After Innocents Lost series, Miami Herald promotes Carol Marbin Miller

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Carol Marbin Miller may be the most effective advocate the children of Florida have. The Miami Herald reporter sets a high standard for public service journalism and Thursday she was promoted to senior investigative reporter for the Herald.

In a memo announcing the promotion, executive editor Aminda Marques Gonzales said that Miller’s investigative reports have led to changes in state laws  including reducing the use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids, requiring foster kids to be in school, ending juvenile military boot camps and the removal of medically complex children from adult nursing homes.

Miller was a driving force behind the Herald’s assisted-living facilities series two years ago which led to a Grand Jury report harshly criticizing state regulators oversight of negligent operators. The series was a Pulitzer finalist.

Earlier this year, Miller was part of the team that produced the Innocents Lost series, which looked into the deaths of children whose family had had prior interaction with the Department of Children & Family and DCF underreporting the number of child deaths due to abuse.

In her new role as senior investigative reporter, Gonzales said Miller will continue reporting and also partner and mentor other staff members.

Here is the memo from Gonzalez:

Staff:

This has been an extraordinary year for investigative reporter Carol Marbin Miller, with the publication of the Innocents Lost series and the subsequent response from our audience and Florida lawmakers.

Carol’s work on that project, along with the team of Audra Burch, Casey Frank, Laz Gamio and Emily Michot, reflects the highest standards of what we hope to achieve in public service journalism — exposing a wrong, explaining why and how it happened, pointing to solutions, and getting results.

As we bolster our investigative efforts, Carol is taking on a new title: senior investigative reporter. She will continue to report to investigations and enterprise editor Casey Frank, and will doggedly pursue investigative stories. She’ll also partner and mentor other staffers at times in a player-coach role.

During her 31-year career, Carol’s work has led to changes in state laws on the use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids; the Rilya Wilson Act, which among other things required foster kids to be in school; the Martin Lee Anderson Act, which shut down the juvenile military boot camps; the Gabriel Myers Act, which also curbed psyche drugs among foster kids; the Nubia Barahona Act; and a provision of the 2014 law designed to remove medically complex children from adult nursing homes.

Her reporting and sourcing was pivotal in the ALF series, a Pulitzer finalist two years ago. And, of course, there is Innocents Lost, the results of which are still unfolding, but include $44 million in additional funding from the state of Florida.

For Carol, it’s another signature achievement in a career where she has repeatedly exposed wrongdoing in the course of fighting for the underdog – and undoutedly saved many lives in the process.

Please join us in congratulating her.

Casey, Rick and Mindy