Voice of San Diego

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Type daily news website, Monday through Saturday
Format online
Owner(s) nonprofit
Editor Scott Lewis (CEO), Sara Libby (managing editor)
Founded 2005
Headquarters San Diego, California  United States
Website voiceofsandiego.org

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit news organization focused on issues affecting the San Diego region.

The organization's mission is to "To consistently deliver ground-breaking investigative journalism for the San Diego region. To increase civic participation by giving residents the knowledge and in-depth analysis necessary to become advocates for good government and social progress."[1]


Voice of San Diego is an online daily founded on Feb. 9, 2005 by Buzz Woolley and Neil Morgan, and run by CEO Scott Lewis. The website began with a staff of four, and has expanded to a paid staff of 11.[citation needed] It relies on a funding mix of foundation grants, member donations, advertising and media partnerships.

The website focuses largely on local quality-of-life issues.[citation needed] It began primarily as a reporting source on local government and politics, and has slowly grown to include coverage of education, development and neighborhoods. In addition to its news stories, it also publishes fact-based columns, contributions from community members, and a stable of regular blogs. The site does not try to be a traditional newspaper; rather, it focuses on a specific number of issues and attempts to bring them great depth.[2]

The site updates regularly throughout the day with news and analysis.


Voice of San Diego has been mentioned as a model[3][4] to help journalism adapt to new technologies, reader behavior and changing business models. It has been used as a model for the MinnPost in Minneapolis, the Jacksonville Observer, the St. Louis Beacon, and other similar endeavors being undertaken around the country.[citation needed] Voice of San Diegostaff members speak frequently on its model and the future of journalism.[citation needed]

In 2011, the magazine Fast Company named Voice of San Diego as the California innovation leader providing "bold ideas that promise to enrich our cities and economies" for its "United States of Innovation" section.[5]

Voice of San Diego's staff has also garnered awards for its journalism.

Nationally, in 2007, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded Voice of San Diego's Andrew Donohue its Sigma Delta Chi Award for online investigative reporting for "Affordable No More," an article about a San Diego affordable housing agency. In 2008, Will Carless, Rob Davis and Donohue also won the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. award for investigations into conflicts of interest at the city of San Diego's redevelopment agencies. Also in 2008, Emily Alpert received an award from the Education Writers Association for an article about the track record of a charter school finance official, called "The School Guru Who Promised Rescue and Brought Ruin." The Online News Association recognized Alpert in 2010 for Online Topical Reporting/Blogging, and the site in 2011 for General Excellence in Online Journalism.

Staff writer Will Carless' three-part special report, "The Forbidden City" won the Best of Show award at the 2006 San Diego Press Club and 2007 San Diego Society of Professional Journalists awards. To compose the piece, Carless spent a week living inside a remote migrant camp.

Media coverage[edit]

In February 2008, Voice of San Diego was profiled for Christian Science Monitor. The article called Voice of San Diego's coverage "earnest and serious," "a ray of hope for a troubled industry," and characterized it as taking "on the powerful with the panache of a scrappy big-city paper."[6] The writer, Randy Dotinga, is now a contributor at Voice of San Diego.[7]

In November 2008, New York Times media writer Richard Pérez-Peña profiled Voice of San Diego and more generally, the nonprofit journalism model. In the article, Pérez-Peña characterized news organizations like Voice of San Diego as "A new kind of Web-based news operation...offering a brand of serious, original reporting by professional journalists...Their news coverage and hard-digging investigative reporting stand out in an Internet landscape long dominated by partisan commentary, gossip, vitriol and citizen journalism posted by unpaid amateurs."[8]


  1. ^ "Voice of San Diego - About Us". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Behind the Beacon: Frequently Asked Questions About VOSD (and Their Answers!)". voiceofsandiego.org. June 22, 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Gurwitt, Rob (December 2006). "Blackout: Big-city newspapers aren't telling citizens the things they need to know.". Governing.org. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Snedeker, Lisa (Sep 12, 2007). "The emerging online-only local paper". Media Life Magazine. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Blackout: United States of Innovation". Fast Company. May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Dotinga, Randy (February 12, 2008). "Nonprofit journalism on the rise". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Scott (May 1, 2008). "Some Notes". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  8. ^ PÉREZ-PEÑA, RICHARD (November 17, 2008). "Web Sites That Dig for News Rise as Watchdogs". New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 

External links[edit]

  • Nieman Journalism Lab. "Voice of San Diego". Encyclo: an encyclopedia of the future of news. Retrieved 1 April 2012.