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The Florida Independent launches

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The Florida Independent launched this morning at with a featured story about a recent pipe-bomb attack on a Jacksonville mosque highlighting tensions over the appointment of a Muslim to the local Human Rights Commission.  This afternoon will bring a piece describing how Gov. Charlie Crist’s environmental record led to his departure from the Republican Party, followed by another about Miami students lobbying Florida lawmakers to support the DREAM Act, each present on the home page of The Florida Independent.

“As the newest arm of The American Independent News Network, our mission is simple,” said Cooper Levey-Baker, editor of The Florida Independent. “To publish stories that shed light on underreported issues, to write pieces that make complicated issues clearer, to deliver the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about our democracy and better serve our communities. Simple maybe, but also ambitious, and we’re thrilled to take on the challenge.”

Levey-Baker is leading a fleet-footed team made up of four reporters and three freelancers based throughout Florida.  The team will deliver daily original investigative reporting and analysis of state and local issues.

“As newsrooms have been shrinking, the amount and quality of original investigated news making it into the hands of the public has declined.  We have been successful in helping fill this void with six other news sites around the country and know we can do the same here in Florida,” said David Bennahum, President and CEO of The American Independent News Network, publisher of The Florida Independent.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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