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As Ariana Grande would say, I’ve mostly been doing winter things this week, but wanted to make sure you saw our package of year-end stories.
Instead of a list of stories I’ve been reading this week (because let’s be honest, I haven’t read anything – apart from some dope books I got for Christmas), I put together the 10 best stories I read this year. I really love compiling these stories and random thoughts of mine each week, and I so appreciate all of you taking the time to read them. Cheers to 2019.
What VOSD Learned This Week
Before we get to those year-end pieces, we did do some actual reporting this week.
Maya Srikrishnan highlighted the story of a local mother who was deported to Mexico and banned from the country for 10 years but was finally allowed back into the U.S., where she spent Christmas with her family.
Unfortunately, though, most stories related to the border at the moment aren’t as rosy. For example, state leaders are still scrambling to address the need for a shelter and resources to accommodate migrants who are essentially being dumped on the street in San Ysidro with virtually nothing.
Finally, Ry Rivard broke down a strange case in which the San Diego County Water Authority sued five Indian tribes after the tribes won a decades-long battle to reclaim lost water rights. An arbitrator did not have very kind words for the Water Authority’s effort.
I always think it’s fun and illuminating to look back at the year in news through many different lenses. Here’s how we’ve reflected so far:
We rounded up our favorite and most impactful Voice of San Diego stories from the past year.
Of course, we’re not the only journalism game in town – so we highlighted the best stories about San Diego from other outlets.
We also isolated the most amazing quotes the news gods bestowed on us throughout the year.
The border loomed large in local and national discussions about San Diego. Maya Srikrishnan pulled out five telling statistics that can explain the chaotic year.
And Jesse Marx assessed the first year of legalized marijuana to determine the major takeaways.
Finally, on the podcast, we looked forward to 2019 by kindly suggesting some resolutions the San Diego region should consider adopting.
My 10 Favorite Stories of the Year
- This piece documenting the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting is everything a truly excellent magazine feature should be: powerful, haunting and some of the best writing you’ll ever read. (California Sunday)
- A teenager with ties to MS-13 did exactly what we all hoped he’d do: He tried to get out, and helped police unravel the gang network. In return, as this reporter masterfully chronicles, he was moved into deportation proceedings and left for dead. (ProPublica)
- As a student of opinion journalism, Nick Kristof put together one of the most compelling cases I’ve ever read arguing that Kevin Cooper is sitting on California’s Death Row as an innocent man. (Gov. Jerry Brown recently ordered new DNA tests in the case.) (New York Times)
- I’m still in awe of these obituaries for the journalists slain in the Capital Gazette shooting: They’re warm, funny and capture beautiful snapshots of the lives lost – and they were written on deadline by the victims’ grief-stricken colleagues. (Baltimore Sun)
- This piece about living with crushing student loan debt brilliantly captures the cruelty and absurdities of the system. (The Baffler)
- Reality Winner sounded the alarm that Russia was hacking our voter rolls – and now she’s in jail. Will Bunch reflected on her sad, strange case to drive home how the U.S. systems of justice and journalism failed this young woman. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- The cruelty at the heart of Trump administration policies is not a bug, it is the defining feature. (The Atlantic)
- This essay on power, gender and who gets to tell women’s stories had me pumping my fist in the air. (Lit Hub)
- This absolutely insane turn of events inside the Oval Office would be interesting no matter who experienced it, but only Olivia Nuzzi could write it up this well. (New York)
- Bow down to the celebrity profile master: Every single line of this piece on how Gwyneth Profile built GOOP is a sheer joy to read. (New York Times Magazine)