Spencer Custodio is Voice of OC’s new Civic Editor.
Custodio has a decade of local reporting experience and was recently named one of Southern California’s top online journalists by independent judges.
“Spencer is a tremendous journalist who really understands that essential journalism is vital to connect people to their civic life,” says Voice of OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana, Jr. “Spencer is able to make strategic decisions in a fast-paced and intense news cycle with a collaborative spirit and a focus on the community.”
Custodio was one of Voice of OC’s first reporting interns back in 2010. Since then he has made a name for himself as one of the county’s lead investigative reporters. Custodio’s notable work includes:
- Leading on daily COVID-19 coverage that has pushed beyond the norm to translate complex data trends, compel local officials towards more transparency and answer readers’ most troubling questions. This included winning first place in the region and also first place in OC for online investigations for a series on “The downplaying of Orange County’s Coronavirus Numbers.”
- Publishing persistent articles on Angel Stadium negotiations that dragged the deal into the public light for city residents to understand and engage around the issue.
- Following the ongoing fight over where and how to build a veterans cemetery in Orange County.
- Examining the Joe Felz election night car crash that led to a DUI charge.
Custodio became a full-time reporter with Voice in 2015 following his graduation from Cal State Fullerton with extensive education in Constitutional law, public policy, economics and international law. He worked as news editor at the student newspaper, The Daily Titan, in his last semester.
Previously, Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. and Vik Jolly filled in as civic editor following the passing of Tracy Wood. Jolly, who works full-time in Chapman University’s journalism department, will focus his time at Voice of OC as editor of the Collegiate News Service.
Wood led Voice as civic editor for several years. She was a legendary journalist, one of the first female combat correspondents in Vietnam, part of a Pultizer Prize-winning team at the LA Times and a distinguished reporter and editor.
Wood was best known within Voice of OC for acting as the champion of the public interest and pushing on local elected leaders to be more transparent.
In Custodio’s decade of experience so far he has been trained by Wood and Santana in doing just that. And now he’ll be sharing that knowledge as a Voice of OC leader.