Last week I said goodbye to my McClatchy colleagues in South Carolina, where I had worked as an editor and reporter for more than a decade, most recently as senior editor of politics and state government for The State newspaper.
This week, I started a new job as deputy managing editor of inewsource. I’m excited to join a nonprofit newsroom focused exclusively on investigative and accountability reporting. And I’m eager to meet my new neighbors and pursue journalism aimed at making the community better.
It’s a strange feeling: meeting my teammates in our virtual pandemic newsroom while sitting at my desk in South Carolina, where I’ll work until my family makes the trek to San Diego this summer. But I know I’m in the right place. In my first week on the job, a few things are already abundantly clear.
inewsource is laser focused on watchdog reporting that is fair, transparent and built on unimpeachable facts. Take the fact-checking process, for example. Saying it’s rigorous is an understatement. Editors and reporters have painstakingly traced the reporting in the stories you read, checking every fact, quote and data point against source materials before publication.
It’s a stratospheric ethical standard we hear a lot about in journalism, but at inewsource it’s the baseline for our work. It’s also a foundation I’m glad to have under my feet as I take up the task of guiding reporting about the many diverse communities that make up San Diego and Imperial counties.
But success requires more than accuracy. It requires listening and self-reflection. It requires asking tough questions about whether our story selection, storytellers, decision makers and team more broadly reflect a true commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. From my first interview to these first few days on the job, I’ve seen that commitment to doing this important work in every conversation I’ve had.
Meanwhile, our reporting staff are hard at work, investigating COVID-19 deaths of people incarcerated in state prison, revealing how the pandemic has exacerbated a digital divide that has left refugees at risk of being shut out of the economic recovery, answering questions about why the lion’s share of millions in rent and utility relief hasn’t been distributed, investigating San Diego County’s troubled hotel COVID-19 sheltering program and more.
To add value to inewsource, I will draw on my experience producing accountability reporting on government and politics at many levels. As an editor, I oversaw investigations exposing the death of a state psychiatric patient at the hands of untrained state workers and a secret system lawmakers use to funnel tax dollars to pet projects of their choice.
As an investigative reporter on a high-impact projects team, I wrote about the factors driving the state’s worsening teacher shortage and exposed the likely preventable deaths of infants in home day cares. As a politics and state government reporter, I covered dozens of political campaigns and legislative issues, digging into data and public records to elevate my reporting.
On a personal note, I consider it an incredible privilege to have covered some of the most consequential stories my home state has seen in my lifetime. I’ll never forget the whirlwind weeks I spent writing about the aftermath of the murder of nine Black parishioners at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church and the successful battle that followed to remove the Confederate flag from where it flew on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds.
Now I’m ready to make San Diego my home and focus.
I’d appreciate your help! I look forward to getting to know you. Your tips, suggestions and introductions are welcome. Let’s chat sometime!
Type of Content
News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.