Voice of OC Reporter Spencer Custodio is one of the top five online journalists of the year in Southern California in the award finalists announced by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Custodio’s nomination is one of 17 finalist entries for Voice of OC in the Southern California awards contest — ahead of last year’s 10 finalists. Voice of OC is a finalist in categories including investigations, columnists, news reporting, arts reporting, photography, infographics, website design and features.

Voice of OC’s tremendous achievements are thanks to its diverse and rapidly group of donors from across Orange County, which recently grew to more than 2,000 individuals.

Custodio is also a finalist for his detailed and persistent reporting on the public land negotiations over Angels Stadium and homelessness.

“We are so proud to see Spencer recognized by the LA Press Club,” said Voice of OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. who won 1st place as Online Journalist of the Year in 2018, followed by VOC Reporter Nick Gerda in 2019.

“He is tireless in his pursuit of journalism: questioning all public officials, pushing for city dealings to be made public and uncovering the truth. His daily stories — particularly on the Angel Stadium negotiations — dragged the deal into the public light for city residents to understand and engage around the issue. He’s also been there for residents asking the tough questions on veterans cemetery plans, housing options for homeless people and Orange County Fire Authority contracts.”

Remember, this award-winning work at Voice of OC comes to you free-of-charge, with no advertising disrupting the experience. But that also means we rely on your support to sustain and expand our efforts — please become a monthly donor today.

This year’s LA Press Club finalist entries:

  • Spencer Custodio is one of five people lauded for Online Journalists of the Year.
  • In Investigative, Custodio is nominated for “Anaheim Leaders to Keep Public Out of the Loop on Stadium Meetings with Angels.”
  • In General News, Custodio is nominated for the story “Angels Make $100 Million a Year at Stadium While Anaheim Barely Gets a Slice” and for a story with Nick Gerda “Federal Judge Carter Calls OC’s Skyrocketing Homeless Deaths a ‘Public Health Crisis.’”
  • In Government & Politics News Gerda is nominated for “OC Moves Millions from Health Agency to Help Cover Sheriff Overruns”
  • In Columnists Norberto Santana, Jr. is nominated for his work on “The Pesky Public.”
  • In Political Commentary Santana is also nominated for his work “Quick Housing Options Needed to Spur OC Homelessness Efforts.”
  • In Photo Essays, Julie Leopo is nominated for her work “Two Sides of a Mirror: Santa Ana and Michoacán.”
  • In News Photography, Leopo is nominated for her photo accompanying the story “Newly Elected Westminster Councilman Clases With Peers Over Ethics and Transparency.”
  • In Music & Theater News Feature Paul Hodgins is nominated for “After 40 Years of Humbugging, O.C.’s Scrooge is Hanging Up His Top Hat” and Timothy Mangan is nominated for “Florence Price Rightfully Finds Her Place Next to Gershwin with the Pacific Symphony.”
  • In Lifestyle Feature, Richard Chang is nominated for “Little Saigon Night Market Blossoms Under the Summer Stars.”
  • In Music & Theater Entertainment Commentary Hodgins was nominated for “Something’s Missing from OC’s Major Stages: Hispanics” and Peter Lefevre’s “Does Opera Have a Future in Orange County.”
  • In Infographics Sonya Quick is nominated for a graphic on the story “Angels Make $100 Million a Year at Stadium While Anaheim Barely Gets a Slice” and a graphic by Quick and Nick Gerda on the story “OC Sheriff vs. Health & Social Services: Supervisors’ Spending Priorities.”
  • In News Website Design, Quick is nominated for the Voice of OC website.

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.