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.

  • The Changing Face of America

    Most data-driven discussions about race focus either on the national level (which masks local trends) or are centered on areas of conflict (such as Ferguson, Mo.) USA TODAY wanted to give people the tools that would allow them to explore how race end ethnicity have changed over time -- where they live and where they go to school. But how do you measure diversity when such trends wax and wane over time? Is a community that changed from nearly all-white to all-black as diverse as an area that received a high level of immigrants? Why do some communities barely notice big changes over time, while others become a nexus of violence? And how does the change in my community compare to anyone else's? To do that USA TODAY needed a tool to level the playing field, a way to show 100 years of change both locally and nationally, on the same scale. The series, based on the USA TODAY Diversity Index, is explanatory data at its best: quantifying incremental change that everyone sees anecdotally.
  • Zero Tolerance

    ProPublica published a secret recording from inside a border patrol detention center which captured the anguish of children separated from their parents and forced the Trump Administration to reverse its family separation policy, then dug deeply into conditions at detention centers where thousands of separated children and unaccompanied minors have been sent.
  • Ethics & Orphans: the Monster Study

    In 1939, speech pathologist Wendell Johnson and a graduate student conducted an experiment on a group of orphans near the University of Iowa. Their theory: "Stuttering begins in the ear of the listener, not in the mouth of the child." To test the hypothesis, the researchers conducted a psychological experiment on children starved for attention. Those who stuttered improved with positive speech therapy, but the children who had no trouble speaking were given negative therapy and became chronic stutterers for life. The research was never published and was known at the University as "The Monster Study" for the harm it did to the parentless children.
  • From criminal to cop in Alaska’s most vulnerable villages

    The rape and death of a teenage girl in a remote Alaska village led to this investigation revealing that Alaska communities routinely hire criminals as police officers.
  • Con men sell vacant homes that are owned by the federal government

    Detroit Free Press shows con men in Detroit sell vacant homes that are actually owned by the federal government.
  • Heartbroken

    Heart surgery patients at the prestigious Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg died at a stunning rate, despite warnings that the procedures were putting kids at risk.
  • Trashed

    Fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions; lax oversight; mob ties and racketeers. Every night in New York, trucks from scores of private trash collection companies hit the city’s streets — often creating havoc and too rarely being reined in by regulators.
  • Professor Peter Ray; Love Nest at Love Hall

    The Ledger exposes wrongdoing by Dr. Peter Ray, a meteorology professor at Florida State University. The first story sheds light on misuse of public money for a hurricane research truck requested by the professor. The rest of the series reports on married Ray's pattern of sexually harassing students and colleagues at FSU. Although five women accused him of harassment and he admitted having a relationship with 19-year-old student Melissa Sanders, Allen reports, the university finds no wrongdoing, but takes away his department chairmanship. The stories include copies of the professor's archived e-mails to the student.
  • How Texas Keeps Tens of Thousands of Children Out of Special Education

    In “Denied,” the Houston Chronicle revealed that a group of Texas state officials had arbitrarily decided what percentage of students should receive special education services and had enforced the benchmark by intensely auditing school districts for “over-identification.” The effort, which began in 2004 but was never announced and remained completely unknown outside of district special education departments, saved the state billions of dollars but denied critical help to tens of thousands of children with disabilities. As a result, the Chronicle reported, Texas now provides special education services to a lower percentage of its students than any other state in the country – by far. If Texas gave services at the same rate as everybody else, more than 250,000 more children in the state would be receiving services such as tutoring, counseling and therapy.
  • OxyContin Investigation

    A WWL-TV investigation discovers that OxyContin, a powerful painkiller popular among drug users, could be easily obtained by prescription from certain doctors. Those were writing prescriptions after performing only cursory physicals, and their offices were crowded by drug addicts until late in the night. Many prescriptions have been filled through Medicaid, WWL-TV reports. The investigation sheds light on one specific case - those of Dr. Jacqueline Cleggett - who wrote an OxyContin prescription to a patient whose son died from an injected overdose.