Rollie Heath — in case you were wondering what something that is "for the kids" looks like, look no further. An Independence Institute investigation revealed back in February that 12 state-subsidized child care providers shared the exact address as registered sex offenders. As soon as this information was found it was passed onto the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Nearly six months later DHS has confirmed that these 12 providers have been taken off the list of approved child care providers. Beyond the horror that it took the government six months to remove potential sex offender child care providers, it is a good sign that investigative reporting is alive and well.
Investigative reporting is expensive and time-consuming, and in an era of dwindling news room budgets and a readership only able to process 140 characters at a time, there simply aren't enough good journalists digging for dirt anymore, nor outlets willing to commit the necessary resources.
Enter the (growing) world of independent, online journalists.
The journalist behind this investigation, Todd Shepherd of Complete Colorado, pursued the investigation for over a year. While the result of the investigation was eye-popping and link generating, Shepherd told Chuck Plunkett of The Denver Post that he pursued the story the whole time hoping nothing would turn up.
If Shepherd hadn't pursued it, no one would have. That is a scary indictment of government oversight and news media today.
Rather than see online, independent journalists as a threat, or deride them (unoriginally) as "carnival barkers," maybe the mainstream media should be thankful that someone is doing the job they used to do more often.