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Front Page » Opinion » Imperiled democracy requires paying the news utility bill

Imperiled democracy requires paying the news utility bill

Written by on March 31, 2020
Imperiled democracy requires paying the news utility bill










If you read Miami Today regularly, you know you can’t get 90% of our news anywhere else. By design, that news looks ahead.

We do a unique job using three strong pillars: 

1. Spotlight the whole community. That stabilizes us in the coronavirus fight.

2. Look toward what’s ahead to get back to normal.

3. Focus on a future Miami that isn’t business as usual but can improve life, work and business.

To do that, we deliver news where you are, in print via Miami Today, in the full replica e-Edition, and for a slice of our content our website, If you’re housebound now, our E-edition is at hand.

But like all local news media, Miami Today battles not only coronavirus but our industry’s illness: though like a public utility we send you credible news that our democracy requires, few pay the news “utility” bill. Advertisers have paid most of it. Readers haven’t paid their share. 

And now, many businesses have cut necessary advertising that keeps any publication alive.

Keep that news inflow strong and regular. I’ll tell you how.

Providing news, in any medium, is complex and costly. 

Experts curate what to report (Miami has more real news than anywhere in the nation, trust me), reporters write news accurately, editors ask hard questions, and gatekeepers rank stories by relevance and importance.

Many say that rather than pay for news they can get it free on the web, which is just a pipeline. But the news media fill that pipeline. Without them, news on the web couldn’t be trusted.

Major media fill news needs nationally. But local news is shaky, with most media in a cut-to-survive mode. Our daily newspaper is in bankruptcy. 

That imperils democracy, which relies on impartial and thoughtful reports. Locally, that means focus on area governments, civic activities, economy and culture.

Imagine if you didn’t learn of local news until too late. Florida’s Sunshine Law requires open government records, but only news professionals like Miami Today dig into and report on them for you.

In the past month, we’ve reported future transportation upgrades (yes, you’ll be on roads and trains when the virus is gone), told of University of Miami rapid coronavirus tests coming soon, and revealed developments countywide. We detailed economic underpinnings and government actions that affect you. We’ve spotlighted weekly forward-looking thoughts of a notable Achiever. And far more.

By way of opinion, we’ve encouraged leaders to plan a better future. And this week we print a powerful overture by former Beacon Council President Frank Nero for key companies to step up and steer a comprehensive recovery drive that needs to be up and running today.

We must keep this vital information flowing.

If you’re a Miami Today advertiser, stay the course. If you run a business, add your message – a credible “utility” like ours is where companies must look to reach a large, attentive audience, and today no media survive without advertising. Email or call (305) 358-1008.

If you’re a reader, go to Sign up for a year for $60, two years for $105, to get the news wherever you are. Pay your share.

If you believe in what Miami Today stands for, go to or send a check to Miami Today, 2000 South Dixie Highway, Suite 100, Miami, FL 33133. 

A democratic society only functions well with an informed citizenry.