Every new year brings a time of reflection – of what we’ve accomplished, what our new goals will be and for what we are grateful. At the Miami Herald, we are proud of our reporting in 2017, busy with big plans for 2018 and thankful for the support of our readers.
You are the reason we are able to do what we do, and enhance the quality of life in our community. Because of you, we can investigate wrongdoing and shine a light on injustice. Because of you, we can give voice to those who are not being heard. Because of you, we can provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. Because of you, we can spark the change that makes South Florida a more resilient, understanding and welcoming place.
Here are a few examples of how you’ve helped us make a difference:
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We reported the case of Naika Venant, a 14-year-old foster child in Miami Gardens who hung herself on Facebook Live. The story started a national conversation not only about how social networks react to these incidents, but also how others can intervene to help prevent such tragedies.
We broke an exclusive story about how a state senator used racist and sexist slurs in reference to fellow lawmakers. We also detailed how he paid a Hooters waitress and a swimsuit model as consultants for out-of-town events. He resigned four days after the story broke.
This exhaustive investigative project on the abuse of young people in Florida’s juvenile justice system drew coverage from national media, demands for reform from lawmakers, new hiring policies, promised repairs to crumbling lockups and a grand jury investigation that is just getting underway.
Our continuing coverage of the storm’s impact on Puerto Rico – including an investigative partnership with a nonprofit news organization on the island – resulted in a detailed examination of the slowness of the U.S. government response that was published for readers in both English and Spanish.
Miami Beach Mayoral Race
Our watchdog team reported on a Miami Beach mayoral candidate, disclosing his secret role in a dark-money political action committee. He denied involvement until we hired a handwriting expert who determined the candidate had filled out the paperwork. A criminal investigation showed the candidate – a sitting city commissioner – illegally accepted a foreign contribution to the secret PAC, and led to charges from the state attorney, his exit from office and a year of probation.
As the enormous storm approached, reporters worked around the clock to answer our readers’ most urgent questions: Where can I find water? Where can I get gas? Do I need to evacuate? We monitored every change to Irma’s track, expertly and soberly explaining the ramifications of each wobble and jog. Dozens of staffers camped out in the newsroom to provide continuous coverage, while others fanned out across Florida and the Caribbean. Our commitment to our readers was to provide real-time, essential and comprehensive information using every tool at our disposal – including our websites, social media and newspaper. Our post-Irma reporting provided useful information to help readers deal with the storm’s aftermath and get lives back on track.
We are very proud of our reporting, which was honored with a host of awards in 2017, including two Pulitzer Prizes, the most prestigious award in journalism. They speak to the importance of our work and the experienced, dedicated and courageous journalists who bring it to you.
But most of all, we are proud of the loyalty of our subscribers who make it all possible, and for this we are eternally grateful. Thanks for reading the Miami Herald, and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!