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.

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  • Tailspin

    “Tailspin” uncovered the financial, legal and security problems inside a fast-growing private jet company named JetSmarter. The private jet world gets little scrutiny, protected by a tightknit group of companies and elite customers. JetSmarter became the darling of the media and industry, led by a charismatic CEO and hyped by celebrities on social media. But our investigation found that the company sold memberships that quickly proved to be worthless. Its CEO touted its success as the first “flying unicorn” worth $1.5 billion, but we found JetSmarter was losing millions of dollars a month.
  • The Death of a State Trooper

    Early on a Saturday morning in late March of 2019, a man drove the wrong way down a suburban Chicago expressway and crashed into another driver, killing them both. It’s the kind of news story that – unfortunately -- we all report too often. It’s also the kind of story that NBC5 Investigates regularly checks out, to see what might be behind the breaking news. In this case, we quickly discovered a man – Dan Davies -- who should never have been on the road, because of a system that simply (and repeatedly) didn’t work, eventually resulting in that early- morning crash. The man Davies killed: An Illinois State Trooper named Gerald Ellis, who was heading home to his family after his late-night shift. One witness at the scene said Trooper Ellis saved the lives of others, by steering into Davies’ oncoming car. Nearly every day over the two weeks following that fatal crash, NBC5 Investigates uncovered new court records and police reports, blood-alcohol analyses and dash cam video, social-media posts and States Attorney documents, all adding to a damning pile of evidence showing that Davies should have been behind bars the night of the crash, save for a series of mistakes by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Yet, every day, when we tried to get answers from that State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, there was only radio silence. The lack of response was so galling – especially from a taxpayer-funded office accountable to the public -- that we documented, online and in real time, the actual reporting process of our daily phone calls and emails, which simply sought the most basic answers on what her office did and didn’t do, in a case that clearly and ultimately resulted in the unnecessary death of an Illinois State trooper. Ultimately, Foxx was forced to respond and – finally – take responsibility for the mistakes that allowed Dan Davies to be on the road that night.
  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • Best for the children

    We revealed that at least 150 children have been abused in Sweden over the last three years, despite the fact that social services knew about their situation and should have been able to help them. Almost half of the children were children already in care, therefore even more vulnerable, where the social welfare service failed to act to help them, or acted in a way that increased their suffering. There are most probably many more children that have been abused, than the 150 we were able to detect. We were only able to survey the cases known to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate. But in our review we could reveal that 50 municipalities, one in six, have never reported any mistakes on serious misconduct concerning children. This is something that experts interpret as highly unlikely and a serious sign of underreporting.
  • WSJ: The Forces Behind America's Political Divide

    Why are Americans so divided? The Wall Street Journal set out to answer this question in a set of visually-driven stories that made novel use of economic and demographic data, as well as through an analysis of the original response files from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that unearthed new insights. Our exploration found that America's political divisions are being driven by economic and social forces that are fairly new in politics.
  • Tracking the Manipulation of Public Opinion in the Presidential Campaign

    This is a series of investigative reports on the reality of online media manipulation during the 18th Presidential Campaign in South Korea in 2012, dubbed as the first social media election of the country. The reports employ a scientific census of 900 million tweets as part of the investigation.
  • Racism in the Ranks

    The 2018 acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the death of Colten Boushie reverberated across the country. Indigenous people rallied against what they saw as an injustice. “We knew we really went back 10 years, maybe fifteen years on all the work we’ve been trying to do in this province in this country on reconciliation.” – Darlene Okemaysim-Sicotte, Advocate for Indigenous women Stanley shot and killed Boushie after the 22-year-old Cree man and friends had driven on Stanley’s farm in rural Saskatchewan. In the midst of the debate over whether the not guilty verdict was a symptom of systemic racism or support of the right to defend property, APTN Investigates video journalist Trina Roache discovered racist posts by an RCMP (ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE) officer on social media.
  • FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma

    The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.
  • CNN Investigates – The Parkland Shooter

    In the hours after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, CNN began scrubbing the background of Nikolas Cruz, based on source information that he was the shooter. Working nearly around the clock, using public records requests, interviews on the ground, and a vast social media dive, CNN was able to quickly piece together a profile of a disturbed teenager who was obsessed with guns.
  • CBC Marketplace - Crying Out for Care

    Crying Out for Care was a 22-minute episode of Marketplace and digital, social, television and radio stories to reach a broad audience. Marketplace is a long-running Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigative consumer affairs television program. its stories are presented in documentary form on the show and other versions, angles and follow-ups appear in the newscasts,news programs, website and social media of CBC. This submission includes the Marketplace episode and includes some of that other coverage. Topic: Marketplace applied data journalism techniques as well as it usual research to dig into the quality of care residents in nursing and long term care homes are receiving.