Voice of OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. was a featured speaker on the PBS “Sustaining US” episode featuring southern California journalists and hosted by David Nazar.

The discussion was centered around the state of news, including questions of bias in the media and what news agencies must do to regain the public trust. Panelists also dove into media issues including a lack of diversity in newsrooms, the implications of struggling for-profit news business models.

The panel included Santana; Angela Williamson, host of Everybody with Angela Williamson; Adam Elmahrek, investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times; Rick Reiff, editor-at-large for the OC Business Journal; Jim Righeimer, conservative host for AM 870 The Answer; and Elizabeth Espinosa, executive director of communications for Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Santana’s comments centered around the role journalists need to play in the community: reflecting and connecting local residents with their civic life while aggressively covering local government and agencies.

“The challenge we face is not so much bias but the fact that news has become an entertainment vehicle,” Santana said. “In nonprofit media, for example, we’ve tried to turn that on its head and use news as an engagement product.”

Santana also discussed the inherit benefit of nonprofit news where journalists can focus on news that drives engagement, rather than aiming to entertain and bring in more page views to drive advertising revenue. Santana said that news agencies cannot forget a central tenet of journalism: to be a check on the government.

Watch the video below, or watch to view on YouTube.

YouTube video

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.