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Key links:
Primary website:
voiceofsandiego.com
Primary Twitter:
@voiceofsandiego

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit online news organization that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting on civic issues.

The site was founded in 2005 by venture capitalist Buzz Woolley and veteran San Diego journalist Neil Morgan, funded by $355,000 of Woolley’s own money as a way to fill what they saw a gap in local government reporting.

Its annual budget is about $1 million, and it has about 10 newsroom employees, though it laid off four employees in December 2011. About 10 percent of the site’s revenues come from advertising, with the majority coming from individual donations, foundations (including the Knight Foundation) and Woolley’s funding. As of September 2009, Woolley had provided the site with $1.3 million of the total $3.5 million in donations over five years. Voice of San Diego also makes some money from syndicating its content and from memberships. In 2014, it received a $1.2 million joint grant with MinnPost from the Knight Foundation to improve attraction and retention of members.

Voice of San Diego has a relatively modest but steadily growing web audience, with just fewer than 100,000 unique visitors per month as of late 2009. The organization has won numerous journalism awards, and its investigations have forced several city leaders to step down.

The site was founded on the principle of civic engagement, and it has worked to encourage online discussion, making civic participation half of its two-part mission and hiring its first engagement editor in 2010.

Voice of San Diego also emphasizes explanatory journalism, producing regular “explainers” and factchecking features.

It launched a redesign in 2013 with an emphasis on multi-story narratives and social interaction among users.

Voice of San Diego’s Scott Lewis talks about the value of explainers:

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
March 31, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
A club that will have me as a member: Voice of San Diego and MinnPost are building out their membership models — About 300 people filled an event space in San Diego a couple weeks ago to take part in a discussion sponsored by Voice of San Diego on innovations with origins in the area. The assembled crowd served as a physical repres...
Feb. 13, 2014 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of measuring the real impact of news — Hello there! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Tweet Button. What if you could tap me and unlock a brand new source of funding for startup news sources of all kinds? What if, even better, you the reader could tap...
Jan. 28, 2014 / Justin Ellis
Knight Foundation launches $1 million fund to help nonprofit news get closer to sustainability — You could think of it as a sort of long-term tough love. Lots of nonprofit news organizations were started with seed money from the Knight Foundation. Now, Knight wants to help them get a step closer to operating under t...
Nov. 1, 2013 / Justin Ellis
What does sustainability look like in nonprofit journalism? — What, exactly, does a healthy nonprofit news site look like? If you’re a national site like ProPublica, is the metric winning major awards and changing policy through your reporting? If you’re a state-focused...
July 24, 2013 / Caroline O'Donovan
Journalists and their funders: Whose job is it to measure impact, and how should it be done? — Chuck Lewis didn’t mean to become the Yoda of nonprofit journalism — it just sort of happened that way. He was a reporter for decades before founding his first nonprofit, the Center for Public Integrity, in 1996,...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 3, 2014.
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American Public Media is the second-largest producer and distributor of public radio in the United States, behind NPR, and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations. APM, based in St. Paul, Minn., produces national programs including A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace. The company owns and operates the statewide Minnesota Public Radio network and…

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