Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter, serving as founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC, overseeing newsroom, engagement and fundraising operations.
He’s also an award-winning columnist, focusing his efforts on First Amendment issues and local government, being recognized multiple years by the Orange County Press Club as the region’s best columnist.
The LA Press Club has named him a Journalist of the Year (2018) and the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized him as a “Distinguished Journalist.” The California Chicano News Media Association has honored him with a lifetime achievement award and the national News Leaders Association has recognized him for his commitment to diverse staffing and coverage.
Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the national trade group for nonprofit newsrooms, the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also has served on boards of the national nonprofit advocating investigative journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the California First Amendment advocacy group, CalAware.
In addition to journalism, Santana also teaches public affairs and investigative journalism as an adjunct faculty professor at Chapman University.
Before founding Voice of OC in 2009, Santana was a lead investigative reporter for the Orange County Register, focusing on county government. He spent nearly two decades covering local governments across Southern California, previously as a staff writer at the San Diego Union Tribune and San Bernardino County Sun.
Santana began his journalistic career as an apprentice reporter with Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. covering daily floor action in the U.S. Congress and followed that up with a stint covering the territorial Senate for the U.S. Virgin Islands Daily News.
Languages spoken: English and Spanish
Areas of expertise: Orange County, southern California, investigations, politics, elections, government transparency, Congress, Cuba, Caribbean, Latin America, local government, civic education and reporting education.
Areas of Expertise