This story first appeared in inewsource’s weekend newsletter. Sign up for it here.

One thing our newsroom really prides itself on is getting to teach the next generation of journalists about in-depth, investigative reporting. It’s why we couldn’t be more excited to introduce our newest intern, Mohamed Al Elew. Mohamed is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University of California San Diego. As an inewsource intern, he has already used his skills in sorting through data for an upcoming story reporter Alain Stephens is working on. Here’s a little more about Mohamed:

Mohamed Al Elew

inewsource intern Mohamed Al Elew. (Megan Wood/inewsource).

How can journalism and computer science work together?
I believe the skillset you build as a computer scientist is applicable in almost any field, but my bright peers often end up in work serving ads or improving enterprise tools. Whereas journalism has a dedication to the moral values of transparency and truth. Stories shape our understanding of reality, and our world needs more people ready to share it no matter what they uncover.

You’re the editor-in-chief of the campus paper, The Triton. Any favorite projects you’ve worked on there?
As a news staffer at The Triton, I started the student government beat. Students at UCSD usually don’t understand what student government does, if anything. But last year, I worked diligently to cover mismanagement of students fees, mass resignations and changes to services that students depend on. In my previous years at UCSD, information about student government was too decentralized for everyday students to be informed. I believe The Triton has changed that.

What do you hope to learn during your internship?
After my three months at inewsource, I want to be better at sifting between the signal and noise. Both journalism and data science require a level of domain expertise to discern between what is a valuable trend or an important story. Although I plan to continue a career in journalism, I believe the skepticism and the habit of asking why something is important and relevant is valuable to all pursuits.

  • Get The Weekender.
    Once a week, every Saturday morning.

Our favorite tweet of the week

Nothing brightens our day more than when you use our databases. But this week, one of our readers took it to the next level.

Adam Mclane (@mclanea) used our city campaign finance tool to follow the money in the fight between the SoccerCity and SDSU West stadium initiatives in Mission Valley.

Wait, it gets better. Not only did he use our data to find out who is donating and how much, but he made his own graphic with the data. Bravo, Adam!

Valley Center horse nonprofit remains open

The nonprofit HiCaliber Horse Rescue announced in April that it was voluntarily shutting down on June 30.

That date has come and gone, and the 16-acre ranch remains open and continues to solicit donations on its Facebook page from supporters.

HiCaliber’s founder said in a Facebook video she’s tried moving the rescue but no property will rent to her. She blamed the critics of her nonprofit:

“Unfortunately our critics who worked hard to shut us down have called and reached out to every property manager and Realtor company that they could get their hands on and sent photos of us and said … don’t rent to these people. They’re horrible. They’ll destroy your place.”

Read the latest HiCaliber update…

Read the first story in the HiCaliber investigation…

Cyber security tools to keep you safe

On Wednesday, the Port of San Diego experienced a “serious cybersecurity incident” that affected its technology systems and ability to process park permits, records requests and other business services.

It’s a tough reminder that certain online habits can leave users vulnerable to hacking, tracking or identity theft. Connecting to the nearest public Wi-Fi network, opening the wrong email link or choosing a simple password for an Amazon account can yield disastrous consequences.

Brad Racino and Brandon Quester put together a handy list of free tools and techniques to stay safe (and sane) online.

Check out the list here…


Sep. 22, 2018 – Earl McNeil, kindergarten vaccination rates, “Doomsday and the Pentagon Papers.”

Sept. 15, 2018 – Q&A with Lorie Hearn, inewsource reporting impacts Sweetwater school district, campaign finance, HiCaliber.

Sept. 8, 2018 – Breaking down the gas tax repeal initiative, new database, trouble in Sweetwater.

Sept. 1, 2018 – Q&A with Ashley Rodriguez, Answering your questions about local government agencies.


We’ll let you know when big things happen.

Shyla Nott was the digital content manager at inewsource. While at her role, she ran the website, social media accounts, and curated The Weekender newsletter. She came to inewsource by way of the Midwest where she was the producer for All Sides with Ann Fisher, a daily live public-affairs talk show at...