Making a difference - twice in a week
By Kristin Gilger, Senior Editor, Metro,, (602) 444-8306
The Arizona Republic
December 16, 2000

Some days it feels good to be in the newspaper business.

On Friday, for example, we had a Page One story about pressure building on houseboat manufacturers to make their products safer. That is happening because of newspaper reports that the exhaust from houseboats has led to more than 100 carbon monoxide poisonings at Arizona's Lake Powell and other large lakes across the nation.

The researchers who assembled the data on the poisonings said the newspaper was able to do in two days what they've been trying to do for more than a year: Focus attention on a dangerous situation.

Similarly, in both Friday's and today's papers, we report on sweeping changes under way at the state Board of Medical Examiners. The board came under the newspaper's microscope earlier this year for failing to discipline errant doctors.

One of the most important changes being considered by one lawmaker would make it harder for doctors who have been banned by other states to practice in Arizona.

Neither the houseboats problem nor the dangerous doctors issue is solved yet, of course. That will take continued diligence - and continued reporting. And, in truth, it may never happen.

It's easy for journalists to conclude that nothing will ever really change.

We come to work each day and write stories about shootings and fires; we put together calendars and compose headlines. Then we come back the next day and do the same thing.

But every once in a while, a story comes along that reminds us we can make a difference. This week there were two, which means it was an especially good week.


    Copyright 2000, The Arizona Republic. All rights reserved. This article graciously provided courtesy of The Arizona Republic.