I wrote a couple of pieces about the state's mental health system for today's paper.
One focuses on Central State Hospital in Milledgeville.
The other is a broader look at a new sense of optimism and potential increased spending after the Department of Justice kicked off its investigation into the system.
I asked most of the advocates that I interviewed for these stories how much credit The AJC deserves for getting things to turn on this issue. At least, they seem to be turning. The AJC's fantastic series, written by Alan Judd and Andy Miller, is online here.
Basically, their answer was: A ton. They also had kind words for Don Schanche, who wrote a lot about mental health before he left The Telegraph for The Associated Press.
The state didn't give The AJC the same credit when I asked how much the newspaper's reporting had to do with this new funding push.
"I would say that The AJC told the public a story that many of us work in every day," said Gwen Skinner, who heads the DHR division responsible for the state's mental hospitals.
It took her a while to get that out, with lots of pauses.
State officials can downplay The AJC's role in this. They can say recent budget requests and hiring pushes aren't related to the Department of Justice showing up at their doorstep with an investigative team.
But don't kid yourself. Journalism works. Take that, Bill Shipp.