Best Herald Writer (2002)

Carol Marbin Miller

That Miller wrote more than 250 articles between January 2001 and April 2002 doesn't qualify her as best writer, even though that's a heap of stories. Interpret the quantity as a sign that Miller stays doggedly on top of her beat. For a year, Miller followed a story she broke on April 12, 2001, on the use of powerful psychiatric drugs to control hard-to-manage children in the state's foster-care program. On March 14, 2002, she reported that a bill to curb the use of such drugs passed the Florida House by a vote of 114-1. This year, Miller has been reporting on statewide problems with investigations into child abuse and neglect reports. After stories by Miller, the Florida Department of Children & Families fired a private company in March whose employees allegedly had cleared cases without investigating them in order to meet quotas. She also reported later that month that the backlog of child-abuse and -neglect reports in the state had soared from 4000 to 50,000 in two years due to an increase in calls to the state hotline and that because of that, thousands of cases had "remained untouched by investigators for over a year." Miller keeps finding stuff we need to know and then hammering it until something is done to make it right. And that's good.

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