Meet the Journalists: Sara Libby, Voice of San Diego

Below are summary points from the interview with Sara Libby, managing editor at Voice of San Diego.

What makes Voice of San Diego different from other publications?

  • Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit publication with funding coming from members, donors and foundations.
  • They focus on investigative pieces, not everyday news stories. They seek to add to the narrative through explanatory or investigative pieces.
  • Reporter have subject areas they focus on but they all work on different topics.

What should you think about before pitching a story to Voice of San Diego?

  • Be familiar with the reporters and content they cover.
  • Be specific and timely.

What are reporters seeking when they interview a professor?

  • Leave your opinions at home. When a reporter reaches out, they want facts and information from academia.
  • Reporters wants honesty, authenticity and transparency, and are wary when things are too sanitized and sound too safe.

What are some tips for interacting with a reporters?

  • Interviewees should ask reporters to approve their quotes to ensure accuracy. You can also ask reporters if you’re on the record when you begin your conversation.
  • Interviewees should not ask reporters to approve the story in advance.
  • It's about relationships. Do not be afraid to just have a conversation with reporters. They’re not always looking for a story, they just want to talk through an issue sometimes. Reporters often want to build a relationship with you as a source which can later lead to great news pieces.
  • Make yourself and your ideas available to reporters in order to help diversify the voices amplified in the news.

The University of San Diego Media Relations team presents Meet the Journalists, a series of video interviews for USD professors and administrators to gain better insight into the media. Hear from journalists, reporters, editors and producers who cover higher education or rely on faculty experts to provide context to news stories. Watch all eight videos on the Media Relations website.

Begin quote "People shouldn't be afraid to have conversations with reporters and approach them... establishing those relationships can go a long way in the future."