About the Trident

The Trident delivers quality investigative reporting and watchdog journalism that’s free to the public—no paywalls on the Trident!

Florida's Old Capitol seen through the colonade of the New Capitol. Credit: Michael Moline
Florida’s Old Capitol seen through the colonade of the New Capitol. Credit: Michael Moline

The Florida Trident is a local investigative news outlet focusing on government accountability and transparency across Florida. The Trident was created and first published in 2022 by the Florida Center for Government Accountability in the wake of shrinking newsroom budgets and staff across the country. Local investigative news reporting was — and is — shrinking as well, making an independent and nonpartisan investigative news outlet even more important in today’s complicated world, and the Florida Trident stands ready to meet the challenge of bringing critical information to the people of Florida.  

The Trident’s behind-the-scenes work uncovered and reported on one of Florida’s most important political stories of 2023: the sexual assault and video voyeurism allegations leveled against former Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler. This reporting garnered attention from news outlets across the country and around the world: The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, the BBC – even The Times of London – putting the Trident squarely on the map of key reporting in the US and at the forefront of vital, independent and unbiased investigative reporting. 

The Trident is a publication available to the public without charge. This is made possible through generous community support of the Florida Center for Government Accountability, publisher of the Florida Trident.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.


Our Staff

Barbara Petersen, Executive Director, FLCGA

Barbara Petersen, Executive Director, Florida Center for Government Accountability

Attorney Barbara Petersen has 25-plus years open government law and nonprofit administration experience and serves as FLCGA’s Executive Director.

Bob Norman, News Director, Florida Trident

Bob Norman is a veteran Florida journalist whose work exposing corruption has led to indictments of several public officials and the removal of misbehaving judges from the bench. He began reporting in Florida in 1993, with tenures at the Fort Myers News-Press, the New Times, and investigative reporter for WPLG-Channel 10 in Miami. Now a contributing writer for Columbia Journalism Review and the Washingtonian, Norman has received dozens of journalism honors, including the Livingston Award.

Michael Barfield, Director of Public Access, FLCGA

Michael Barfield, Public Access Director

Michael Barfield focuses on the enforcement of open government laws and is a frequent lecturer on Florida’s Public Records Act and Sunshine Law. Michael is the Immediate Past President of the ACLU of Florida. He is a life member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and received the President’s Extra Mile award in 2008 for work related to indigent criminal defense.