Starting today, voiceofsandiego.org is going to be exploding with new blogs.

Before this, we’ve basically had two different news blogs: Survival in San Diego, where Kelly Bennett brings you the latest and best stories on housing and the local economy; and This Just In, where every other member of our news team chucks their daily updates, insights, analyses and links.

We realized that was kind of silly. For more than two years, Bennett’s been hosting a wonderful conversation with her readers and sources in Survival. Meanwhile, This Just In has been a valuable piece of our site, full of links, breaking news and follow-ups. Still, it hasn’t allowed our individual reporters to maintain a more consistent and focused conversation on their specific beats.

So, we’re opening it up. This Just In will still exist in the same spot on the site. It will essentially be the same blog you’re used to but with just more content. The only difference will be that each of our individual reporter blogs will feed into This Just In. So you will have a number of options: Keep up with This Just In, or follow your favorite voiceofsandiego.org journalist in their blog.

All nine of our full-time professional journalists will now have their own blog. Scott Lewis still has SLOP, his commentary blog (where he, too, often breaks news). And Bennett will still have Survival.

Here’s how the rest of the lineup will shape up:

  • Pounding the Pavement: Whether it’s crime, fire or investigations, reporter Will Carless is out there every day pounding the pavement to bring home the story. This blog brings you all the observations, documents and details that he can bring back to the office (or transmit remotely) in a day’s work.
  • The Venture: From the high-flying venture capitalist with dollar signs in his eyes to the obscure researcher grinding away in the lab seeking a cure, San Diego’s science and technology communities teem with stories of perseverance, discovery, triumph, failure and conflict. In The Venture, David Washburn walks the halls of San Diego’s world-renowned research institutions and taps into the business and politics of the region’s innovation economy to bring a steady flow of local stories, curiosities and in-depth analysis.
  • The Hall: San Diego’s political world constantly simmers with intrigue, tension and incredible tales. How are you going to keep up with it all? In The Hall, reporter Rani Gupta brings you all the latest insights, updates and analysis from a day on the political beat.
  • Schooled: Crib some notes on all things educational in San Diego, from the latest and greatest classroom innovations to scuffles on the school board, from school lunches to the teachers union. Reporter Emily Alpert hits the books, dials the decision makers and navigates the bureaucracy so you don’t have to, keeping you posted throughout each day on the education beat. 
  • In the Muck: Since joining voiceofsandiego.org in 2006, Rob Davis‘ beat has expanded from the environment to include coverage of the local media, redevelopment, air transportation and county government.

    Join Rob in a conversation about some of the region’s most pressing issues: water supplies, endangered species, pollution, and development.

  • Credentialed: Each day, the fleeting vision of Sam Hodgson‘s face can be seen poking out from behind a camera lens as he scurries around the county trying to snap the best shot of a motivated student, an embattled public official or even just a pretty sunset. But there aren’t enough story pages to fit all the shots he gets every day. Credentialed brings you his exclusive photo projects and the best photos that were left on the cutting room floor. The former reporter-turned-photog will also try his hand at telling his favorite stories as seen through his lens. 
  • The Clipboard: This is my blog, where I’ll be adding my scoops and analysis, as well as explaining our overall news decisions and taking questions from readers about why we chose to do what we do.

We’re really excited about it. The word “blog” sometime is misunderstood as some sort of forum only for opinion. But, as you loyal readers know, our blogs over the last few years have shown that it’s just a different way for telling the same verified, edited and objective news stories (and even investigative reports) that you’re used to from our reporters. And it allows us to interact more with you, the reader, in a conversation.

You’ll see that some of the blogs are enabled for reader comments and some aren’t. These are decisions made by each individual reporter, and both sides have very compelling reasons.

I personally want comments on my blog in order to allow readers to ask me questions about our news coverage and voiceofsandiego.org‘s decisions and policies. However, other reporters have chosen to avoid comments. Oftentimes, as I’m sure you know, the comments section on a website can quickly dissolve into hateful personal attacks and name-calling. That is not the sort of conversation we’re trying to cultivate. But unfortunately in order to avoid it, we must undertake the rather time-consuming task of moderating those comments.

I hope you enjoy these features. If you have any comments, questions or concerns about them, please e-mail me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or just head over to The Clipboard and leave me a comment. Thanks.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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