Name: Brian Osgood
Title: Robert A. Sollen Fellow
How’d you arrive at the Independent? I decided that I wanted to go into journalism last year, so in June, I quit my job in San Francisco, moved to the West Bank of Palestine, and worked for a few months as a freelancer trying to get some experience on the ground learning the ins and outs of reporting. I just got back to Santa Barbara a little over a month ago, so now I’m interning at the Independent.
What kind of stories are you working on? I write on a pretty wide range of topics, but I’m mostly writing about issues to the environment and wealth and poverty — homelessness, climate change, things like that. Santa Barbara rightfully has a reputation as this really beautiful city, but there’s an underclass of people living experiences we don’t usually hear about. Those voices are what I hope to elevate in my time here.
How does writing about Santa Barbara compare to other communities you’ve reported on? I wrote two or three articles when I was living in San Francisco, so obviously Santa Barbara and S.F. have a lot in common in the sense that they’re purportedly liberal cities really failing to provide for the needs of their most vulnerable communities. I think it’s difficult to compare Santa Barbara to Israel/Palestine. But I think a good question to ask when you’re approaching reporting no matter where you are in the world is: “Who has power, and who doesn’t?” I think that’s the central question, and it doesn’t change anywhere.