Earlier this week, the New York Times published a powerful work of investigative reporting by Danny Hakim, which exposed terrible abuse and negligence in New York State’s institutions for the developmentally disabled. The story, which focused on the death of a 13-year-old autistic boy at the hands of a caretaker of the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center (O.D. Heck) would fill any reader with outrage.
Hakim’s reporting is superb and detailed. Go read it. I hope he and his colleagues win awards for this and other stories on the issue.
But while the piece did a great job of exposing the problem, it said little about how we could fix it. This is an area where journalism often fails. And we want to know — how could we improve it?
let’s say, best-case scenario, in July — which is the date set to allow the storm to calm — everything is going smoothly. First variable: there’s a border region called Abyei that’s heavily militarized, very contentious. It’s supposed to have a referendum vote on January 9th, as well, but it seems very unlikely that will happen. So we have to make sure there’s still engagement, pressure, consequences, incentives, disincentives.