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These are enormously challenging times for the journalism profession.

Broward County once had three highly competitive daily newspapers with deeply staffed bureaus covering the state’s second largest county. Today there’s one, and the ֱ has neither the money nor the staff size it had in those pre-internet days when newspapers dominated advertising markets.

Yet, with democracy under siege, news consumers self-selecting information sources geared to their personal biases, and distrust of civic institutions so high, the need for independent reporting and accountability journalism is greater than ever.

Donate to the ֱ’s Community News Fund now by visiting .

Three years ago, the ֱ established a Community News Fund to assist us in having the resources to tell you the stories that need telling. Simply put, this fund allows us to pursue big stories in the new digital advertising world in which just three websites (Google, Facebook and Amazon) of advertising revenue.

Our advertising staff fights these goliaths every day, making the case that we’re best positioned to help local businesses find local customers. But especially at a time when some governments are charging exorbitant amounts in fees for vital public records that are essential to our mission, it’s not enough to allow us to do our jobs as well as we can.

We appreciate your tax deductible contributions, but we especially value your desire to be well informed about your communities and the wider world.

With your help, we have had the resources to pursue major stories, including our latest investigative reporting series, Condo Wars, which exposed lax regulation at the state level, improper political influence, and runaway condominium boards that intimidate and defame unit owners.

Other recent investigations carried out by this newspaper revealed the horrifying extent of human trafficking in Florida, exposed the fragility of Broward County’s 911 emergency dispatch system, and showed how the Broward school district covered up failures that led to the Parkland school shooting, an effort that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the most prestigious journalism award in the country.

In the coming weeks and months, we will evaluate and recommend candidates for local, state and federal offices; report on the annual legislative session in Tallahassee; cover the campaign for the White House; and provide non-stop coverage of this diverse, challenging and never-boring place.

Open government is under sustained assault at the state level. It is our job to keep shining a light in places that powerful people would prefer to keep in the dark.

Your feedback, positive or not, is much appreciated and it inspires us to always do better.

We don’t say thank you enough to our readers, so here’s to you.

The ֱ Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Steve Bousquet, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Dan Sweeney, editorial writer Martin Dyckman and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Editorials are the opinion of the Board and written by one of its members or a designee. To contact us, email at letters@sun-sentinel.com.

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