Films Do Change The World

Here's hope for a better world in 2013.  It will arrive in many ways and one of them is from film.  We all love success stories, and this is one of a sideways kind.  Many of you probably remember the heartbreaking film I posted here "In Jennifer's Room".  Although it reported a most heartbreaking tale, the world is now better for it.  Okay, not just because of the film, but because of a concentrated effort of which the film was just part, but still, people are talking... I recently received this note from Robert Rosenthal of Center For Investigative Reporting:

As a result of CIR's reporting, especially the explosive story we
reported last month (, we have
just learned that the Sonoma Developmental Center where that horrific
case occurred, has just lost its primary license to operate.
We have also just reported that the OPS, the department's internal
police force that routinely failed to protect patients from abuse, has
been placed under command of the California Highway Patrol.
California Watch reported these developments today:
Both of these stunning outcomes are testament to CIR's power to tell
this story in innovative ways and get it the attention it deserves -
in print publications across the state, a riveting online video that
has spanned the internet, on KQED radio, through tweets, data
graphics, and directly to state officials who made yesterday's
With the impact and results it had (incouding Jerry Brown signing two
pieces of related legislation) this is a key example of the kind of
"journalism of action" we are practicing and honing. This is a world
where there is a connection between the articulating of a problem
through deep investigative reporting and the resolution of that
CIR was keeping the pressure on, planning a town hall meeting in
Sonoma next month to ensure that issues at the Sonoma Developmental
Center remained in the public eye. Yesterday's announcement does not
change our concern for the welfare of patients in Sonoma or at
California's other four developmental care facilities who have faced
similar abuses and lack of oversight. We are re-evaluating the best
on-the-ground strategy in Sonoma and in other communities to engage
officials and affected families.
I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this story. We
hope you are as proud as we are and that, together, we did change the
world for the better for these most vulnerable among us.

Great kudos go to reporter Ryan Gabrielson and all our dedicated staff at CIR.

 If that wasn't enough for you, check out this editorial in the Sacremento Bee.  Step by step, by working together, we build it better.  Nice work CIR!  Thank you!!