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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Lewis’

More Funny Business Tied to U-T San Diego Braintrust

Media watchdogs are barking up the U-T San Diego tree once again. Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis obtained some explosive evidence this afternoon, on the heels of an earlier investigative report by KPBS:

U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch threatened to use the newspaper he manages to push to dissolve the Unified Port of San Diego, an email given to Voice of San Diego Thursday by port Commissioner Scott Peters reveals. The threat came as Lynch pressed Peters on his decision to vote for a long-term lease with Dole, which operates at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal…

The threat to disband the port was not in the email KPBS posted because that was an email forwarded to the port by Peters seeking advice. He’d truncated it to edit out the threat so as not to distract port staff.

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Voice of San Diego Adds Monthly Print Magazine

Thanks to some financial assistance from The Knight Foundation and the technical transom of MagCloud, Voice of San Diego is heading in a very non-traditional digital media direction. The respected regional news source is adding a monthly print magazine.

Free to paying members as a perk and available for purchase to non-members, Voice of San Diego Monthly comes on the heels of the LA Timesdecision to shutter their Sunday magazine. Perhaps the paper can take a page from VoSD and consider re-upping the insert as a similar paywall subscriber benefit. From today’s Knight Foundation blog post by VoSD editor Scott Lewis:

When I discovered MagCloud, I got an idea and couldn’t shake it. Rather than let our stories sit on some virtual shelf, why not offer the chance for people to catch up? We floated the idea to Knight Foundation, which loved it and decided to help with the experiment by funding it.

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The Future of Voice of San Diego

Since its launch in 2004, Voice of San Diego has been heralded as one of the great success stories in online, non-profit journalism. But this past December, the unexpected layoffs of popular reporters Emily Alpert and Adrian Florido and photographer Sam Hodgson due to financial problems at VoSD gave media watchers a shock. And it seems to have led to the realization at VoSD that the site’s model of fundraising is no longer working.

The San Diego Reader spoke with VoSD’s Scott Lewis about a massive shift that is currently underway at the non-profit .

“I’ll be frank,” Lewis says, “we’ve survived and thrived based on spontaneous acts of heroism in the past, and now we’re turning that into a more professional business model of prosperity and actual metrics and goals.”

He leans forward and relaxes visibly as the conversation moves on from the layoffs to the future of the organization. Though he’s still tight-lipped about details, he tells me that the future they’re trying to build “isn’t about readership, it’s about membership.”

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San Diego Union-Tribune Shills for Owner’s Waterfront Redevelopment Plans

San Diego Union-Tribune… nee… make that “U-T San Diego” owner and real estate magnate Douglas Manchester ran not one, but TWO editorials in his new toy… er… paper today, shilling for his waterfront development plans. And one of them ran on the friggin’ front page!

San Diego is not pleased. Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis called the plans “half baked.”

The paper provided no new insight on deep, decades-old disagreements. It merely posits that problems can be solved because problems can be solved. It worries about a skeptical public unwilling to invest in big ideas because it has been misled so much and then immediately misleads on how expensive this big idea would be.

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Voice of San Diego Lays Off Four

Although many things are going well for website Voice of San Diego, the organization still relies in part on grants from national foundations. Because the prognosis for that type of funding is not good, it has decided it must pare down its 2012 operating budget by $200,000.

As a result, the site announced today that it is letting go of neighborhood reporter Adrian Florido, education reporter Emily Alpert, photo editor Sam Hodgson and one (unnamed) other employee. CEO Scott Lewis and editor Andrew Donohue conclude their post with a no-nonsense assessment of the impact of today’s moves:

We’re not going to give you the hackneyed journalism line that we’ll “do more with less.” We are, however, taking this as an opportunity to go back to our roots and focus on impact. We’ll use all we’ve learned over the past seven years of VOSD to build a thriving and sustainable organization.

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Voice of San Diego Unveils Most Awkward Fundraising Campaign Ever*

Yikes. Just in time for March Madness, the highly-touted non-profit Voice of San Diego has unveiled a fundraising campaign that looks like it belongs on the JV squad. How to describe it…

Well, aside from the floating heads of various reporters pasted in wildly unflattering fashion on top of a basketball background, the effort is constructed as a game of sorts. Donations to various beats accumulate “points”–with each beat competing against the other to see who can reach 200 first. If it sounds confusing, it looks even worse. We get the site is trying to piggyback off San Diego State’s success in the NCAA tournament, but jeez. Class it up a little guys.

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Non-Profit Voice of San Diego Taking Some Local Heat Over Misleading Fundraising Ads*

We can’t really seem to figure out why, but San Diego’s much celebrated non-profit news site Voice of San Diego is taking some heat from local press and civic leaders for allegedly pursuing a misleading fundraising campaign. In various banner ads on its site, VoSD boasts “ How about a public service news source that receives no government support? You found it.” Below the tagline is a button soliciting donations.

But, as San Diego CityBeat‘s Dave Maass dug up, the website does receive public funds–to the tune of $28,200 in ad revenue from government agencies.

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