The Weekender for June 23, 2018

The Weekender for June 23, 2018

It’s not every day we get to speak to a national audience. But this week we did.

Our eight-minute documentary about a couple from Montana who invested their life savings into a “miracle” diabetes treatment aired on the PBS NewsHour.

(If you missed it, here’s the link.)

This documentary took a ton of work. What aired Tuesday was the culmination of weeks and weeks of interviewing, researching, writing, producing, editing, re-editing, fact-checking, phone calls with lawyers and so much more.

This was far from a fast process, and it certainly was not a one-person job. Most of our news staff contributed in some way to the effort..

And you are part of our newsroom, too. Seriously.

Your support of in-depth journalism enables us to take on major stories and get them in front of a national audience. Thank you so, so much.

– Shyla Nott, inewsource

We made it on the PBS NewsHour

Our mini-documentary about Trina Health, a national network of diabetes treatment clinics, made it to the PBS NewsHour.

Senior healthcare reporter Cheryl Clark told the story of a couple from rural Montana who believed in the Trina treatment and said they invested $750,000 in opening their own clinic, in part so the husband could receive the diabetes treatment..

Trina’s founder has since been arrested on federal public corruption charges in Alabama where the treatments also were offered.

This documentary is the culmination of months of reporting on the promises of the Trina treatment and the medical experts who debunk it. Cheryl talked with more than 100 people from New York to Miami and from rural Mississippi to San Diego about Trina Health, which touts its insulin infusion therapy as “miraculous.”

Click here for the online stories in her investigative series.

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DA gets San Ysidro school audit

As promised, the district attorney received a scathing audit regarding questionable spending at the San Ysidro School District.

Among the audit’s findings: The district’s former superintendent and his top deputy were overpaid almost $324,000 for life insurance and vacation days.

The district attorney rarely confirms an investigation, but in a statement to reporter Leonardo Castañeda, a spokesman said the office “welcomes any information about suspected public corruption.”

‘Unprecedented’ outside money

Ron Roberts has served more than two decades as county supervisor for District 4, which was once dominated by Republican voters. Now he’s termed out, and Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in the district.

Obviously, the stakes for Roberts’ seat are high. And it showed in the primary.

Outside groups spent $1.2 million in the race. The five candidates competing for the November runoff spent another $1.4 million, with Nathan Fletcher and Bonnie Dumanis advancing to the November election.

Our homepage gets a facelift

If you visited our homepage recently, then you probably saw we changed up the look. We know that many of you visit our site on mobile devices, and we wanted to enhance that experience because, let’s be honest, it needed some attention. This is just a temporary fix until we have enough resources for a complete website redesign.

Until then, we welcome your feedback on what you’d like to see in the future. Feel free to send me an email at shylanott@inewsource.org.

Search outside spending in San Diego County 2018 election

This election season we’ve compiled the county’s campaign finance reports and put them into an easily searchable database that includes money raised and spent by campaigns since January 2017.

It allows you to search contributions, expenditures, loans and debts. That means it includes the cash records for candidates running for the Board of Supervisors, district attorney, sheriff, school boards and special districts.

In the community…

Senior reporter Brad Racino was a panelist Thursday night for an event called “Cultivating News Through Community,” hosted by the San Diego chapter of the Online News Association.

Editors from The San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego and NBC 7/Telemundo also participated, and the discussion focused on how to improve relationships between journalists and the communities they serve – especially underserved communities.

One major topic of interest from audience members was how news organizations, with such limited resources, can adequately cover topics both big and small in underserved areas. Another topic focused on youth education and how reporters may be able to teach their skill sets – such as fact-checking, writing, photography or editing – to kids.

At inewsource, we’ve always made “empowering the next generation of journalists” a core part of our mission, by speaking to classrooms and hiring (and paying!) interns. But as this event showed, there’s a lot more we can do, and we look forward to exploring the possibilities.

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We'll let you know when big things happen.

About Shyla Nott:

Shyla Nott
Shyla Nott is a social media web producer for inewsource. To contact her with tips, suggestions or corrections, please email shylanott [at] inewsource [dot] org.