East County Magazine

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and reruns Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Send story ideas, news tips and underwriting inquiries to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or call (619)698-7617.

About us:  Our show, like our online news site at www.EastCountyMagazine.org , has a mission to reflect all voices in our region, especially those under-represented in other media such as Native Americans, immigrants and refugees from  around the world, and rural voices.  We interview top newsmakers across San Diego County’s diverse inland region that encompasses cities, small towns, mountains and desert regions. Plus we cover the hottest issues locally and nationally from politics to environmental controversies, as well as arts, music, culture and much more.

East County Magazine (ECM) has won 97 major journalism awards including the Sol Price Award for Responsible Journalism, the League of Women Voters Media Award,  plus first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and San Diego Press Club for investigative reporting, multicultural and environmental news coverage. Founded in 2008, ECM is a division of the nonprofit Heartland Coalition. Dedicated to keeping people safe and informed, ECM also established the East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

Our hosts bring a multitude of qualifications, experiences and passions to their work. Scroll down to read more about these talented radio personalities and our behind-the-scenes team!

Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of East County Magazine and producer of the East County Magazine radio show, is a national award-winning journalist with over three decades as a seasoned news hound for major newspapers, magazines and national news sites.

She’s a past columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune and former senior national investigative reporter for RawStory.com covering topics from presidential campaigns to Hurricane Katrina and Blackwater. Thousands of her works have appeared in publications including Woman’s Day, Writer’s Digest, Women’s E-News, Environmental Business Journal, Arizona Highways, CityBeat, East County Californian, and more.

Miriam has won over 300 journalism awards, including American Society of Journalists and Authors’ national Arlene Award for community reporting, San Diego Press Club’s Best of Show award, Society of Professional Journalists James Julian memorial award for community journalism, plus first place awards from SPJ and SDPC for investigative journalism, multicultural reporting, environmental news, politics, and protecting the First Amendment.

Many of her stories had major impacts, including national coverage of election integrity issues, California firestorms, energy and environmental topics. Her reporting got hackable paperless voting machines banned in California, stopped elimination of community planning groups, got closed fire stations reopened, halted Supervisors from restricting protesters’ free speech rights, and brought veterans’ services to rural libraries. She is known for her in-depth coverage of issues impacting Native Americans, refugees, the Chaldean community, and rural residents among others. Miriam believes in providing the strongest arguments on all sides of issues, allowing you to make informed decisions. A native of East County, she also has a passion for exploring our backcountry to discover untold stories, fascinating people and places.

She loves mentoring interns and training community members who want to become citizen journalists, so volunteers are always welcome!

 Jonathan Goetz is our political analyst and business reporter, as well as co-host of Destination East County. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in technical and sustainable management from DeVry University.


Jonathan also has extensive experience as a political organizer and field director for prominent political campaigns including Francine Busby and Marty Block locally before delving into journalism.


His current “beats” include national politics as well as City Council coverage in El Cajon and Lemon Grove.




LizAlper, our sports reporter, is an avid sports fan who especially loves hockey and baseball.  She is currently involved with the award-winning “Best Online College Station in the Nation”– KCR College Radio at San Diego State, where she’s done color commentary and production for SDSU men’s hockey.  In addition, Liz has also hosted and been a co-host on several sports talk shows on the station.

A New Hampshire native, she is a San Diego State graduate who majored in Television, Film and New Media and minored in Journalism. Watch for her feature, ECM Friday Night Lights, during high school football season on our website at www.EastCountyMagazine.org.

Reina Menasche is host of “Bookshelf.” She calls her first love “writing fiction,” though she is also a professional social worker, university instructor, and actress. Her first novel,Twice Begun, is a finalist in the 2013 San Diego Book Awards, and her other fiction has been recognized in contests by San Diego Writers and Editors Guild and Southern California Writers Conference.

She has performed in theatres and festivals throughout San Diego for the last 15 years. These roles include historical characters with “Our Stories” and at the Mark Twain Fest in Old Town, as well as many venues with Chronos Theatre Group, where she also serves as Educational Director. One of Reina’s original educational plays, The Brain Game, received an Innovative Grant by the First 5 Commission of San Diego in 2005.

Rebecca Jeffers Williamson, co-host of  our “Destination East County”segment and newscaster, is also talented a freelance writer and photographer whose works have been published in East County Magazine, East County California, Military Press, San Diego Family Magazine and other publications in our region.

Rebecca’s passion is finding the offbeat and the upbeat, leaving no stone unturned to bring you the top festivals and events across our inland region each week.



Dennis Moore is the principal book reviewer for East County Magazine and helps line up stellar authors for our show. He also serves as book review editor for SDWriteway and has been a freelance contributor to the San Diego Union-Tribune, EURweb, Life After 50 Magazine and the Baja Times Newspaper. He has written over 200 book reviews and interviewed many best-selling authors. His reviews contributed to some authors winning acclaim by being voted #1 on Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s bestseller’s lists. He also arranged literary events at Barnes & Noble, Borders and the San Diego County Public Library.

Originally from Chicago, he authored his own book about Chicago politics: The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago. This book chronicled his experience working as a Specification Engineer for the City of Chicago Department of Aviation at O’Hare International Airport, as well as his relationship with ousted Governor Blagojevich. The book also chronicles President Obama’s rise to power in Chicago, as well as his wife, Michelle Obama, working for the Richard Daley Administration

East County Magazine

Providing a voice to those whose voices are too often under-represented in traditional media.

Hear podcasts of past shows at:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/east-county-magazine-live-radio-show/listen-podcasts

Here are samples of past major interviews on our show:

Award-winning investigative reporter Greg Palast, producer of the Academy Award-nominated film and author of the best-selling book, Best  Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, discusses efforts to steal the2016 presidential election: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/audio/2016/October/Newsmaker-GregPalast.mp3

Climate scientist Jeffrey Severinghaus shares his findings and debunks climate change denial: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/audio/2016/February/Newsmaker-ClimateScientistSeveringhausJeff.mp3

Iraqi Chaldeans plea for release of family held in Otay immigration detention facility:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/2016/April/OtayIraqis-FinalShow.mp3?641

Interviews with  Mark Arabo, a national spokesman for Iraqi-American Chaldeans, and Amir Moshe, former translator for the U.S. Army in Iraq a who has two cousins detained inside the Otay ICE detention facility:  /sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/2016/April/8-4-15%20MOSHE%20-%20MARK%20-%20CHALDEAN%20INTERVIEW.mp3?722

Our award-winning  one-hour special report on the 10th anniversary of the Cedar Fire,  worst wildfire in California history,  including interviews with fire survivors, fire chiefs, elected officials and a burn victim:  http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/pla2tx46jk/ECMShow11-1-13CedarFireSpecial-FINAL.mp3

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