Barbara Venezia joins Voice of OC board of directors

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 adds reporter to cover south Orange County

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.”

Voice of OC brings families together through healthy communities coverage

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.

Civic engagement training provided by Voice of OC

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.”

Summer interns welcomed at Voice of OC

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.

Voice of OC Named Top News Site in Southern California

The Los Angeles Press Club awarded Voice of OC the best news website in Southern California Sunday night. A panel of national judges applauded the website’s polished design, hard news and strong photography. “Clean yet newsy front page. Plentiful pictures but not so many or so large they distract from the articles. The author profile pages were useful; they contained not just the author’s various stories but multiple ways to contact and follow reporters.”

New photographer joins the Voice of OC team

Voice of OC has brought on Jeff Antenore as a contributing photographer. Antenore holds a master of science degree in photojournalism from Boston University and a bachelor of arts degree in communications and political science from UCLA. He also contributes and has contributed to the Orange County Register, PR Newswire, Getty Images, Patch.com, Action Sports Photography, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Homes for Our Troops and many other clients. Antenore will work as a contributing photographer on the Voice of OC news team. You can see some of his first work here:

Memorial service in homeless encampment remembers 18-year-old woman

Sheriff’s Sergeant Says He Ended Jailhouse Notes on Informants Without Reading Them

Homelessness and Poverty Keep Growing in Orange County, Studies Find

OC Veterans Cemetery: Strawberry Fields Forever?

Norberto Santana, Jr., speaks at press summit for California Newspaper Publisher’s Association

The California Newspaper Publisher’s Association hosted a press summit today, inviting Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr.

Santana joined Christina Shih of Voice of San Diego in talking with moderator Jocelyn Dong of Palo Alto Weekly. Responding to a question about reconciling donor interests with professional news reporting, Santana said doing the right thing monetizes. “Real news reporting must be the umpire between divergent interests, not a cheerleader. Our donors understand and support this,” Santana said.

OC Press Club honors Voice of OC with three awards

Voice of OC took home three awards from the OC Press Club awards contest held May 15. David McQuay Award for Best Columnist
Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr., was awarded the David McQuay Award for Best Columnist. He was awarded for this series of columns on homelessness:

Focus for Santa Ana Civic Center Should be People Not Buildings
County Supervisors Making Progress on Homelessness
Civic Center Homeless Camp Now Keeping People from Jury Duty
Labor Day Reminds Us Government is Fueled by People Not Politicians
Doing the Right Thing

Best Investigative Story
Civic Editor Tracy Wood was awarded third place for Best Investigative Story. She was awarded for ‘Behested Payments’ Add Another Layer of Money in Politics. Best Public Affairs Story
Reporter Nick Gerda was awarded second place for Best Public Affairs story. He was awarded for O.C.’s Rise in Suicides Largest Among Major U.S. Counties.

Voice of OC Publisher Discusses Civic Engagement with Local Club

The Democratic Club of West Orange County was the latest of several local organizations to host Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr.

The civic group meetings are part of a big push by Voice of OC to reach out to civic group meetings to create a more engaged local citizenry across all interests and political groups. “Everything is implemented at the local level and that’s where local communities can shape their own futures, no matter who is president or governor or even supervisor,” Santana said.