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.

  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Waycross Cancers

    A spike in childhood cancers in Waycross, Georgia causes this small town to wrestle with questions about the causes of cancer, whether their community is safe, whether they should trust the government agencies that are supposed to protect them.
  • The War Within

    The Westword exposes cases of rape and sexual assault in the Air Force Academy. The article is about the rape of two female cadets who were punished, blamed or kicked out of the academy after they reported the incidents. The investigation revealed that many such incidents went unreported. In the days after the article was first published sixty women called Senator Wayne Allard to say that they were also raped and were mistreated after reporting the crime.
  • Lien on Me

    It seemed, at first, to be an isolated case of an aggressive bill collector going after a patient, but six months after KUSA-TV heard an initial complaint, the station’s investigative team found a widespread practice of surgeons using the courts to secure thousands from their patients. The practice has left the hundreds of thousands of people with insurance vulnerable to lawsuits, wage garnishments and property liens. “Lien on Me” has legislators promising change and the region’s largest group of surgeons promising to back off.
  • The Khadija Project

    When RFE/OCCRP reporter Khadija Ismayilova was arrested on politically motivated charges by Azerbaijani authorities in December of 2014, she asked her colleagues to continue her work exposing corruption in Azerbaijan. The Khadija Project was started by colleagues and friends of Ismayilova to do just that. https://www.occrp.org/freekhadijaismayilova/
  • Deceptive Diplomacy - Cover-up by the UN

    An international team of investigative reporters revealed how top UN officials covered up crucial information about the murder of the UN experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp in the Democratic Republic of Congo last year.
  • Fighting The Wrong Fires

    OPB’s science and environment team spent a year analyzing government data, reviewing scientific literature and interviewing more than 100 people to find out why firefighting costs have soared and why, 30 years after its scientists first raised red flags, the U.S. Forest Service continues to risk lives and waste millions of dollars fighting fires it doesn't need to fight.
  • Mauritania: Slavery's Last Stronghold

    Two CNN Digital reporters traveled to Mauritania -- a West African nation that became the last country in the world to abolish slavery – to document a practice the Mauritanian government denies still exists. Spending nearly a year to gain entry into the country and conducting many of their interviews at night and in covert locations, John Sutter and Edythe McNamee went to great lengths to uncover the tragedy of multigenerational servitude in Mauritania. They met people who’ve never known freedom; people who escaped slavery to find their lives hadn't changed; and abolitionists who have been fighting against slavery for years with minimal results. It was only five years ago -- in 2007 -- that the country finally passed a law that making slavery a crime. So far, only one slave owner has been convicted. The United Nations estimates 10% to 20% of Mauritanians live in slavery today. But the country continues to deny slavery’s existence and attempted to subvert Sutter’s and McNamee’s reporting by assigning to them a government “minder.” Nonetheless, the two succeeded at putting a face on a shocking practice that is similar to slavery in America before the Civil War, in which people are born into slavery and rarely escape. Their report – “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” -- featured a variety of mediums, including personal video accounts and written stories featuring firsthand accounts from freed slaves and one man’s transformative journey from slave owner to abolitionist. It also included related stories – such as the story of escaped Mauritanian slaves now living in Ohio. In response to the initiative, CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community, gathered messages of hope and support to be shared at a school for escaped slaves in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
  • Spartan Secrets

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • Labeled for Life

    “Labeled for Life”, a three-part investigative series, published by the Columbia Missourian in May of 2018, exposed and explored Missouri’s rigid sex offender laws months prior to a major legislative change that enabled some registrants to petition to be removed from the lifetime list. This local reporting project began as a class assignment and grew into a big national story that brought to light Missouri’s booming export of sex offenders to neighboring states where laws are not as stringent.