Federal Judge Recognizes Voice of OC Homelessness News Coverage

“Where’s Voice of OC?”

That's what U.S. District Judge David O. Carter asked at this morning's latest federal hearing in Santa Ana on the homelessness crisis in Orange County. Our reporter Nick Gerda raised his hand halfway from the audience. Judge Carter said to Gerda, “Thank you for being here.”

Carter then turned to homeless advocates and said “(Voice of OC) will solve it...the notoriety will let good people step up (and) solve it.”

The moment captured the essence of what makes Voice of OC an essential part of civic engagement in Orange County. Covering a story such as the homeless communities living in the riverbed and the surrounding community cannot be done by dropping in once a month or once a week. Indeed, our newsroom has penned nearly a dozen stories on the crisis in recent weeks.

Voice of OC Publisher Comments on Los Angeles Times Ownership Change

Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr., was asked to comment on the new ownership of the Los Angeles Times. He was one of several prominent people in Southern California identified by Southern California Public Radio. "It’s a very important thing for the owner to be a person of color. The news industry is one of the least diverse industries anywhere, and that impacts coverage. And a person of color at the top understands that.

Norberto Santana, Jr., Shares Insights on O.C. Congressional Races on KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle

Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr., shared his insights on the 2018 congressional races in Orange County on today's KPCC's AirTalk with Larry Mantle. The discussion (available to listen to online) centered around the recent withdrawal from the mid-term elections by incumbents Darrell Issa (49th district) and Ed Royce (39th district). Jessica Taylor of NPR, Sean Walsh of Wilson Walsh Consulting and Chris Megerian of the Los Angeles Times also joined the roundtable. "Orange County congressional races are in play like never before," says Santana, Jr. "It's certainly a reflection of the changing face of Orange County and we're excited to go deep dive all year long to give residents the nonpartisan news and information they need to make critical choices about protecting their quality of life."

Norberto Santana Jr. honored by OC Business Journal as one of 2017’s 500 most influential leaders

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.

Giving Tuesday Turns into Giving News Day for Voice of OC

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 launches year-end giving campaign

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 Adds Deputy Digital Editor

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.

NewsMatch fundraising match selects Voice of OC as participating organization

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 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."