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 "entertainment" ...

  • BMF: Hip-Hop's Shadowy Empire

    The Atlanta-based Black Mafia Family "were hip-hop royalty without a hit." Investigators asserted that the BMF was actually one of the "more elaborate drug-trafficking enterprises in the country." The entertainment industry and the criminal underworld came together in the BMF, which the police finally cracked when a high-placed member broke the code of silence. In summer 2005, the organization's crimes began to escalate until it was tied to more violent acts, and the investigators "made their move." This story links the BMF to six unsolved murders, as well as to music figures like Sean "P. Diddy" Combs", Bobby Brown and Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin.
  • Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System

    This book grew out of Waxman's Hollywood coverage for the Washington Post. It examines a new, young generation of Hollywood directors in the 1990s. The book explores how the new artists adapt to the money-driven culture of Hollywood, and how the change affects their personal stake in the movie industry.
  • Money Players

    This story deals with NFL players paying a hefty price for allowing people to manage their money. U.S. News examined more than 20 investment deals involving current and former NFL players and found many victims. In exclusive interviews with the magazine, the players described how they were allegedly defrauded. An example includes Buffalo Bills cornerback Antoine Winfield, who was bilked of $1.35 million by a close friend and financial adviser. Other examples illuminate the sometimes tawdry world of player recruitment.
  • Well Connected

    This is a series of stories on media ownership in hometowns of each of the five FCC commissioners. The articles cover information including profiles of the 44 largest telecommunication companies in America, profit information, stock holdings of directors and salaries of top officials. The stories uncover the amounts being spent on FCC officials on travel and entertainment. It also shows how the FCC relies on data provided by the private industry while making decisions that are supposed to be in the public interest.
  • X-rated firms say they're shut out: Lawsuit calls Charlotte zoning too restrictive

    Because of new zoning rules, Charlotte's topless bars, X-rated rated video parlors and adult bookstores faced possible closure if they were within a certain distance from "homes, churches, schools, parks, day-care centers -- or one another." Three local adult businesses sued the city, saying the zoning ordinances were unconstitutional, and the city was using the rules to effectively drive them out of business.
  • Reel life vs. real life

    "Using many of the same categories found in the 2000 Census, USA Today tallied statistics about age, race and gender of the actors and characters in 2001 movies that played on at least 600 screens." It found that Hispanics lag, women are underrepresented, men are older and women are younger, and fewer major movie characters are married.
  • Radio Today

    Salon.com's Eric Boehlert investigates the state of the radio industry and the current practices of many stations around the country. One such practice is the use of "indies" or independent promoters paid by record companies to get their songs and artists on the radio. In turn the indies provide the radio stations with "promotional expenses," which could range from merchandise vouchers, expensive trips, or off the books cash. The practice has become so widespread that local disc jockeys and program directors have little say over playlists, and instead deals are struck between general managers and indies that guarantee at least $75,000 to $100,000 annually. Boehlert also chronicles the rise of Clear Channel, one of the biggest station owners in the country.
  • Click Here for Britney

    Washington Monthly looks at the efforts of AOL to muscle its way into online journalism. "Chances are ... that AOL's definition of the public interest does not quite jibe with that of consumer advocates," reports the magazine. The story addresses concerns that the company may not be "committed to a clear separation between editorial and advertorial content", may not provide "unbiased coverage of its own financial interests", or may be unable to strike a balance between the vital and the trivial in the news.
  • Hollywood Wars

    Brill's Content looks at "the history of a Hollywood-Pentagon alliance that can often blur the line between entertainment and propaganda." The investigation is based on hundreds of pages of military documents that have made "the nature and scope of the Pentagon's dealings with Hollywood filmmakers ... suddenly more vivid." The article reveals that "filmmamkers who want their movies about the military to look real seek assistance from the Pentagon, but the military imprimatur comes with a price." Filmmakers can get "nearly cost-free access to the military's equipment", if they implement changes to the script "to ensure ... that the military is presented accurately and in positive light." The story includes a list of well-known movies that either exemplify the military's influence, or have been disapproved by the Pentagon. The author points to the CIA as another government organization that tries to influence filmmakers.
  • Painted Black

    The New Republic portrays Robert Johnson, "the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), whose family stood to gain millions if Bush succeeded." The story focuses on how Johnson "played the race card" in political games, where his own business interests were at stake. The analysis reveals that Johnson gathered support by major black leaders to achieve impact on three major issues - demanding an end to the estate tax, transforming the Social Security into a system with individual investment accounts, and encouraging the merger between United Airlines and US Airways. The author concludes that "Bushism and Johnsonism are made for each other; their nascent alliance represents a historic synthesis of the racial separatism of the left and the libertarianism of the right."