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Our 5 Best Podcast Episodes of 2016

Nothing seems to resonate as personally with people as podcasts. In 2016, we launched three new podcasts on top of our flagship VOSD Podcast: Good Schools for All, Culturecast and San Diego Decides. Here, we’ve collected some of the most memorable individual episodes we produced in 2016.

Many of the stories we write touch some of the most personal aspects of people’s lives – their kids’ schools, their safety, their ability to afford to live here.

But nothing seems to resonate as personally with people as podcasts.

There’s just something about having a voice in your ear, alone with you in the car or keeping you company as you do the dishes. People connect with podcasts in a crazy way that I didn’t appreciate until this year.

In 2016, we launched three new podcasts on top of our flagship VOSD Podcast: Good Schools for All, Culturecast and San Diego Decides. We also kicked off the Voice of San Diego Podcast Network, a collective of local podcasters who share resources and support.

Here, we’ve collected some of the most memorable individual episodes we produced in 2016. And if you’re in the market for some new shows to check out, Kinsee Morlan made a huge list of San Diego podcasts here.

Good Schools for All: Lincoln High and the Challenge of School Turnarounds

The discussion about how to turn around a failing school has never been hotter. It’s at the center of San Diego Unified’s focus on putting a quality school in every neighborhood, and its efforts to rebuild and revamp individual schools, like Memorial Prep.

In this episode of our education podcast, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn examine the challenge of school turnarounds through the lens of Lincoln High School. They spotlight some of Lincoln’s most pressing concerns, examine how charter schools factor into the equation and press an important qualifier: This isn’t about highlighting problems for highlighting problems’ sake – it’s about talking honestly about Lincoln’s challenges so that we can confront them once and for all.

Subscribe to Good Schools for All on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream this episode here.

VOSD Podcast: The Haunting Case of the Gaslamp Rape Gang

Journalist Brandy Zadrozny joined this episode of the podcast to discuss her incredible Daily Beast story about a rape ring in the Gaslamp Quarter and the shady pickup-artist industry behind it all.

Zadrozny details some of the issues the story unearthed, including how some men have turned picking up women into a money-making pyramid scheme. She also explains the role of the so-called “manosphere,” a corner of the internet that touts the philosophies and strategies of pickup culture.

San Diego Decides: All 17 State Ballot Measures, Explained

Look, I understand if – now that the election’s over – you have no desire to go back and revisit the astonishingly long list of California’s state ballot measures, a slate that included everything from pot to death to plastic bags. (Although many of these propositions are now state law, so knowing what they mean won’t hurt!) Still, I was proud to have produced, along with Ry Rivard, a comprehensive rundown that could help folks make sense of such convoluted issues.

Subscribe to San Diego Decides on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream this episode here.

Culturecast: Being the Change They Want to See in Barrio Logan

Kinsee Morlan’s Culturecast is a departure for VOSD – instead of being centered on a live discussion, it’s a fully produced podcast that incorporates interviews, clips and voiceover. Season 1 explores the tensions between artists and residents in a gentrifying Barrio Logan.

As the first episode drives home, the line between who’s an insider and who’s an outsider isn’t always clear.

Subscribe to the Culturecast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream this episode here.

VOSD Podcast: No, It’s Not Pre-K for All. It’s Not.

San Diego Unified leaders and Mayor Kevin Faulconer billed the district’s Pre-K for All program as a “game-changing education initiative.” As Scott Lewis and Andy Keatts describe on this podcast episode, a more appropriate title for the program would be You Can Pay Us for Preschool.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream this episode here.

Bonus Episode: The Kept Faith: Craig Elsten Returns!

The regular Kept Faith hosts invited our Andrew Keatts and Mighty AM 1090’s Craig Elsten on to discus the new, mind numbingly boring Padres uniforms. They coped with the change the best way, by ridiculing the franchise’s decision until they cried.

Subscribe to the Kept Faith on iTunes or stream this episode here.

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