DAYTONA BEACH -- The city that is home to major tourism events like Speedweeks, capped by the Feb. 23 running of the Daytona 500, and Bike Week next month, collectively account for upwards of 1.5 million tourists.
So naturally, it makes sense for Daytona Beach to benefit from the branding and global reach of HeadlineSurfer.com, the 24/7 internet newspaper launched April 7, 2008, originally in New Smyrna Beach, by the most decorated journalist covering the community here now for parts of three decades.
"Headline Surfer® is drawing its line in the sand of the World's Most Famous Beach," hard-charging metro reporter and Publisher Henry Frederick said. "Daytona Beach is our turf, too. I've walked virtually every block of this city since the mid-'90s and I am going to work even harder to ensure that the good ol' boy network of print media and its connections with government and business insiders are accountable to the taxpayers."
And Frederick pledged to "continue to fight for a fair share of public revenue that comes with providing a noble service to the citizens with our brand of award-winning journalism."
The internet newspaper that carried New Smyrna Beach as its capital for five-plus years before the operation moved to Lake Mary in September, is now carrying the dateline Daytona Beach, Florida. Headline Surfer® is in the process of opening an a small office in the heart of the city, without the need to being tied down to a desk.
After all, this is new media with news produced on the fly seemingly around the clock in 10 counties -- Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Flagler, St. Johns, Putnam, Marion and Lake, with Daytona Beach as the core and Orlando as the metropolis.
Frederick has covered some of the biggest stories in Daytona over the last couple of decades, from the tragic fallout of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's deadly crash, to the drama in the courtroom with his wife, Teresa Earnhardt, winning the legal fight to keep his autopsy files sealed; to witnessing and reporting on the execution of the country's most infamous female serial killer, in Aileen Wuornos; to the senseless death of toddler Zaniyah Hinson left strapped in a car seat in a sweltering church day-care van.
The most decorated journalist in Daytona's history, Frederick, who worked as a metro cops and courts reporter for the News-Journal for nearly a decade, has won numerous journalism industry awards awards for dozens of stories, including the coveted "James K. Batten Award for outstanding Public Service" in 1998 for a weeklong investigative series on life in West Volusia's drug-infested Spring Hill.
It was there where where he reported the struggle to survive in extreme poverty while bringing to light the good in African-American residents who made the best of the situation despite being shunned by needless fear and racial stereotypes by the richer neighborhoods surrounding this post-Reconstruction enclave.
Headline Surfer® held the top two spots in the Google news directory in Daytona Beach, Florida, for most of Monday as shown here at left in this snaopshot graphic. The internet newspaper's editorial content is typically found in the online news directories throughout Central Florida.
But the journalism practiced on a manual typewriter in college and pounding the pavement was continued by Frederick when he embraced 21st-technology of "new media."
And to that end, he's been recognized as Florida's top award-winning journalist over the last two years by the Florida Press Club for 15 stories, three blogs and top internet media site.
Two of the seven Florida Press awards were for his coverage of the gunshot slaying of unarmed Trayvon Martin and the sensational trial that led to last summer's acquittal of the gunman, George Zimmerman. This led to Frederick's, first book, "Creepy Ass Cracker," 840 pages, which is expected to hit bookstores this summer.
And ironically, Frederick and his family are making their new home next month in Sanford, within a couple of miles of the gated community where Zimmerman fired the deadly shot claiming he was standing his ground.