Introducing the Sim City Beat

Introducing the Sim City Beat

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My focus here at Voice of San Diego is going to be changing a bit.

First of all, I’ll still spend most of my time looking at the big decisions on how San Diego is dealing with its growth.

But I’ll also be spending time looking for specific issues within the region’s business world.

Once we identify a few important business situations facing San Diego’s economy, I’ll learn as much as I can about them, uncover things the public doesn’t know, and explain it all as best I can.

It’ll force me to really rely on the basic narrative concept we’ve tried to establish at Voice of San Diego. It’s impossible for us to cover everything, so instead we choose a handful of things to cover really well.

I realize how absurd it sounds to have one person spend only some of his time on something as huge as “business in San Diego.”

But how much crazier is it than thinking a group of five reporters can investigate the entire region?

So I’ll need to be selective. We’ll pick out a few narratives at a time and cover them as completely as possible. Then we’ll find some more.

Hopefully, you’ll play a big part in helping me figure out what to look into.

Are there certain industries in San Diego you’ve never understood? Is there a major issue facing an industry you work in that no one knows about? What blind spots are there in the region’s current business coverage?

I’m not interested in writing exclusively for the business world. We’re hoping to make this focus appealing and informative for engaged citizens, regardless of where they work or whether they’ve ever read business coverage before.

It took me a few months to figure out exactly what my land use beat was supposed to be. It’s still something I’m playing with.

I’ve started calling it the Sim City beat, or the “why your city is the way it is” beat. Let me know if you’ve got a better descriptor.

I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish covering Barrio Logan’s new community plan, the future of transportation in the city, the hiring of Bill Fulton as the city’s new planning director, donations two developers were forced to make by former Mayor Bob Filner and the intricacies of San Diego’s community planning system. We’ll keep covering those narratives, and we’ll keep looking for others that chip away at the same big goal: a better understanding of why San Diego is the way it is.

But there’s a natural connection between that directive, and what’s going on in the regional economy. Two other narratives we’ve been covering – how land-use issues affect the craft beer industry, and how the city subsidizes low-income housing —are good examples.

Former VOSDer Kelly Bennet’s quest to learn about possible roadblocks facing San Diego’s innovation economy provided a good template, too.

So let me know what types of things you want me to cover, and even what’s turned you off of business stories in the past. As with everything we do, the goal is to find out as many new things as we can and to explain them as clearly as possible.

Now I’m just trying to factor businesses into that equation.

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Andrew Keatts

Andrew Keatts

I'm Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0529.

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5 comments
Marie
Marie

Hooray! I only ever see Tijuana/Baja mentioned in terms of crime, wine and food. We're not doing a good job in the local media of covering our neighbor. I've wondered how many people commute to San Diego from TJ everyday for work. What jobs do they do here? Is the commute efficient for them? What's the impact for our economy and theirs?

Don Blucher
Don Blucher

As much as I disliked him and wanted him to go, I must give kudos to former mayor Filner for one thing: He highlighted the importance of our Friends south of the border and the essential impact they have on our businesses, our families, and our bilateral political relations. We must include them in any meaningful discussion on business in our region.

Don Blucher
Don Blucher subscriber

As much as I disliked him and wanted him to go, I must give kudos to former mayor Filner for one thing: He highlighted the importance of our Friends south of the border and the essential impact they have on our businesses, our families, and our bilateral political relations. We must include them in any meaningful discussion on business in our region.

Andrew Keatts
Andrew Keatts

Agreed completely, Don. Will have to be a big part of covering what's going on with business here. Thanks for writing.

Andrew Keatts
Andrew Keatts author

Agreed completely, Don. Will have to be a big part of covering what's going on with business here. Thanks for writing.