Local Independent Journalism Thriving at the Voice of OC
“ A lot of people don’t realize how much power they have... ”
People often state that a free press is the heart of a healthy democracy, but few take time to contemplate the role journalism plays in their daily lives. For those of us in Orange County, the online nonprofit investigative news agency Voice of OC is one of the only independent sources informing the public and holding our government accountable.
The current team at the Voice consists of reporters Spencer Custodio, Nick Gerda, and Thy Vo, civic editor Tracy Wood, and founder and publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. Both Wood and Santana have impressive backgrounds in journalism.
The free press is threatened by two aspects of technology says Wood. First, fake news–what people read online they tend to believe and it can be difficult to find the source of a news story in order to decide if it is real or not. And secondly, the disappearance of local newspapers–as readers move on to free online reading. Larger newspapers in particular are having a hard time with funding original reporting – traditionally supported by advertising.