From the archives: FRONTLINE, NPR and IRW investigate the nation’s disaster-recovery system.


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Since our partnership began with the PBS FRONTLINE team based in Washington, D.C., the Investigative Reporting Workshop has co-produced 15 documentaries and several online reports on subjects from immigration to health care, from politics to housing.

Blackout in Puerto Rico

On housing, we looked at the humanitarian and economic crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, examining how the federal response, Wall Street and years of neglect have left the island struggling to survive:

Poverty, Politics and Profit

FRONTLINE and NPR in association with IRW, spent nine months investigating the crisis in affordable housing and why so few are getting the help they need:

Their reporting took the team from Dallas to Miami to an upscale resort in Costa Rica. NPR’s Laura Sullivan and FRONTLINE’s Rick Young found just one in four households eligible for Section 8 assistance is getting it.

The money trail raised questions about the oversight of a program meant to aid low-income people. “Poverty, Politics and Profit” also explores the inseparability of race and housing programs in America, tracing a legacy of segregation that began more than 80 years ago.

In addition to the film, we also did a story on how we did the math.

And in October 2020, Sullivan updated what she learned from a return trip to Dallas to catch up with the families.

The business of disaster

PBS FRONTLINE and NPR, in association with IRW, examined why thousands of residents of New Jersey and New York were still struggling more than three years after a huge East Coast storm devastated their communities: