Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. was recently honored by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the County’s 500 most influential leaders and is included in the OC 500 Directory of Influence. Santana was particularly recognized for his successful lawsuit under the California Public Records Act against the County of Orange and his award by the OC Press Club as best columnist in 2017. Honorees come from every aspect of the community from activists to educators and religious leaders to a variety of industries such as professional services, technology, manufacturing, development and finance. Voice of OC’s Chairman, also an OC 500 honoree, Wylie Aitken said, “Under Norberto’s
leadership, Voice of OC has become the definitive source for important stories on county and local government. He demands his reporters present a fair picture of the facts in the news stories, and he provides insightful opinion in his columns.
To get a special match this week, interested donors can select to donate to Voice of OC tomorrow, Giving Tuesday, a global giving day for charitable donations, now in its sixth year and held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Powered by social media, Giving Tuesday has become a platform for nonprofits around the world to share their missions and for community members to share support for their local nonprofits. On Giving Tuesday, November 28, nonprofit newsrooms across America will also celebrate Giving News Day and use the hashtag #GivingNewsDay to promote the support of nonprofit news organizations. Any individual donation up to $1,000 to Voice of OC on Giving Tuesday this year also will be doubled by NewsMatch, a campaign to encourage support for nonprofit newsrooms.
Voice of OC launched its annual, year-end giving campaign this month, with the aim of
continuing to expand the newsroom with a goal of raising $60,000 by Dec. 31. In partnership with a national effort to fundraise for nonprofit newsrooms, #NewsMatch,
which is matching individual contributions to select newsrooms up to $1,000 until Dec. 31, Voice of OC will be advertising for the campaign on its website and social media pages. Over the next few weeks, Voice of OC staff will continue to remind readers about our
mission, your civic impact when informed by local news in real time as well as
opportunities for residents to continue engaging their local government through the Voc
Op-ed forum and other programs such as civic training.
Voice of OC has added a deputy digital editor to its team, helping further enhance the
newsroom’s social media, website, marketing and graphics efforts. Gabrielle Colón has
joined the staff, helping to manage Voice of OC’s social media accounts, website, and
year-end fundraising drive. Colón first started at Voice of OC as an intern in the summer of 2017, working with
Digital Editor Sonya Quick and bringing the site’s events calendar page back to life. “Gaby has great leadership qualities, creativity and focus, in addition to a great analytic
mind and ability to work under deadline. She gets things done.
Voice of OC has been selected as a participating member in this year’s NewsMatch fundraising drive in which the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Democracy Fund will match donations to nonprofit news organizations. The fundraising match runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 this year and includes a dollar-for-dollar match on donations from individuals to Voice of OC up to $1,000. Donations will be matched up to a total of $28,000.
Barbara Venezia has joined the Voice of OC board of directors bringing her energy and deep knowledge of Orange County to the team. “Beyond being an inspiring person, Barbara is an Orange County media leader who has consistently been out front innovating as a columnist for the past decade,” says Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr.
“She believes passionately in the power of local reporting and has worked as an energetic fundraiser for a series of important non-profits across Orange County whose missions have been enhanced because of her tireless efforts. We are truly lucky to have earned her support.” Venezia is a journalist, author, producer and podcast host. She started her media career in Orange County as a “professional stirrer” on the comedy cooking show, “At Home on the Range” along with co-star John Crean.
Voice of OC has added another reporter to its news team. Spencer Custodio will cover south Orange County and Fullerton for the non-profit news agency. Previously, he worked as one of Voice of OC’s first interns starting in 2010, covering Fullerton and general assignment stories. “Our readers have been telling us that South County needs more accountability coverage and Spencer is there to help,” says Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. “He’s a great talent, home grown with a great ear for listening and a great eye for detail. I’m looking forward to seeing what he digs up.”
In August 2015 Amy DePaul wrote about new approaches to helping the homeless for Voice of OC. “The approach, dubbed “housing first,” focuses on placing people a home, and then offering the psychiatric and logistical services that would help them improve their health and well-being,” DePaul wrote. Her article featured Donald Meade, a once drug-addicted man who battled cancer and chronic heart problems while living on and off in downtown Santa Ana’s Civic Center, along with hundreds of other homeless people. DePaul shared how Meade, thanks to the Illumination Foundation, had been placed in a one-bedroom apartment in Fullerton and was being aided through recovery. Flash forward to April 2017.
Active Orange County residents were invited to the Voice of OC newsroom to engage in editorial writing training as part of the Santa Ana Media Summit. Santana also gave the opening keynote address titled, “John the Debate.” Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr., guided the audience in understanding the opportunity presented by writing columns. “It’s when you stay silent and in the corner that you are in harm’s way,” Santana said. “Writing allows you to take your idea and put it to the city.”
Voice of OC recently welcomed an energetic team of interns for the summer. Gabrielle Colón, Phi Do and Jose Ochoa were selected from a pool of applicants for Voice of OC’s summer internship period. Colón will work in digital media, Do on data reporting and infographics and Ochoa on reporting and photography. Applications are currently being accepted for the fall Voice of OC internship period. CLICK HERE to learn more.