The Miami Herald

The Miami Herald
The Miami Herald International Edition front page.jpg
The March 5, 2007 front page of
The Miami Herald
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner The McClatchy Company
Publisher David Landsberg
Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez
Founded 1903
Headquarters 1 Herald Plaza
Miami, Florida
Circulation 240,223 Daily
311,245 Sunday[1]
ISSN 0898-865X
OCLC number 2733685
Official website

The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper owned by The McClatchy Company headquartered on Biscayne Bay in the Omni district of Downtown Miami, Florida, United States. Founded in 1903, it is the largest newspaper in South Florida, serving Miami-Dade, Broward County and Monroe County, and circulates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.



The newspaper employs over 800 people in Miami and across several bureaus, including Bogotá, Managua, Tallahassee, Vero Beach, Key West, and shared space in McClatchy's Washington bureau. Its newsroom staff of about 450 includes 144 reporters, 69 editors, 69 copy editors, 29 photographers, five graphic artists (not including page designers), 11 columnists, six critics, 48 editorial specialists, and 18 news assistants. In June 2009, The Miami Herald announced widespread layoffs in June 2008, with plans to cut 250 full-time jobs—17 percent of the newspaper's workforce.[2]

The newspaper has been awarded 20 Pulitzer Prizes since beginning publication in 1903.[3] Well-known columnists are Pulitzer-winning political commentator Leonard Pitts, Jr., humorist Dave Barry and novelist Carl Hiaasen. Other columnists include Fred Grimm and Edwin Pope. David Landsberg is the publisher, and Aminda Marqués Gonzalez[4] is the executive editor.

The newspaper averages 88 pages daily and 212 pages Sunday. The Miami Herald's coverage of Latin American and Hispanic affairs is widely considered among the best of U.S. newspapers.

The Miami Herald also operates Politifact Florida, a website that focuses on the truth about Florida issues; the site is jointly-operated with its partner newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, which created the Politifact concept. The Miami Herald and the Times share resources on news stories related to Florida.


The first edition was published September 15, 1903, as The Miami Evening Record. After the recession of 1907, the newspaper had severe financial difficulties. Its largest creditor was Henry Flagler. Through Frank B. Shutts as its publisher, who was also the founder of Shutts & Bowen, Mr. Flagler acquired the paper and renamed it The Miami Herald on December 1, 1910. Although it is the longest continuously published newspaper in Miami, the earliest newspaper in the region was The Tropical Sun, established in 1891. The Miami Metropolis, which later became The Miami News was founded in 1896 and the Herald's longest competitor until 1988 when it went out of business.

During the Florida land boom of the 1920s, The Miami Herald was the largest newspaper in the world as measured by lines of advertising.[5] During The Great Depression in the 1930s,The Herald came close to receivership but recovered.

On October 25, 1939, John S. Knight, son of a noted Ohio newspaperman, bought The Herald from Frank B. Shutts. Knight became editor and publisher and made his brother, James L. Knight, the business manager. The Herald had 383 employees. Lee Hills arrived as city editor in September 1942. He later became The Herald's publisher and eventually chairman of Knight-Ridder Inc., a position he held until 1981.

The Miami Herald International Edition, printed by partner newspapers throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, began in 1946. It is currently commonly available at resorts in the Caribbean countries such as the Dominican Republic and though printed by the largest local newspaper Listín Diario it is not available outside such tourist areas. It was later extended to Mexico in 2002.

The Herald won its first Pulitzer Prize in 1950, for its reporting on Miami's organized crime. Its circulation was 176,000 daily and 204,000 on Sundays. On August 19, 1960, construction began on the present Herald building on Biscayne Bay. Also on that day, Alvah H. Chapman, started work as James Knight’s assistant. Chapman was later promoted to Knight-Ridder chairman and chief executive officer. The Herald moved into its new building at One Herald Plaza without missing an edition on March 23–24, 1963.Publication of a Spanish language supplemental insert named El Herald began in 1976. It was renamed El Nuevo Herald in 1987, and in 1998 became an independent publication.

In 2003, The Miami Herald and El Universal of Mexico City created an international joint venture, and in 2004 they together launched The Herald Mexico, a short-lived English language newspaper for readers in Mexico. Its final issue was published in May 2007.

On July 27, 2005, former Miami city commissioner Arthur Teele walked into the main lobby of Herald headquarters, dropped off a package for columnist Jim DeFede, and asked a security officer to tell Herald columnist Jim DeFede to tell his wife Stephanie he 'loved her' before pulling out a gun and committing suicide. His suicide happened the day the Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper, published salacious details of Teele's alleged affairs, including allegations Teele had sex and used cocaine with a transsexual prostitute. Shortly before committing suicide, Teele had had a telephone conversation with DeFede. DeFede recorded this call without Teele's knowledge, illegal under Florida law. DeFede admitted to Herald management that he had taped the call. Although the paper used quotes from the tape in its coverage, DeFede was fired the next day for violating the paper's code of ethics and was likely guilty of a felony. Many journalists and readers of the Herald disagreed with the decision to fire rather than suspend DeFede, arguing that it was made in haste and that the punishment was disproportionate to the offense. 528 journalists, including about 200 current and former Herald staffers, called on the Herald to reinstate DeFede, but the paper's management refused to back down. The state attorney's office later declined to file charges against the columnist, holding that the potential violation was "without a (living) victim or a complainant."

On September 8, 2006, Miami Herald's president Jesús Díaz Jr. fired three journalists because they had allegedly been paid by the United States Government to work in anti-Cuba propaganda TV and radio channels. The three were Pablo Alfonso, Wilfredo Cancio Isla and Olga Connor.[6] Less than a month later, and following the pressure of the Cuban community in Miami, Díaz resigned after reinstating the fired journalists. Nevertheless, he continues claiming that such payments, especially if coming from organisms of the state, violate the principles of journalistic independence.[7][dead link] At least seven other journalists that do not work at the Herald, namely Miguel Cossio, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Juan Manuel Cao, Ariel Remos, Omar Claro, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Paul Crespo and Ninoska Perez-Castellón, were also paid for programs on Radio Martí or TV Martí,[6][8][dead link] both financed by the government of the United States through the Broadcasting Board of Governors, receiving a total of between 15,000 and 175,000 USD since 2001.

The Miami Herald headquarters on Biscayne Bay in the Omni neighborhood of Downtown Miami. The Herald will be moving from its waterfront headquarters in 2013.

In May 2011, the paper announced it had sold 14 acres (5.7 ha) of Biscayne Bayfront land surrounding its headquarters for $236 million, to a Malaysian resort developer, Genting Malaysia Berhad; McClatchy announced that the Herald and El Nuevo Herald would be moving to another location by 2013.[9]

Community involvement

The Miami Herald sponsors several community involvement projects. The Silver Knight Awards have been held every spring since 1959. The awards are given in several categories to high school seniors who are nominated by faculty committees in their schools. Typical nominees will not only have excelled in their classroom studies but also served to better their community in some way. 18,000 students have been recognized since the program was started.

The Wish Book program lets people from the community who are suffering from hardships of varying types ask for help from the readers. Wishes have included asking for donations to buy medical equipment for a sick child, help with renovations to make a home wheelchair accessible, monetary donation to an impoverished family dealing with cancer treatments, and help to an elderly resident wanting to learn how to use a computer. Readers may make donations to specific causes or to the program at large.

The Miami Herald also co-sponsors spelling bees and athletic awards in South Florida. On those years when a co-sponsor cannot be found for the spelling bees, the Miami Herald has declined to foot the entire bill, and thus the spelling bees have been cancelled[citation needed]. The Tropic section and its columnist Dave Barry also run a unique annual puzzlehunt in the Miami area called the Tropic Hunt.

Pulitzer Prizes

  • 2009: Breaking News Photography, Patrick Farrell, "for his provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and other lethal storms caused a humanitarian disaster in Haiti."
  • 2007: Local Reporting, Debbie Cenziper, "for reports on waste, favoritism and lack of oversight at the Miami housing agency that resulted in dismissals, investigations and prosecutions." In 2007, Cenziper's investigation was featured in the PBS documentary series Exposé: America's Investigative Reports in an episode entitled "Money For Nothing."
  • 2004: Commentary, Leonard Pitts, Jr., "for his fresh, vibrant columns that spoke, with both passion and compassion, to ordinary people on often divisive issues."
  • 2001: Breaking news reporting, "for its coverage of the seizure of Elián González by federal agents."
  • 1999: Investigative reporting, staff, "for its detailed reporting that revealed pervasive voter fraud in a city mayoral election that was subsequently overturned."
  • 1996: Editorial cartooning, Jim Morin
  • 1993: Meritorious public service, staff, "for coverage that not only helped readers cope with Hurricane Andrew's devastation but also showed how lax zoning, inspection and building codes had contributed to the destruction.";
  • 1993: Commentary, Liz Balmaseda, "For her commentary from Haiti about deteriorating political and social conditions and her columns about Cuban-Americans in Miami."
  • 1991: Spot News Reporting, staff, "for stories profiling a local cult leader, his followers, and their links to several area murders."
  • 1988: Commentary, Dave Barry, "for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns."
  • 1988: Feature photography, Michel duCille, "for photographs portraying the decay and subsequent rehabilitation of a housing project overrun by the drug crack."
  • 1987: National reporting, staff, "for its exclusive reporting and persistent coverage of the U.S.-Iran-Contra connection."
  • 1986: Spot news photography, Michel duCille and Carol Guzy;
  • 1986: General reporting, Edna Buchanan
  • 1983: Editorial writing, the editorial board, " for its campaign against the detention of illegal Haitian immigrants by federal officials."
  • 1981: International reporting, Shirley Christian, "for her dispatches from Central America."
  • 1980: Feature writing, Madeleine Blais, "for 'Zepp's Last Stand.'"
  • 1976: General reporting, Gene Miller
  • 1967: Specialized Reporting, Gene Miller
  • 1951: Meritorious public service, staff, "for [its] crime reporting during the year."


  • Smiley, Nixon. Knights of the Fourth Estate; The Story of the Miami Herald. Miami, FL; E. A. Seeman, 1974. isbn 0-912458-42-9.

External links

Coordinates: 25°47′19.72″N 80°11′9.56″W / 25.7888111°N 80.1859889°W / 25.7888111; -80.1859889

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