The Garden Grove Chamber Public Affairs committee recently invited Norberto Santana, Jr. to be the keynote speaker at their monthly breakfast meeting.  In his presentation Santana described the forces behind the rapid decline in local newspapers, particularly reporting on civic news. Nonprofit news, like Voice of OC is the new model that is best suited to keeping local residents informed with “actionable intelligence on local government.”

Santana cited a recent study that demonstrated a correlation that indicates when cities are not monitored by local news, public spending goes up precipitously. Unfortunately, the decline of local news has left for-profit news agencies at the mercy of advertisers who can significantly influence what does and does not get covered. Consequently, news has become more of an entertainment medium than a trusted source of information.

For Chamber members, the value of nonprofit, nonpartisan news rang true.

Dr. Leslie Malo, chair of the group commented that by his presentation, he couldn’t tell if Santana was Democrat or Republican – and that is a good thing.

“I’m glad that I don’t know where he stands politically, but when I read Voice of OC’s mission statement to deliver fair and focused journalism, I realized that this is exactly what a professional news organization is supposed to be.”

Santana is available to speak to community groups on weekdays in Orange County. For more information or to schedule a speaking engagement, please contact admin@voiceofoc.org.

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