The need to heed warning signs

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- I have a lot of catching up to do today once I wake up. I say that because I have yet to get to sleep having just left the hospital after a five-hour visit from midnight until 5:30 a.m. for severe abdominal pain.

I was working off stress in the community pool in our Sugar Mill development for several hours with little sleep. I like the solace there because it's my alone time. But I sometimes over do it (more like too often) and I need to heed the warning signs.

Other than this write-up and updating the weather map, I need to give things here a rest ven though I'm behind with the news so I can rest. I need it badly. The ER visit overnight reinforced what family and friends have been telling me for quite some time.

Doing too much can take its toll.

It's a real challenge holding everything here together essentially by myself -- writing all the stories, taking photos and video, editing blogs, culling nationa and world stories on our feeders, selling advertising space and marketing the site. I enjoy the challenges that come with an operation like this, though there is a downside. When you report real news, you have to deal with the backlash that comes with it. It's a tough balancing act, but we're not going anywhere. We care very much about this community where, we, too, live and work.

This is a a particularly busy stretch for us as we gear up for graduation, an historic city anniversary and summer beach tourism coverage. What's really exciting for us is that while print media has either retreated or gone away altother, our Internet newspaper has covered every home Cudas football game in the four years since we launched, provided the first-ever digital graduation coverage in the entire state last year (, which we will do again later this month) and covered virtually every street festival on Canal and Flagler in story and video.

We are gearing up for special coverage of the city's 125th anniversary in a matter of weeks.

And while thousands of dollars in advertising from the city have gone to print media despite scant coverage, a daily that closed its Canal Street bureau just months after we started and a weekly mired in debt and folding last year despite thousands in taxpayer money infused, we have worked hard to provide "real news."

We want to work in a cordial fashion with elected officials, but we grow weary and tired of seeing resources going to the print medium while our intense hyper-local coverage goes to the top of Google's search engines and news directories on a daily basis. Unlike print media, we are growing rapidly in readership, not just here in New Smyrna Beach, but throughout Volusia County and across the greater Orlando market.

Our success is New Smyrna Beach's success and vice versa.

There's a reason why so many candidates for public office throughout the county are coming to us exclusively. They know our advertising is a bargain and that the readership is strong with our Internet newspaper because of our metro reporting style with emphasis on breaking news and investigative reporting.

We want what's best for New Smyrna Beach and success in its governance. We are continuing to develop our Internet newspaper with what precious little resources we have available to us.

We want to avail ourselves to helping attract families from Central Florida and beyond with our getting the message out to broaden this seaside city's tourism to families across Central Florida and beyond. We want to do the same with Volusia County government and wiith neighboring communities. With that said, we cannot turn a blind eye to covering news that isn't always pleasant.

About the Blogger

Henry Frederick's picture

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of Frederick's three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores in October 2015. The second book, "Wrestling ReWind is scheduled for publication in December 2015. The third book, "The Day NASCAR Died: 15th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death in the Daytona 500," is planned for publication in February 2016.
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