David Lauter, the assistant managing editor for local coverage at the L.A. Times, responded this afternoon to critics of the paper's stories on the deaths of children who had been under the care of the county's Department of Child and Family Services. The chorus of complaints about the accuracy of stories by county beat reporter Garret Therolf had been growing, as I noted last night. From the LAT's Readers Representative blog, quoting Lauter:
In recent weeks, some officials in the county bureaucracy as well as some writers who have a long-standing position in favor of keeping children out of foster care -- even if that means leaving them with abusive parents -- have taken to criticizing The Times’ stories.
The critics have raised some statistical issues, on which they are simply mistaken. We detail the facts below....We’d [also] like to set the record straight on some serious statistical issues that have been carelessly bandied about by some critics of The Times’ stories.