The Early Reviews Are In

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As we at Voice of OC wrap up our first week (or portion thereof) as a live website, we want to again thank all of you who’ve helped us with this exciting — and sometimes excruciating — birthing process.

We’ve received a lot of kudos — and some critiques — from our friends and colleagues in and around the Orange County media landscape. Here is a sampling:

The statewide Flash Report gave our reporter Tracy Wood the “Golden Pen” award Thursday for her story on the state’s high-speed rail program. From Flash report editor Jon Fleischman:

A great inaugural piece from a new nonprofit investigative website in California.

The good folks at Total Buzz welcomed us to the fray…

We wish Norberto well with the endeavor, and look forward having a few more reporters crawling through the brush to hold those in power accountable.

Chris Prevatt of Liberal OC pointed out that county employees were denied the opportunity to read Voice of OC on our launch day…

An interesting note is that not everyone seems to be happy about the launch of this new investigative news source. In particular, the IT geniuses at the County of Orange. While websites such as the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, and every political blog in Orange County are accessible through the county internet system, Voice of OC directs users to the following notification:

Request Blocked by URL Filter Database

Santana is making calls on this issue as I write.

Red County didn’t mince words…

The enterprise is underwritten by the Orange County Employees Association, governed by a Board dominated by trial attorneys (at least, it was six months ago) and helmed by former OC Register investigative reporter Norberto Santana.

Norberto is a tough, thorough, chain-smoking, profanity-using reporter with a strong libertarian streak. It should be interesting, and will definitely improve coverage of OC local government.

I’ve spent a few minutes checking out the site, but give it high marks so far. It is clean and easy to navigate, and there are quite a few interesting stories up already. I’ll definitely have additional material for the Morning News Roundup.

And LA Observed gave us a mention, even though we’re not exactly in their coverage area.

In addition to the remarks from our friends in the media, we received plenty of e-mails from folks who we hope will end up loyal readers. The general sense seems to be that the site is clean, newsy and easily navigable.

The repeated theme:

It’s a true news site. It has the right feel. It’s not a mess of different voices like so many sites. When you go there, you know where you are….

Emailers also weren’t shy about pointing out glitches, including problems with things like submitting letters to the editor, registering and signing up for our RSS feed. Trust that we are working on those issues and will have them cleared up by early next week.

And please never hesitate to email me or Norberto with any issues, questions or observations.

Many thanks.



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