It’s official: Grant Barrett has joined the team as our new engagement editor.

When we announced this newly created position, we stirred national attention. The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard highlighted it and a great dialogue blossomed on the importance of information sources like ours not just churning out a list of headlines, but also working to ensure people see them, understand them, know where to discuss them and even become a part of them.

With all the attention the posting garnered, we expected to get some great candidates for the job. And we did.

Barrett is co-host of A Way with Words, the lively language show that airs weekly on many public radio stations. “A Way with Words” was born and nurtured in San Diego on the local station KPBS. Barrett will continue to co-host it in addition to his duties at

Barrett is also an American lexicographer, specializing in slang, jargon and new usage. He is the editor of the Official Dictionary of Unofficial English, the Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang and the award-winning website Double-Tongued Dictionary.

At VOSD, Barrett will have a tough mission but a vital one. What is the opinion page of the future? What does our site need to provide more context and make sure people understand the issues our region faces? How do we engage residents in good debates using everything from advanced technology to simple, face-to-face conversation?

Barrett says he’s excited to take on the challenge.

“I recall my earliest days as a cub reporter and then I look at VOSD and I think, ‘There it is. That’s the feeling I wanted to get back to, that pleasant sensation that comes from working alongside a bunch of stiff-necked do-gooders who go urgently about the business of setting things right,'” he says.

Feel free to engage Barrett in conversation starting now at or you can call him directly at 619.550.5666.



    This article relates to: News
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    Written by Summer Polacek

    Summer is the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her at or 619.550.5667.


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