To Our Readers, Dec. 18, 1995

CORRESPONDENT ELAINE RIVERA had a problem. She needed to talk to people who knew six-year-old Elisa Izquierdo, a victim of child abuse, whose death in New York City became a symbol of America's deeply flawed child-welfare system. Under deadline pressure, Rivera needed to move quickly, so she turned for help to TIME's in-house research center. Using a CD-ROM directory, the staff was able to supply Rivera with a list of people who live in Izquierdo's apartment building. The results of her interviews appeared in last week's cover story.

Hardly a week goes by without some fact gathered, some nugget of data...

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