Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "FOI" ...

  • The Brunswick Stew

    “The Brunswick Stew” is a series of investigative reports that began with plea from a citizens group in Brunswick, Virginia. They asked for help shining some light on what was going on in their county. The effort would take several months. Filing FOI requests and pouring over a seemingly endless pile of paperwork, a number of serious issues came to light. Illegal bonuses and contracts, back room politics, political favoritism in the awarding of bids, and a blatant case of public safety being put at risk are what “The Brunswick Stew” unveils.

    Tags: broadcast; illegal contacts; backroom politics; political favoritism; public safety

    By Reporter, A.J. Lagoe; Photojournalist, Ben Arnold



  • Rápido y Furioso (Fast & Furious)

    In this special edition of the newsmagazine program “Aqui y Ahora” (“Here and Now”), Univision news reports on the drug trade’s violent impact in Mexico, an aspect of the story that is often lost. We are submitting this report for your consideration in the FOI category. Although the hundreds of classified us and Mexican government documents weren’t obtained through a FOI request, we believe our process of gathering and comparing comprehensive information from two different governments, resulted in a story that did “open records and open government” in a unique and revealing way that could not be achieved by simply filing a FOI request.

    Tags: gun; border; Mexico; U.S. border patrol

    By Producers: Margarita Rabin; Jeanette Casal Miranda; Tomas Ocaña; Vytenis Didzulis; Casto Ocando; Reporters: Gerardo Reyes; Tomas Ocaña; Mariana Atencio; Maria Antonieta Collins; Tiffany Roberts; Vyteniz Didzulis; Margarita Rabin



  • Spanish-language FOIA requests

    We undertook the project to explore the issue of language access and freedom of information. Our goals were threefold. First, we wanted to break new ground in open government with regards to language access by submitting FOI requests in Spanish. Second, we wanted to receive data from officials at city, country, state and federal levels to use as the basis for stories and articles that fulfilled our watchdog and public service mission. Third, we wanted to educated our colleagues and readers about their information rights so that they could have additional tools for their news production and consumption, respectively.

    Tags: FOIA; Spanish

    By Fernando Diaz; Jeff Kelly Lowenstein; Octavio Lopez; Jaime Reyes; Leticia Espinosa



  • Bad Medicine

    "This series details the history of a Kansas City area neurosurgeon who has a long history of malpractice cases involving paralysis, disfigurement and deaths yet maintains a spotless Kansas medical license."

    Tags: FOI; malpractice; Department of Health and Human Services

    By Alan Bavley

    The Kansas City Star


  • Gauging FOI Worldwide

    "On a year-long stint in Mexico, Mendoza learned to use the country's new freedom of information laws. This inspired her to find out what other countries had similar laws and to encourage other reporters to use them." What came out of this were 140 AP reporters from around the world filing FOI reqeusts.

    Tags: FOI; worldwide; AP

    By Martha Mendoza; AP reporters worldwide

    Associated Press


  • The Fed's Trillion-Dollar Secret

    "Bloomberg News sued the Federal Reserve under the FOI Act, seeking disclosure of its loans to banks during the financial crisis. The central bank fought the release of the data for more than two years, during which time congress and the courts both weighed in on Bloomberg's side."

    Tags: FOIA; Federal Reserve; foreign banking; central bank

    By Bradley Keoun; Phil Kuntz; Bob Ivry; Craig Torres; Scott Lanman; David Yanofsky; Donal Griffin; Greg Stohr; Christopher Condon

    Bloomberg Business News (Princeton, N.J.)


  • "Superfund Project"

    This project was reported by a group of interns at The Oklahoman who wanted to investigate the effects of toxic areas on Oklahoman residents. They revealed that the government had been trying to "stimulate activity to clean up the sites" by just transferring wastes from one place to another. It was also found that "little had been done" on several federal Superfund projects, and many were "underfunded."

    Tags: FOI; EPA; database; Tar Creek; Environmental Protection Agency; toxic waste; lead; cadmium; Picher; G&J's Gorilla Cage; National Priorities List

    By Hailey Branson; LeighAnne Manwarren; David Wolfgang; Matt Carney; Dusty Somers; Nathan Poppe; David Hertz; Miranda Grubbs; Tetona Dunlap; Samantha Bohn; Mariah Gearhart; Blair Tomlinson; Mitchell Alcalo

    The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)


  • "Confidential Informants"

    NPR investigates the world of confidential informants and the partnership that forms between them and the U.S. government. This specific case involves an informant who was moving up in the ranks of a notorious Mexican drug cartel. At the same time the informant was getting paid to provide crucial information to the U.S., he was also helping capture, torment and kill drug rivals. The U.S. was aware of his actions and did nothing.

    Tags: Mexico; drug cartel; FOI; U.S. Immigration; ICE

    By Carrie Kahn; Marisa Penaloza; Philip Bruce; Andrew Becker; Michael Montgomery

    American Radioworks (NPR)


  • Watchdog website and its web pages

    The Oklahoman/ started this project in 2008 with the Right to Know page, a collection of databases developed internally to go along with stories and links to relevant public information. That site became part of the Watchdog page in 2009. In 2010, the staff continued to evolve the Watchdog page with "mini-sites" of investigative topics, such as a political corruption case at the Oklahoma Legislature; the staff's FOI fight over the birth dates of public employees; and allegations of bid-rigging with a married lawmaker and lobbyist for a private company seeking a state juvenile justice contract. Other "mini-sites" under Watchdog include ongoing coverage of the state Department of Human Services and the federal stimulus package.

    Tags: continuous coverage; online; watchdog; bid-rigging; Department of Human Services; federal stimulus; FOI; Right to Know

    By Oklahoman Watchdog Staff; Oklahoman Online Editors; Joe Hight; Paul Monies

    The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)


  • Murder Mysteries

    Schripps Howard News Service has conducted the most complete accounting ever made of homicide victims in the United States. Aggressive use of state and local Freedom of Information laws allowed the wire service to assemble a database of 525,742 homicides, including records of 15,322 killings never reported to the FBI. The "Murder Mysteries" project calculated the homicide clearance rate for every police department in the U.S., prompting four departments to promise reforms. Scripps also developed an algorithm that identified 161 suspicious clusters of unsolved homicides involving women of similar age killed through similar means. Authorities in Gary, Ind., and Youngstown, Ohio, Launched new investigations into possible serial murder in their communities as a result of this project.

    Tags: Murder; mystery; FBI; homicide; killings; serial killer; police department; investigation; FOI; algorithm; computer-assisted reporting;

    By Thomas Hargrove; Jason Bartz

    Scripps Howard News Service