The best part of working for an investigative news outlet is freedom from the pressures that most journalists feel every day to produce something — there’s always a press conference, always a speech, always a court ruling, always a litany of small developments that it’s easy to feel obligated to digest and describe for your audience.
The worst part of working for an investigative news outlet is that freedom breeds a much different kind of pressure: If you’re skipping all those incremental daily news developments, it better be for something good. Something big.
We see this most often when new reporters come on board and immediately fret that their first story must be something monumental that takes down a system or gets people fired. That can lead to paralysis.
But when reporters get in a groove, settle into a beat, work their sources and find something that excites them, man, that is fun to watch. We saw it over the last year with Andrew Keatts’ incredible SANDAG investigation, Ashly McGlone’s FieldTurf series, Mario Koran’s grad rate reporting and much more.
This week, we’re kicking off a new series by Maya Srikrishnan shining a light on the hidden homeless families of San Ysidro. In the series, Srikrishnan will examine how the region’s housing crisis, San Ysidro’s location on the border and government agencies’ conflicting definitions of who actually counts as homeless all work against families that don’t have enough money to afford conventional apartments or homes in San Diego. Our freelance contributor Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft has also contributed some fantastic photos and multimedia packages to drive home the experiences of these families.
Covering vulnerable people and populations requires an extraordinary time investment as reporters work to gain sources’ trust and navigate all kinds of hurdles, like working with sources who don’t have a fixed address or cell phones and who speak limited English.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Lest anyone is thinking that VOSD will "...stand up for you" through investigative reporting; you are wrong because they won't. VOSD is a non-profit, but that does not mean that they don't have an agenda, and a group of special interests and friendly politicians that they will protect from public scrutiny.
@Richard Gardiol Great names think alike.
I am unsure if it is a funding thing with VOSD, or what, but they seem to be in the pocket of City Hall politicians. How else could they have come up with the Biased Policing Report Watered-down article? http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/public-safety/sdsu-researchers-watered-police-racial-profiling-study/ At least two members of the city council provided the watering-cans or sought and obtained funding for them. All approved by the Mayor.
That article was a stalking horse to distract; to have draw our attend away from the easily verifiable fact that it was the SDPD data that was watered down, by non-entry and/or by purging.