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A two-part series, and dozens of other reports, that showed how Gov. Mike Easley benefited while in office, including receiving a discounted waterfront parcel at the coast and getting involved in creating a job for his wife at N.C. State University.
A three-part series that showed how North Carolina lawmakers limit personnel information from the public.
A five-part series that examined how the state spends money.
A three-part series that detailed a state probation system in crisis -- and how it failed to supervise probationers.
A five-part series that chronicled the failure of mental health reform in North Carolina. The series and follow-ups revealed questionable deaths in state mental hospitals; more than $400 million in wasted government spending; and documented cases of patient abuse and neglect.
A three-part series that showed how speeding kills people, but the court system and lawmakers do not treat speeders that way.
In 1996, the News & Observer received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a series of reports that documented the rise of the hog industry in North Carolina and its widespread and lasting effects on people.
"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants" -- Louis Brandeis, later a Supreme Court justice
At The News & Observer, we use public records to shine a light on injustice, waste and wrongdoing. So can you.
Here are some links to key state and federal records that are open to the public.
Conduct your own investigation
We use databases to track campaign contributions, look up criminal records, check lobbying expenses, find out the salary of a state employee and more. Many government meeting agendas are available, too. Below are some links. Are we missing any helpful ones? Send suggestions to email@example.com