From the Editor

A New Year’s message to Miami Herald readers

During this time of year, we reflect on what is most important to us. At the Miami Herald, that’s you. Because providing you with world-class journalism — honest, balanced and reliable — is at the heart of our mission. You place your trust in us, and we work hard to earn that trust.

Real news — the kind you support as a reader of the Miami Herald — is reporting that brings about positive change. Helping us understand different perspectives. Bringing injustices to light. Giving a voice to those who need it most. Making our community stronger and more resilient.

So we’d like to express our heartfelt appreciation for the support of our readers, subscribers and advertisers in helping us cover some of the most important stories of 2018:

PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING

Our reporters were quickly on the scene at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 and hunting down facts in the aftermath, with relentless coverage of the mass shooting and follow-up investigations into how police and other officials responded — or failed to respond — to the emergency. In several cases, the Herald sued to force the release of records on how police and school officials responded.

FIU BRIDGE COLLAPSE

When the unthinkable happened in March, our team of reporters provided South Florida’s most exhaustive coverage, harrowing stories of those who experienced it firsthand, and an investigation into the causes of the tragedy. We engaged independent engineers to evaluate the bridge design and sued to speed the release of records.

PIPE BOMBER

Miami Herald reporters broke story after story in their coverage of accused South Florida pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc, starting with being the first news outlet to identify him. As this national story unfolded right in our backyard, we published detailed profiles that offered a glimpse into the suspect’s background and beliefs.

2018 MIDTERM ELECTIONS AND RECOUNT

When South Florida was once again at the center of national attention during the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate recounts, we provided continuous news alerts on the latest from the Miami-Dade and Broward election departments — as well as on the fate of embattled Broward Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes.

FIGHT CLUB

This in-depth report investigated 10 years of abuse in Florida’s juvenile justice system, including beatings, cover-ups, sexual exploitation and medical neglect. The series prompted a Miami-Dade grand jury examination, and in April, federal agents arrested a Florida detention officer for violating the civil rights of 17-year-old Elord Revolte, whose death in 2015 led to our investigation.

DIRTY GOLD, CLEAN CASH

This series exposed how gold illegally mined in Peru and Colombia, threatening workers and the rainforest, was flooding into South Florida. Controlled by gangsters and drug lords, this “dirty” gold traveled through circuitous routes, crisscrossing various borders to evade detection. The series led Sen. Marco Rubio to call for a congressional hearing into the practice.

PUERTO RICO: THE FORGOTTEN ISLAND

One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a team of more than 40 journalists provided an in-depth look at the island’s failed recovery, from its patched-together infrastructure and housing crisis to its woefully inadequate school system and healthcare network. Two weeks after our report, a much needed dialysis machine was rushed to the Vieques region. And in December four U.S. Senators asked for an investigation into FEMA contracts highlighted in our series.

CERVICAL CANCER IN HAITI

Although cervical cancer in women is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of the disease, the mortality rate in Haiti is six times that of the U.S. This important series focused attention on an international public health failure, and its implications for Haitian women and their families.

SEA-LEVEL RISE

The Editorial Board took part in a precedent-setting collaboration with its counterparts at the Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. “The Invading Sea,” the continuing editorial and op-ed series on sea-level rise, seeks to propel local, state and federal governments to address the challenges facing South Florida now, not later. The series has received national media attention, and has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the First Street Foundation, a tech nonprofit working to quantify the effects of sea-level rise and flooding.

PERVERSION OF JUSTICE

This investigation exposed how a multimillionaire accused of assembling a cult-like network of underage girls he allegedly coerced into performing sex acts was spared decades in federal prison and ended up spending little more than a year in a Palm Beach jail. The series, which received national attention, has led to scrutiny of the involvement of U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, among others.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to provide this important coverage. You, now and always, are why we do what we do.

All of us at the Miami Herald wish you a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Alexandra Villoch, President & Publisher

Aminda Marqués González, Executive Editor

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