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Warrior for Democracy 2022 - Orlando Sentinel

Staff | Published on 12/19/2022

Shown above L-R: Julie Anderson, Barbara Lanning, Roger Simmons
From Orlando Sentinel~
The Orlando Sentinel was named the winner of this year’s Warrior for Democracy Award presented by the League of Women Voters of Orange County.

Barbara Lanning, co-president of the non-partisan group, presented the award to Orlando Sentinel editor-in-chief Julie Anderson and managing editor Roger Simmons during the group’s holiday party on Thursday in Winter Park.

“In a time when misinformation and misdirection abound, the Orlando Sentinel remains a daily, trusted source of fact-based information that’s essential for a democracy to function,” Lanning said, reading the nomination for the Sentinel. “The newspaper remains Central Florida’s best source of detailed news on state and local government, in stories such as its work exposing the practice of supporting ‘ghost’ candidates to skew election results. Its editorials and commentary by columnist Scott Maxwell have called out politicians about waste and hypocrisy in an era where officials tend to talk only to “friendly” press and social media is frequently just spin.”

“Hard-working, high-integrity, independent journalism is essential for democracy to survive and thrive, and too often it seems easy for Central Floridians to take a daily newspaper for granted,” she added.

Instead of presenting a traditional plaque for the award, the League instead presented a $500 contribution to the Orlando Sentinel’s Community News Fund.

“We don’t take newspapers for granted. And we want to shine a light on a pillar of democracy in Central Florida,” Lanning said.

In accepting the award, Anderson said, “We appreciate that you understand the connection between a free press and a strong democracy. It’s our mission to hold the powerful accountable, and it helps to have allies such as you in that quest.”

As for the contribution, Anderson noted, “We also deeply appreciate the $500 contribution to the Sentinel’s Community News Fund. We will spend it wisely on reporting projects that need extra resources.”