After a little more than a year at inewsource, I’m switching gears from education coverage to something new. I’ll be covering South County, an area dear to my heart. 

I was born in National City and grew up mostly in Chula Vista. Many of my relatives and I are proud products of South County’s education system: When I was a kid without a babysitter, my mom used to drag me to her classes at Southwestern College. I’d later have some of her same professors when I enrolled years later.

Jennifer Bowman, November 14, 2019.

inewsource brought me home after stints at daily newspapers in Michigan and North Carolina, where I investigated corrupt public officials and misuse of taxpayer dollars. I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned to a place where my parents raised me, and where my husband and I now are raising our own child.

South County is rich in people and community, a unique blend of our many backgrounds. But it’s often overlooked when it comes to resources and recognition, even though some areas are among the fastest-growing in San Diego. It’s rife with development controversies and ongoing turmoil at local school districts, and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on the area will be felt long after the pandemic subsides.

Now, inewsource is dedicating some of its resources to expand government accountability reporting in South County. Residents deserve it, and I’m ready to be part of the effort. 

I’ll also continue to cover Imperial County, our more rural neighbor to the east. So far, we’ve reported troubling track records within the county’s nursing homes, unspent homeless aid and how COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed the county’s hospital system. We’ll continue to dig, and we hope you can help.

If you live, work or otherwise have ties to South County or Imperial County, consider filling out a survey for me. Your ideas will power my reporting.

You can also reach me by email at jenniferbowman@inewsource.org. News tips and advice are welcome.

And if you see me around, please say hello (from at least 6 feet away, for now!). I’m always happy to opine on the best taco shop in town or complain about South Bay traffic.  

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Behind The Story: Clarifies for the public how a story was reported.

Jennifer Bowman is an investigative reporter at inewsource, covering Imperial County and the South Bay. She used to cover education for inewsource. She’s happy to be back in her hometown after stints at daily newspapers in Michigan and North Carolina. At the Asheville Citizen Times,...