At voiceofsandiego.org, we try to add value to your news. We work hard every day to give you ferociously local in-depth and investigative reporting that you can’t read anywhere else.

The last week’s events provide a good example of what we do and how we try to do it. When media outlets everywhere were rushing to do the same stories about swine flu, we recognized that it was a story that was getting enough — and probably too much — media coverage.

Instead of rushing into the pack, we set off in our own direction to tell stories that no one else is telling. We don’t think that we’ll be your only source of news for the day and, therefore, knew we had to give you something original.

In just that one-week period last week, for example, we detailed how a lost drunken driving case of a City Council candidate revealed serious flaws in the San Diego’s criminal justice system; exposed the push for controversial tinkering with the city’s infamous pension system and an accompanying lie by the Mayor’s Office; continued unraveling the compelling saga of a downtown condo building mired in troubles; and showed how one of San Diego’s most prestigious research institutions is dealing with the economic crisis.

We also brought you the tale of a swashbuckling San Diego law professor staking out his reputation as one of a re-emerging breed of academics by chasing down piracy in Latin America, and examined whether the problem with San Diego Unified School District is, well, itself.

These were all stories you couldn’t get anywhere else. And, in one of our few bits of swine flu reporting, our science reporter tracked down San Diego’s renowned flu fighter early on, who offered this bit of prescient analysis: “It’s not the big one.”

Of course the swine flu was an important story. But it wasn’t the only important story in your community, and we were founded to give you the stories that no one else is telling.

And to do so, we ask you to help make it all possible. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on readers like you to keep our publication strong and growing.

We don’t charge you for a subscription and make all of our content free and available to anyone. What we do is ask you to put a value on what it is we provide you: timely, in-depth and investigative journalism on San Diego’s key quality-of-life issues.

If you’re not quite sure what that means to you, we’ve got a handy little chart here that can serve as a guidepost, and you can go here to donate. And if you’re still not convinced that we’re valuable enough to warrant a donation, send me an e-mail at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org and let me know what we can do better.

Thank you for your readership and support.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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