal synthetic drugs. Our investigation found that nearly all of these businesses failed to employ a significant number of East St. Louis residents, even though they received millions of dollars in tax incentives that are paid by East St. Louis residents. At the same time East St. Louis is handing out tax breaks to wealthy out-of-town businessmen, it repeatedly refused to provide the same tax incentives for local residents who wanted to create family friendly businesses that would employ people living in the East St. Louis area.
  • 60 Minutes: Sovereign Citizens

    The first major television report on Sovereign Citizens, an anti-government movement with as many as 300,000 adherents in the United States. With the sluggish economy and mortgage crisis, their numbers are growing. The FBI lists Sovereign Citizens as one of the top domestic threats.
  • Center: Policy or Politics?

    The story was about former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and his journey to Colorado State University where he is the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy. The story examined the political connections that led Ritter to CSU and provided the funding for the new center, and it explored the implications those ties may have for the public university.
  • Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields

    The story chronicles a city in collapse. The author shows how the violence in Juarez, Mexico is not simply perpetrated by drug organizations or law enforcement, but is now part of the fabric of the city and its citizens.
  • Immigrants and the California Economy

    This in-depth review of immigrant labor in California shows that the government has broken its promise to keep illegal immigrants from obtaining work. The chances of an illegal immigrant being arrested are extremely low -- 1,300 to 1.
  • Florida's Insurance Nightmare

    Six years after eight hurricanes ripped across Florida, state residents still struggle to recover from the storms' legacy - a wrecked property insurance market. Exorbitant premiums, the highest in the world, have soured the state's struggling economy, killed real estate sales and forced families from their homes. Homeowners were told that unless they paid even more, no insurance company would take their hurricane risk. The Herald-Tribune showed that is a lie. Floridians have been lied to about why there is a crisis, where their money is going, and whether they're even protected against storm losses. Public policy has been corrupted by fiction spun by the insurance industry and its supposed regulators. Billions of dollars desperately needed for the next disaster have been siphoned offshore. And millions of homeowners are left to entrust their financial security on a system rigged to extort profit. To expose the hidden truth of Florida's insurance crisis, St. John cultivated key sources deep within every aspect of the insurance industry and sought massive amounts of financial and policy data from multiple state and national entities. When it became obvious Florida's crisis was manipulated from afar, she traveled to Bermuda and Monte Carlo to discover the hidden players truly in charge.
  • "Hey, Green Spender"

    Aldhous and McKenna analyzed data from two available databases to determine whether or not "environmentally conscious" purchasing and investment choices can create a "green economy." The reporters found that consumers are generally confused about a company's "green credentials" and the consequent environmental cost. The results from the investigation encourage companies to fully disclose "their environmental impacts."
  • "Immigrants and the California Economy"

    In this four-part series, Ron Campbell investigates the complicated topic of immigration in California. Campbell reveals that California relies on immigrant labor and "brains" more than "any other state." He also finds that California's economy is "closely tied" to immigrants and that education levels play a huge part in wages and quality of life for Californians.