Voice of OC Receives Grant From National Journalism Funder

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Voice of OC is pleased to accept a $75,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to continue our hard-hitting public service journalism.

The Oklahoma City-based foundation is one of the premier journalism funders in the nation, dedicated primarily to supporting investigative reporting and journalism education.

Voice of OC is among 24 organizations nationwide receiving a total of $1.85 million from the foundation in its most recent funding cycle. Other recipients include the Center for Investigative Reporting; Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; the Poynter Institute; and Arizona State University.

“The awards … many to nonprofit impact journalism organizations, provide funding for the delivery of high-quality journalism,” said Bob Ross, president and CEO of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. “We know the future of journalism rests in leaders willing to take an entrepreneurial approach, and our grants will allow them to continue their great work.”

Voice of OC will use the grant funds to enhance our reporting resources, develop a more robust social media presence and continue to identify new revenue streams.

“This kind of support is critical for entrepreneurial newsrooms like ours that are taking high-quality local municipal investigative reporting and forging new distribution networks with groups like PBS, AP, Facebook and Twitter, as well as crafting a cost-effective, hard news coverage model for the 34 municipalities and countywide mega-agencies that serve the more than 3 million people who live in Orange County,” said Norberto Santana Jr., editor-in-chief of Voice of OC.

Founded in 2009, Voice of OC has established itself as Orange County’s indispensable source of public service journalism. To date, we have published more than 3,000 articles with a focus on politics, government and public health issues.

Our journalism has garnered numerous awards and has had impact up and down the state.

In 2012, our coverage of the Anaheim riots and ensuing aftermath served as a catalyst for a resident-led push for district elections in Anaheim. We also have followed stadium lease negotiations between the Angels and the city of Anaheim.

In Santa Ana, our coverage also led the field on the adoption of a government sunshine ordinance and the transition to a new City Council majority aimed at greater transparency. In addition, our youth media program has partnered students working with local nonprofits and helped them organize public forums around elections and budgeting.

In addition to regular coverage of county mega-agencies, Voice of OC also led coverage in the wake of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas filing a dozen felony sex crime charges against Carlos Bustamante, then a Santa Ana city councilman and county public works executive.

We’ve also pioneered a robust First Amendment program, one that features local news coverage on public access issues as well as direct action when needed, such as a current Voice of OC lawsuit against the county of Orange seeking public records showing how county officials handled the Bustamante matter.

Our coverage of the county’s managed health care plan for the poor and elderly, known as CalOptima, preceded several grand jury investigations as well as an ongoing probe by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

Special Voice of OC investigations also have shed light on issues, such as the county’s experiment with privatizing paramedic response, special education access battles, county workplace harassment issues, regional water districts, San Onofre’s nuclear power station and the push for recognition of Harvey Milk Day in Orange County.

Help us continue this type of journalism and diversify our donor base by visiting our “Donate Now” page.

— THE EDITORS

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