CONTENTS: Engagement | Community Opinion | Forums

Engagement

Voice of OC is the one place where different points of view can all have their say. We encourage dialogue on any topic of interest in Orange County. This news agency serves Orange County residents like a 21st century public square, we are an open forum to express yourself coherently and respectfully which is the first step in civic engagement.

Our community opinion pages reach, on average, 100,000 individuals who influence or make important decisions in your community.

We welcome all sides. Have at it. We want to hear from all points of view.


Community Opinion

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices on civic matters.

If you want to submit a community opinion piece read these guidelines and then send an email to opinions@voiceofoc.org.

Be credible. Check your facts.

Let our readers know what your call to action or issue is. Be straightforward. Be civil. Tell us what you’re about. If that involves holding an agency or official accountable, aka: calling them out, feel free to do so. Keep in mind that this space is not about attacking others.

Opinions expressed in community opinions belong to the authors and not the Voice of OC.

Length: Generally we ask for 750 to 1,000 words.

Links: Include links to relevant documents.

Photos: Enhance social media sharing by including a front page photo, your own photo, maps or other data. Please include captions and credits. You must have the right to republish included images.

Excerpt: Include an excerpt (50 word maximum); a short synopsis of what your piece is about. The excerpt should give the reader a reason to read your community opinion.

Headline: Write a headline.

Bio: Include the author’s first and last name, town of residence and a brief biography (1-2 sentences), including affiliations with lobbying, special interest groups, or political parties if applicable.

Writing: AVOID USING ALL CAPS. It’s the equivalent of shouting.

After Publication: Once your community opinion piece is published share your voice through social media platforms.

Timing: Let us know if your issue is time sensitive.  Include related events or ways to get involved.


Forums


Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Election Debates

Voice of OC is at the front and center of election debates and forums all across Orange County throughout the year and particularly each election season. Voice of OC Publisher Norberto Santana, Jr. has moderated candidate debates for open positions from Orange County District Attorney to Irvine City Council candidates to Santa Ana Unified School District elected board seats.

Civic Training

We believe so strongly in getting the public engaged that we offer educational outreach to community groups and gatherings of citizens. These programs inform on a host of topics including: how local government works, the process for seeking public documents, the law around open government meetings, how news media works and how to express ideas in community opinion pieces.

Election Debates

Our reporters and editors routinely speak, answer questions and present on panels to offer advice and guidance to developing young journalists and talented professionals at colleges across Orange County and at conferences across the nation. In addition, Voice of OC staff teach part-time in Chapman University’s journalism program and offer internship opportunities.

Credit: JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Media Presentations

Our work offers a unique and rich level of depth and insight into public policy and community issues — which often turns into our reporters and editors offering insights in other media outlets. Our staff has offered insight in everything from a pre-election night forum with a New York Times editor, appearing on KPCC radio and in Feet to the Fire forums on local politics.