I have often written that
the solution to the problems of journalism is more journalism.
Six years ago, bad
journalism from the Miami Herald set off a foster-care panic
in Florida. (You can read about how bad here.) Last month, good
journalism from Gannett’s Florida newspapers and USA Today documented how Florida’s most vulnerable children are paying the
price. (And they didn’t flinch from saying that the Herald stories
triggered it.) UPDATE: December 18, 2020: They published even more powerful stories this week.
And on Sunday, the Florida Times-Union published our response to the stories:
Investigation shines spotlight on child welfare
Decades ago, in Illinois, the death of a child “known to the
system” led to a surge in the number of children taken from their parents. With
every caseworker terrified to have the next horror story on her or his caseload,
they flooded the system with children who never needed to be taken from their
As a result, one advocate said, the child welfare system
became “Like a laboratory experiment to produce the abuse of children.”
Thanks to the outstanding stories published in the
Times-Union and elsewhere by reporters for the USA TODAY Network, we know the
laboratory didn’t close – it just moved to Florida. Their reporting documents how the foster-care
panic triggered six years ago by reckless scapegoating of family preservation
for child abuse deaths led to thousands of children needlessly torn from
everyone they know and love.
Read the full column here: https://bit.ly/3lhlFlH