Explore OZY’s Investigations Unit

Explore OZY’s Investigations Unit

By Charu Sudan Kasturi

OZY Investigations marries our unique voice and quality with our ability to find stories that matter where others just aren’t looking.
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We know how to find stories that matter where no one else is looking.

By Charu Sudan Kasturi

At OZY, we constantly strive to keep you ahead of the curve with fresh trends, profiles, experiences and nuggets of history that you won’t find covered elsewhere but that could shape your life. In 2019, we went one step further, adding an edge to our coverage with deeply reported and well-researched investigative stories.

OZY Investigations marries our unique voice and quality with our ability to find stories that matter where others just aren’t looking. Our unmatched global reach — with nearly 200 reporters across the world — gives OZY a rare perch from which to find and report things that those in positions of influence, whether in the United States or Uganda, would rather keep hidden from the public eye.

Our first investigation revealed how a web of outdated laws and regulations is forcing millions of Americans with disabilities to choose between marriage and affordable health care. The result? Over the past decade, Americans with disabilities have divorced at twice the rate at which they’ve married.

We exposed how differences in tipping fees and economic opportunities have combined with politics and apathy to allow northern states to increasingly dump their waste in the Bible Belt. This includes both regular garbage and toxic trash — from coal ash to nuclear waste — that in some communities has led to a spike in cancer rates.

From Uganda, we revealed how traffickers are buying teenage girls there for as little as $14, and then selling them to wealthy Middle Eastern sheikhs for $10,000. Extreme poverty, crippling famine, a weak law-and-order machinery and the sheer mismatch in clout between oil-rich Gulf states and the East African nation are coalescing to facilitate this crime.

A crackdown by the U.S. on a different kind of trafficking — of drugs, across the border with Mexico — is spawning an unlikely crisis. Mexico, long the route for narcotics targeted eventually at American consumers, is witnessing an unprecedented explosion in its domestic drug use levels. Driving this phenomenon is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and the biggest cause of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2019.

Back north of the border, we uncovered a mental-health time bomb waiting to explode as America turns majority non-White by 2045: The licensing test psychologists must pass to practice in the U.S. and Canada is loaded against minority candidates. Subtle biases in the way the test is designed, combined with language and economic disadvantages, have led to a situation where non-White test-takers are 2.5 times likelier to fail than White candidates.  

Minority communities already have poorer access to mental health professionals. That’s only going to get worse, our investigation shows.

OZY has also revealed how as many as 244 midterm candidates in 2018 were in debt; that El Chapo’s extradition to the U.S. actually helped improve business for his Sinaloa cartel; and how ahead of the 2020 elections, dubious companies are creating a channel for candidates and parties to bypass campaign finance norms.

But we’re only getting started. Keep following us as we bring you stunning news investigations in 2020.