Thank you readers and supporters: some 200 of you helped us meet our year-end fund-raising goal just halfway through our campaign, much faster than last year, and the contributions are still coming. We hope you’ll keep giving until the end of the month: Readers visit FlaglerLive between 17,000 and 20,000 times a day, much more during times of emergencies (we had almost 50,000 visits the day the tornado struck on Dec. 14). If half of you subscribed at $2 a month, less than the cost of every coffee choice on Starbuck’s menu, you will have a stake in preserving quality factual and fearless journalism for your community.
To say that these are challenging times for journalism and those who practice it is to state the obvious. In Washington and across the globe, leaders are inflaming their faithful by attacking the media, often aggressively seeking to silence journalists who ask tough questions and strive to hold the powerful to account.
But these are especially difficult times for local journalism. According to a 2018 study, some 1,800 local newspapers have closed their doors since 2004, and 200 counties in the U.S. have no local paper at all. This is disturbing for a simple reason: Despite the attention given to national politics and government, most citizens’ first-hand experience with government is at the county, town or village level. Local journalists know their territory, interact daily with elected officials, law enforcement personnel and educators, and understand the intersection of government and business. Without serious local journalism, citizens have no way of knowing what is being done in their name and with their tax dollars; without serious local journalism, there is no one to open a window on the life of a community, no one to document its triumphs and its failures, its heroes and its scoundrels.
Flagler County is fortunate to be among those counties whose citizens have a resource they can turn to for diligent reporting and thoughtful perspective. As a supporter of FlaglerLive you have come to rely on straightforward coverage of everything from weather events to the county courts and government officials. Commentary on issues both close to home and further afield elicit a wide range of reader responses, reflecting a real thirst in the community for informed dialogue and debate.
As a non-profit, Florida corporation, FlaglerLive relies on the support of advertisers and the generosity of individuals in order to stay focused on reporting the news of our county. We are truly grateful for your support as we engage in fundraising that, hopefully, gets your attention while not being overly intrusive! As you and your family make decisions as to which organizations will receive your charitable donations, please keep in mind that there are those who would like nothing more than to have aggressive news outlets like FlaglerLive disappear entirely. With your continued help, that will not happen in Flagler County.
–The FlaglerLive Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of Merrill Shapiro, chairman, Aaron Delgado, John Pollinger, Steve Robinson, Cheryl Tristam and Matthew Wilson. See details here.