At The National, we've attempted to shine a spotlight on under-reported issues and dig deeper than the headlines.

Among the investigations we've conducted was a look at the thousands of pounds in additional income earned by some of Wales' 40 MPs.

Around half have accepted gifts or paid work from organisations in the past year, according to official records.

Reporter Rebecca Wilks looked into police misconduct cases and found a disturbing proportion of recent police force dismissals related to significant abuses of power, physical violence and sex offences.

Rebecca also gave an insight into how she had "voluntarily" broke her own brain studying the figures and what they revealed about transparency when it comes to holding the police to account.

Leigh Jones also poured through pages of historical documentation to uncover Wales' legacy of toxic waste.

From 1965 to 1972, a disused quarry near Pontyclun was used to dump deadly PCB chemicals produced by Monsanto in their Newport factory. A fact that had almost been forgotten until remedial action was required in 2003.

Leigh also looked at the continuing impact of the factory on the Severn estuary and a further quarry dump near Pontypridd.

The continued impact of coal mining in Wales was brought into sharp focus in early 2020 with a landslide in the Rhondda when a coal tip collapsed under the weight of weeks of heavy rainfall.

That led to a row between the governments in Cardiff and London over who should pay for clearing the legacy of the former nationalised industry and continued concern for people living in the shadows of the tips.

As the row rumbled on, and residents waited for information and action, we spoke with Phil Thomas who had conducted research into the risk posed to his own home.

Documents also showed how wrangling over remediating the tips, and who should pay, had been ongoing for years.

"I can’t live with the flies. I can’t live where I can’t cook in my own home in the summer," Julie Price said about the reality of life on an official Traveller site in Wales.

Freelance journalist Katharine Quarmby studied figures around Traveller sites in Wales on our behalf. She spoke with the residents who call them home and are proud of their heritage - which showed how many authorised sites have been pushed to the margins of society.

While Traveller sites have been pushed to the edges of population centres, asylum seekers often feel isolated within our busiest towns and cities.

Zaina, an asylum seeker who lived in Cardiff before being moved at short notice, and without consultation to Wrexham, said: “During the day when my children were in school, I would sit in the park on my own. One day a passer-by stopped to chat and I realised it was the first time I’d spoken to someone in three months."

She gave her insight into the realities of life as an asylum seeker in Wales for a special investigation by up and coming reporter, Emily Price.

Wales' claim to be a 'nation of sanctuary' for asylum seekers was also brought into question due to the Welsh Government's partnership with a French arms company accused of complicity in war crimes.

The partnership with Thales Group - while declaring Wales a “nation of sanctuary” for refugees and asylum seekers - was branded as “hypocrisy” by Osamah Alfakih, advocacy director at Yemeni human rights group Mwatana.

We also exposed how many doctors’ surgeries, at the height of the pandemic last year, were refusing to register people without papers, such as proof of address or ID.

That was despite Welsh Government rules stating such documents are not necessary and it was feared undocumented migrants could miss out on the Covid vaccine as well as general health care.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) which surveyed medical centres in Cardiff and nine other UK areas. It is one of a number of investigations The National carried out in partnership with the Bureau.

Nicholas Thomas, from The National, showed how people who had fallen behind on rent payments during the pandemic were losing their homes in a matter of minutes.

Despite assertions in 2020 that nobody should lose their home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, courts last summer resumed possession hearings for private and social tenants, pushing people towards what campaigners called a "cliff edge" of evictions.

The Bureau collected data on more than 550 possession hearings in 29 courts across Wales and England.

Our most recent collaboration with the Bureau has shown how civil injunctions, intended to deal with antisocial behaviour, has led to people in Wales being given prison sentences for allowing visitors to their homes and shouting and swearing in the street.

Finally, editor Siriol Griffiths looked into the goings on at the disused Aberthaw Power Station in the Vale of Glamorgan - the last coal fired power station in Wales which had one of the highest levels of pollution in the European Union when it was operational.

In an exclusive, and after many Freedom of Information requests, The National revealed that the council supergroup, Cardiff Capital Region, were purchasing the site for £8 million.