A couple technical notes. It’s worth pointing out that the Times writing here is not hamstrung by arbitrary and overly restrictive style rules including a ban on the word “but,” that cramp the writing in Bloomberg’s long investigations. I counted 17 “buts” in the Times story. It’s fine.
Also, there is nothing fancy here. The story is based on government documents, some obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, lawsuits, and many interviews, including some with fired employees—the usual. The story is not based on anonymous sources. The point is, all of that material takes time to gather.
This is not a Gawker post. I’m just saying.
On the downside, better context is needed. A graphic says 70,000 people get sick a year, most not seriously. Is that good or bad, and compared to what? It seems like a significant omission.
At the same time, this story, at 4,800 words, is too long. Another write-through would have tightened it considerably, I have no doubt. Less is more. Don’t give anti-long-form-investigations forces any ammunition, I say.