An Editor’s Note to keep you up to date on what’s happening here:
- There’s a new nonprofit online investigative outlet launching in Orange County and it’s got a familiar name: Voice of OC.
So are we expanding? No, but the concept is.
Voice of OC is completely independent of us and has a different board, staff, mission statement, etc. But it is being modeled after voiceofsandiego.org and the name is a tribute to that.
It’s being spearheaded by Norberto Santana Jr., a former reporter at the Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune, who’s a friend of mine and a respected colleague. Scott Lewis and I provided him with advice along the way and shared with him our countless learning experiences in our nearly five years of voiceofsandiego.org.
We believe strongly that the nonprofit model will be an important pillar of in-depth and public-service journalism. The media companies we’ve come to rely on in for communities across the country are experiencing very well-documented financial turmoil and have had to cut back. As they’ve done that, people in those communities have come to realize that if they want to see a competitive, thriving media market and want to ensure that civic-minded reporting flourishes, they’ll need to fund it the same way they fund so many other public services in their community — through a variety of sources that include philanthropy.
That means some things are being done differently than they used to. The Center for Investigative Reporting just launched California Watch with foundation money, and distributed their first series last week to publications all over the state, including us. Santana’s seed money comes from a labor union, but he says he and his board are working hard to diversify it before they launch later this year.
There are amazing experiments and innovations happening all throughout this country right now as the media world evolves rapidly. Start-ups and legacy media organizations are working hard to keep up, and some are succeeding and some aren’t. It’s a fascinating time to be doing this.
We wish Santana and Voice of OC the best of luck.
- Want to take part in a cool new way of helping us report?
We’re working with The Extraordinaries to get you more directly involved in the reporting process.
Through both an iPhone app and a widget on its website, you can identify water wasters throughout San Diego, take a picture of them, and report the water waste directly to us with the location included.
It’s got some kinks to be worked out (right now the app says Mayor Jerry Brown instead of Sanders and we want you to report all water wasters, not just government) but it has the potential to play a great role in connection residents and reporters for the good of the community.
The company itself is fascinating. Check out their about us page to read more about what they’re doing.
- Finally, the latest edition of VOSD Radio is up. Lewis and I offer some banter and background on the latest in the Chargers stadium push, as well as the Hero and Goat of the Week. You can podcast it or stream it from the player in the right-hand column of this blog.