Dear friends,

For many Americans, last week’s presidential election was a shock. Most polls and political observers had the same prediction: Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election.

She didn’t. Now we have a new president-elect, Donald Trump, who made bold and controversial campaign promises: Building a wall on the southern U.S. border, deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the country, ripping up international trade and mutual-defense agreements, and more.

We still don’t know whether these promises represent campaign rhetoric or future U.S. policy.

We don’t still don’t know what will happen regarding many of the issues Americans care about: the environment, globalization, civil liberties, women’s rights, LGBT rights, criminal justice, and more.

Despite the unknowns, one thing is certain: The United States has a vibrant and free press. Despite the vilification of news media and personal attacks on individual journalists during the 2016 campaign, journalism remains one of the strongest constitutional checks on power this nation has.

That’s why I hope you’ll support the U.S. news media organizations you respect and trust. There are many great institutions, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post on the national level, and on the state level newspapers with broad reach such as the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.

There is also a growing nonprofit news media in this country. ProPublica, The Marshall Project, Center for Public Integrity, and the more than 100 other organizations that are part of the Institute for Nonprofit News every day produce important public interest reporting.

These media organizations need your support, perhaps now more than ever.

As does the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. At FCIR, we are producing and funding journalism that investigates and exposes the problems in our community.

Some of our most important stories have raised issues where candidate Trump showed disdain.

Our recent documentary short “Unforgiven” told the story of voter disenfranchisement in Florida, where 1.7 million ex-felons are not allowed to vote.

An FCIR partnership with PBS NewsHour Weekendexplored the reasons for contamination of the Indian River Lagoon, an environmental problem that could grow worse with a federal government less concerned about environmental protection.

Reporting for FCIR, Tristram Korten revealed in 2015 how the administration of Gov. Rick Scott ordered state staffers not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” — a policy that President Barack Obama decried in an Earth Day speech in the Everglades.

We’re also focused on the intersection of civil liberties and national security. My own reporting, for The Intercept and other news media, has investigated the FBI’s counterterrorism program and the government’s aggressive surveillance of Muslim communities.

And we’ve been documenting Islamophobia through FCIR’s Islamophobia Project — a Facebook community that monitors Islamophobia and bigotry in U.S. media and public discourse.

The nation will have many debates ahead about the role of a free, independent press in the new administration. We believe journalism is part of the solution.

Now more than ever, I hope you’ll consider supporting your favorite journalism organizations, including the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. You know us, our work, our values. We can and do make a difference, but we need your financial support to continue and even expand our work in the days ahead.

And, remember, a donation to FCIR is tax-deductible.

Sincerely,

Trevor Aaronson
Executive Director

Please donate today via PayPal or by calling 305-520-9621.

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