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Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 | voiceofsandiego.org has recently been congratulating itself as a new model for the delivery of news to the public by a nonprofit internet organization that is being replicated across the country.
It is indeed true that Voice has introduced a new form of competition for the dissemination of local news that has stimulated other news outlets to respond. In general, the Voice’s reporting has been accurate and uninfluenced by the editorial positions of the outlet just as it should be.
As a national nonprofit model, however, the Voice, could improve its own transparency by providing a link to a list of their donors and the amounts they have contributed. I speak as a donor myself and don’t necessarily believe the Voice editorial positions are influenced by efforts not to offend major donors. However, that bias is a potential problem not encountered by a for profit newspapers such as CityBeat, the Union-Tribune and the Reader.
I also want to encourage more competition of news dissemination in the San Diego market not less so I reject the idea that the Voice has higher ethical standards because it is a nonprofit. So, I repeat, allow the public to have easy access to your donors for the sake of the transparency you expect from local government so they can reach their own conclusions about the factors that have influenced the latest editorial blast.
Editor’s Note: The list of our donors can be accessed here (along with a link to donate). As far as we can tell, we’ve never maintained that we have higher ethical standards than all of the area’s respected local news sources. In fact, we recognize the need to be even more vigilant as we continue to expand this new model.