The Ask: Does inewsource focus only on issues in San Diego?

The Ask: Does inewsource focus only on issues in San Diego?

Do you focus only on issues from San Diego or do you also cover national and international issues?

— From Matteo Vastante via email

Thanks for the question, Matteo. When inewsource was founded 10 years ago, it was with a mission to do impactful investigative and government accountability journalism in the San Diego region. That’s where we work and that’s the community we serve.

Our stories almost always start with a San Diego-related angle, but the topics and the news we uncover sometimes stretch well beyond the local boundaries. Some of our stories take on statewide significance. Others have national and international implications. The best way to show this is with a few examples:

VA health care: The House Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing in October into human research at the San Diego VA, following inewsource’s reporting about a dangerous liver study at the facility that put the health of sick veterans at risk. The congressional committee broadened its focus to look at the VA’s Office of Medical Inspector, which investigated and found little wrong with the liver study. (The independent Office of Special Counsel found that investigation “unreasonable.”) That means thanks in part to inewsource’s reporting, this branch of the VA will face congressional scrutiny. As part of our reporting, we also created a searchable database that includes information about VA whistleblower investigations across the U.S.

Hustling Hope: This was an eight-month investigation that exposed a series of Trina Health clinics across the country — including one in San Diego — that claimed they could reverse the complications of diabetes through insulin infusions. It was a local story that grew to a national stage.The treatment was being marketed to millions of people with diabetes in more than a dozen states. In the midst of our investigation, the subject of our probe was indicted in a pay-to-play scheme involving the Alabama Legislature. He later pleaded guilty in federal court and was sentenced to prison. Our investigation even took us to tiny Dillon, Montana, where a Trina clinic had opened. The story from there aired nationally on the “PBS NewsHour.”

America’s Wall: In 2017, during President Donald Trump’s first year in office, inewsource partnered with KPBS on this in-depth reporting project that definitely had state, national and international significance. Trump, then as now, was pushing to spend billions of dollars to build a longer and more fortified wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. We used previously undisclosed federal data to create an interactive map that shows every mile of the current wall in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and when it was constructed. We also layered it with information about illegal immigration patterns and federal law enforcement staffing along the border. This data analysis was the foundation of the project. We found that the wall is relatively new, with nearly 90 percent of built since 2005 and under both Democratic and Republican presidents.
Hope this shows how an inewsource story can start in San Diego but grow to something much bigger.

— Laura Wingard, inewsource managing editor

If you have a question about how we do our jobs, or how journalism works overall, send them to TheAsk@inewsource.org.

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About inewsource staff:

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To contact us, email: contact at inewsource dot org, or see our about page for specific reporter info.