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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  • Toronto Star: Rise of Ghost Hotels

    The data investigation began with the question: Is Airbnb exacerbating Toronto's rental crisis by enabling short-term operations to flourish at the expense of long-term rental stock? We analyzed more than 20,000 Airbnb listings data scraped by independent third-party website insideairbnb.com. We also filed requests for documents on business incorporation to validate our findings about commercial operators.
  • WUFT: Cost of Sunshine

    Public record requests of various county and local governments were made in an effort to determine the number of public record requests received by each governmental unit, the cost to provide access to the requested records, the fees recovered from requestors, and copies of agency public record access policies. Those governmental units not audited received a survey designed to obtain the same information sought in the public record requests. Public record requests included all county constitutional officers in nine Florida counties as well as the city clerk in the county seat. County constitutional officers include the state attorney; sheriff; clerk of court; tax collector; property appraiser; supervisor of elections; public defender; and school superintendent. Counties were chosen based on geographic and population diversity. Six state agencies were also included: Executive Office of Governor, Attorney General,Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Financial Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
  • Investigating Gun Tracing

    Investigative Units from NBC Bay Area and NBC10 Philadelphia combined forces to uncover flaws in the way federal, state and local agents trace firearms through a technology meant to connect crimes through ballistics testing. While the technology is promising the team discovered, for the first time, that political infighting and sometimes simple bureaucratic inertia prevented the technology from even being consistently used, leaving some communities vulnerable to gun violence that could otherwise have been prevented.
  • BuzzFeed News: American Mercenaries

    This was an 8-month investigation that uncovered a privately-run assassination program in Yemen run by American Special Operations veterans and reservists working as mercenaries. Hired by the United Arab Emirates, Americans were sent to kill civilian political leaders from an Islamist party. The team, paid millions of dollars, was made up of about a dozen veterans from the most combat-skilled units America has: former SEALS, former Delta Force, and even former CIA ground branch. It was led by a charismatic former French Foreign Legionnaire who lives in the US suburbs.
  • Rental Inspections

    Student rental housing being the chief industry of our small college town of Frostburg, Md., student reporter Brad Kroner worked for months to obtain city inspection data of rental units. The information finally provided showed 75 percent of rental units had not been inspected in the past three years, as required by municipal code, including many units owned by the mayor. Embarrassed by the published story that resulted, City Hall quickly released an updated set of data – which still showed the city was far from compliant – and said the first set was incomplete because its beleaguered staff had to compile the data from scratch. In other words, the city did not even have the data to know whether it was compliant, until an undergraduate filed a Maryland Public Information Act request asking for it.
  • Haaretz Investigation: Israeli Corporations Gave Millions to West Bank Settlements

    In this investigative project, Blau looks into how tax-exempt dollars raised in the U.S. end up sustaining illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank—in direct contravention of longstanding U.S. policy. He systematically analyzed the financial files and tax filings of dozens of American non-profits and their partners in Israel. In an on-going series of stories published by Haaretz, Blau reported that these U.S.-based groups funneled more than $220 million to Jewish settlements during the five-year period between 2009-2013. He found that the money is being spent on everything from new air conditioning units in settlement housing to support payments for the families of convicted Jewish terrorists. By painstakingly tracing, documenting and reporting on the fund-raising and spending of these groups, Blau’s project sheds new light on America's complicated relationship with one of its closest allies. It has stirred heated debate and thoughtful discussion in this country and Israel, including a prominent mention in The New York Times editorial pages and an op-ed (written by Blau) in The Washington Post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVmWgzpAXX0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XGsd1LreCY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyQ9xBbDbrw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKIAMMK0OY
  • Exposing Waste, Fraud And Corruption

    The Better Government Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog that's been around for more than 90 years exposing waste, fraud and corruption in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act is a key component of our work, not only for our investigations team, which regularly enlists FOIA to access and analyze public records, but also for the BGA's legal and policy units.
  • Dirty Brigades: No Clean Hands in Iraq’s ISIS Fight

    Torture, beheadings, the cold blooded shooting of unarmed civilians, and all of it caught on camera in war-ravaged Iraq by the perpetrators acting with impunity. But the horror show was not by ISIS this time. An ABC News investigation, "Dirty Brigades: No Clean Hands in Iraq's ISIS Fight," found ample evidence of terrorist-like atrocities routinely committed over the past year by U.S.-trained Iraqi Security Forces, who Washington has been arming as the key to defeating ISIS. Incredibly, elite Iraqi Special Forces, special police and counterterrorism units were documenting their own horrific acts, filling the dark underbelly of Iraqi social media with gruesome snapshots and videos of their own war crimes in an apparent effort to stir up sectarian bloodlust. In the first in-depth exposé and analysis of these atrocities, the ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Unit, led by Producer James Gordon Meek, spent six months collecting and researching a photo and video gallery of horrors, interviewing human rights investigators, U.S. Special Forces veterans and diplomats who served in Iraq, as well as confronting both the American and Iraqi governments with their findings. The team presented the investigation to millions over three consecutive nights on ABC World News Tonight With David Muir, accompanied by in-depth digital reports, both print and broadcast, on ABCNews.com and ABC/Apple TV.
  • Secrets of the SEALs

    The secretive and heralded Navy SEAL units, heroes of operations such as the killing of Osama bin Laden and now called upon more frequently to wage shadow wars, often operate with brutality and impunity, sometimes sabotaging the very missions they were sent to control.
  • Cruel and Unusual: The Texas Prison Crisis

    A WFAA investigation found that pigs are treated better than inmates inside Texas' prison system, where inmates are dying painful and preventable deaths and guards are also sickened by the stifling heat inside un-air conditioned units, prompting calls by critics at the United Nations and elsewhere for reform. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151846234/686ead36ea