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

With the media once again in the headlines (CNN vs. the White House), it made sense that we were in the community this week trumpeting the essential role journalists play in challenging government power.

Lorie Hearn was part of a discussion about the importance of the First Amendment, and Brad Racino helped lead a talk about how to tell the difference between news that’s fake and the real thing.

Thanks for reading – and enjoy your weekend!

Next Saturday, The Weekender will go on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday.

– Shyla Nott

The First Amendment

inewsource Executive Director and Editor Lorie Hearn joined in a conversation with more than 100 attorneys about the First Amendment at a quarterly meeting of the local Association of Business Trial Lawyers in downtown San Diego. The discussion spanned public access issues over time, from the days of the Pentagon Papers to today.

Judge Margaret McKeown of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals provided the legal perspective, and author and UCSD professor emeritus Sam Popkin recalled going to jail for refusing to name names in a grand jury investigation into distribution of the famous top secret papers chronicling the history of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The story of Popkin, then a Harvard scholar, was a fascinating case of a researcher refusing to reveal sources, much as journalists rigorously stand by their sources.

Popkin was a longtime friend of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other newspapers. The publication of the papers in 1971 resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared the importance of the media in “serv(ing) the governed, not the governors.”

Ellsberg visited San Diego State University last month for a sold-out interview about the Pentagon Papers and about his most recent book on potentially catastrophic nuclear armaments, called The Doomsday Machine.

inewsource collaborated on that event with SDSU by filming and editing that presentation. You can view the full video here.

A favor to ask

This month – the month of giving thanks – we’re participating in an incredible match campaign that will double any contribution, up to $1,000.

As a nonprofit news organization, inewsource is dedicated to improving our quality of life by digging into the issues that mean the most to you. We keep an eye on government agencies, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, people and institutions charged with serving the public. Our investigative reporting is a service aimed at educating and improving your communities. But we can’t continue that mission without your support.

Will you make a contribution this month in support of our service to deliver in-depth, investigative reporting?

✔️ $1 = $2
✔️ $25 = $50
✔️ $100 = $200
✔️ $500 = $1,000

Every dollar makes a huge impact on our newsroom. Give this month to double your impact! Click here to donate.

Confronting fake news

Pope Francis shocks world, endorses Donald Trump for president.

San Diego City Council passes avocado tax.

Not everything you read is true. And this week reporter Brad Racino and KPBS reporter Tarryn Mento led a conversation about “fake news” and media literacy at the San Diego Oasis Technology Fair.

At inewsource, our stories are built on a foundation of in-depth reporting, documents and data.

One way we combat distrust of the media is a feature called transparify, which shows the source documents behind nearly every claim, number or quote in our investigations. While most online news sources insert hyperlinks in their stories, we were the first in the country to achieve this level of transparency in 2013. Five years later and – as far as we know – we’re still the only newsroom that does it.

Click here to see a transparified story in action.


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...