From the Editor: Welcoming a new leader in our newsroom

I’m excited to announce that San José Spotlight has hired a seasoned managing editor to lead our award-winning newsroom.

Simar Khanna joins our team after a distinguished 25-year career in Bay Area journalism. Simar spent 16 years at the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner where she served as an editor in nearly every section of the newspapers. Her goal was to increase diversity in coverage — a goal that rings true in journalism and every sector of our society today.

Simar returned to her roots in the East Bay where she served as a bureau chief and editor at the East Bay Times. Most recently, she served as editor of The Orinda News.

Simar demonstrates a passion and dedication to local news and in-depth public service journalism — and I know she will take San José Spotlight to the next level as we plan for our third year and strategize to grow and sustain the organization.

“I’m thrilled to be part of San José Spotlight and its commitment to local news that makes a difference in people’s lives. The nonprofit model allows delivering the kind of journalism people are demanding, yet finding harder to find,” Simar said.

For the past year, we’ve mulled the prospect of hiring a veteran news editor to lead our editorial team but there is no better time than now. As our city confronts numerous crises — public health, racism, homelessness and a pending economic recession — the role of independent, local news has never been greater.

Our readers and supporters have grown exponentially as people turn to trusted news sources to understand what is happening and how we’ll recover. I’m confident Simar will not only lead our coverage on these critical topics, but expand and grow it in ways we could not have imagined just a year ago.

On a personal note, I’m proud to add another face on our staff that reflects those of the area we serve. It is surprising in this day and age that America’s newsrooms still struggle to find and promote women and people of color, particularly among the ranks of senior leadership. Diversity among our news staff serves us well and is especially important as we attempt to lift the voices of color in San Jose.

When Simar moved from India to the Bay Area as a child, she was told by her family to “do something respectful” instead of study journalism. I’m so glad she didn’t listen.

A Bay Area news veteran like Simar will lead us through times of uncertainty and help expand and strengthen the important reliable, in-depth journalism you’ve come to expect from us.

As I mentioned when we launched in January 2019, this is your newsroom. It is powered by our community. Please tell Simar how we’re doing and what stories matter most to you.

None of this would be possible without you — our readers and donors. Thank you for the support that made our vision of providing hyperlocal journalism in San Jose a reality, and for your continued help to keep us going. My co-founder (and husband) Josh Barousse and I keep you at the top of our minds with every decision we make.

While I’ve served as San José Spotlight’s editor for the past year and a half, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll continue to oversee our talented editorial team while shifting my focus to our ambitious growth and sustainability goals.

With an experienced leader in our newsroom — and your continued support — I know our future is bright. And, as always, thank you for reading.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at [email protected] or follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

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