Resource Center

Story Packs

Story packs are collections of IRE and NICAR resources designed to help you approach certain topics and beats with an investigative mindset.

Composed of tipsheets and stories from the Resource Center library, along with databases from NICAR's database library, our story packs will give you a starting point into any investigation on your beat.

Beat Guide to Consumer Affairs

Check out this list of resources that pertain to consumer affairs and consumer safety. Reporting on these topics takes thorough investigating, so let this list be your guide to researching and reporting on consumer affairs.

Investigating nonprofits

Covering nonprofits can get tricky. From figuring out how to read a 990 tax form (which all 501c3 nonprofit organizations must submit) to writing your next story on a nonprofit or charity, this story pack will help you through.

Covering the healthcare beat

For great, helpful tips, story ideas and what to do with the data you've acquired, turn to this storypack for all things healthcare. We are including the latest tipsheets and stories from some of the best investigative journalists, as well as several databases you can turn to.

Covering your local government

With lots of stories covering the federal government these days, it may be proving hard to convince your editor to cover the local government news. Use this story pack, full of story ideas and tips to get the most out of your story, to show that the local government beat should not be overlooked.

Beat guide for education

Keep the stories flowing with this story pack for covering the education beat. Whether it's keeping tabs on your local campus' crime stats, crunching the numbers on teacher performance data, or investigating for-profit colleges, we've got tipsheets and stories for you to get the most out of your ideas.

Covering the environment

This story pack offers great tipsheets, stories, and databases for anyone covering the environment. Tipsheets include how to pitch your story, where to find information beyond advocacy groups, and helpful websites to use when requesting records. Stories include investigations into businesses claiming to be "green", schools with lead in the drinking water, the award winning report on the global asbestos trade, and many more. 

Filing FOIAs and getting what you want

Full knowledge and comprehension of the Freedom of Information Act is essential for any investigative journalist- it's the key to unlocking data and documents which can separate fact and fiction in your stories. With the Freedom of Information story pack, you will get an in-depth look at the ways journalists have fought for information, the obstacles they encountered along the way, and the ultimate success stories which show the power of the Freedom of Information Act. 

Beat Guide for Wildfire Coverage

With massive droughts set to roll across the United States after unseasonally dry winters, IRE and NICAR have compiled resources including stories and tipsheets to aid journalists covering related issues.

Covering natural disasters

Keep this story pack handy for when a natural disaster threatens your area. Included are resources to assist in the coverage of all stages of the storm event, as well as stories and tipsheets about storms and other natural disasters and databases to help you cover all the details.

After The Storm, Covering Hurricanes and Flooding

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, here are some resources to help you dig into the problems left in the storm's wake, including disaster relief efforts, using databases and mapping to show the extent of damage in certain areas and neighborhoods and how to follow the money.

Cops and courts

If you are on the cops and court beat, you'll want this story pack. Includes databases from the FBI, and stories and tipsheets from some of the best investigators.

Following the campaign

To assist you in covering the election, either on a local or federal level, we've compiled a list of resources and tools to give you a strong foundation of information for reporting on donors and candidates.

Veterans and Military Issues

In this story pack, you'll find tipsheets and stories to help you combine your storytelling techniques and investigative skills on stories involving military and veterans issues.

Aviation Industry Coverage

Use this comprehensive story pack to aid in your investigation of the airline industry, including information regarding the FAA, Accident and Incidents Database Records, and the Aircraft Registry.

Immigration Beat Coverage

Immigration is a hot button issue and is an especially prevalent topic on the campaign trail in 2012. Use this story pack, full of tipsheets and stories,  to aid in your investigation of immigration related issues.

Sports Investigations

In this story pack you’ll find tipsheets and stories to help you investigate sports teams at several levels. From youth sports to stadiums to steroids, we’ve got resources to help you get your story off the ground.