December 9, 2011; Source: Voice of San Diego | In an interesting statement the innovative nonprofit news site Voice of San Diego announced that it will be laying off four staff. Its explanations for doing so are two:

  1. They want to depend less upon grants from national foundations and be more fully reliant on contributions from the public
  2. They are resigned to narrowing their focus to projects that require strong investigative journalism – projects that others won’t or can’t do

This is an interesting development in that it potentially signals that one of the early experiments in new nonprofit journalism may be able to survive without a big slug of national grant money.

Its statement about the change is an interesting indicator in that it doubles as an appeal for continued support:

“It may seem awkward to be running our year-end fundraising campaign — an ambitious one at that — in the midst of these changes. But actually, it’s quite appropriate. As a nonprofit, this is our challenge: Our service depends on your support. If you value our investigative reporting, analysis, our daily Morning Report, partnerships with local media and events, please support this effort.

Over the next few months, we’re going to be quite open and frank with you about what this service will require and how you can help. At the same time, we’ll continue putting on events, working on media platforms of all kinds and using whatever tools necessary to help people understand their region and its problems clearly.

We’ll also be forthcoming on any changes of coverage or journalistic projects we’re working on. We’re currently working with staff to finalize exactly what our new structure looks like. We’ll share it with you when it’s ready.”

NPQ wishes its sister project the best of luck and looks forward to hearing more about developments at Voice of San Diego. –Ruth McCambridge