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Alison St John


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Alison St John currently serves as a general assignment reporter and occasionally co-hosts KPBS Midday Edition. She fell in love with KPBS Radio when she arrived in San Diego in 1985 and first heard NPR.

She has been a voice on KPBS Radio since 1989, and has served as a news reporter for radio, TV and the web, as well as anchoring, hosting, producing and editing. Alison has reported on stories about North County and was based in the KPBS' North County Bureau.

Alison covered the metro beat during the critical period of the San Diego City pension crisis, and the education beat while Alan Bersin was the controversial Superintendent of San Diego City School District. She covered health when the industry was converting to managed care and told welfare reform stories in the late 1990s when Clinton was “ending welfare as we know it.”

She has covered land use issues extensively, looking at the challenges of meeting a growing population while preserving community character, and developing a better transportation system to meet environmental concerns. She has done many stories on the military in San Diego, and the series she edited on the challenges veterans face returning from active duty to civilian life won “Best of Show” from the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists. She occasionally hosts the KPBS Roundtable and KPBS Midday Edition.

Alison has won awards from the San Diego Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press TV and Radio Association, and the California Golden Mike Awards.

Alison was born in Tanzania, brought up in Scotland, and earned her degree in psychology and sociology from Durham University in England. Her postgraduate diploma is in student counseling. She worked in England, Nigeria, Switzerland, Belgium, India, and Japan before moving to the United States in 1981. She now lives in Oceanside and enjoys how her community is growing and changing.

Recent Stories by Alison St John

The rising sun divides the West Front of the U....

Roundtable: Impeachment Inquiry Launched

Sept. 27
By Alison St John, Aly Sadik

The House of Representatives looks toward the impeachment of President Trump. An investigation into San Diego County's jail system raises concern. SDG&E pushes for change, but how much could it cost customers.

A Virgin Mary painting, flags and flowers adorn...

Roundtable: Covering The El Paso Mass Shooting

Aug. 9
By Alison St John, Bennett Lacy

A look at how Spanish-speaking media covered the El Paso mass shooting, 2020 presidential candidates speak at the UnidosUS conference in San Diego, and how a man from Honduras became the first to win asylum under the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Jim Bell, a long-time Ocean Beach resident and ...

Jim Bell,'Environmental Designer,' Dies

Aug. 9
By Alison St John

Bell, who died last week at his home in Ocean Beach at the age of 77, was known as a visionary environmentalist who ran for mayor four times.

A smart streetlight located near the entrance o...

Despite Privacy Concerns, SDPD Increasingly Using Streetlight Cameras

Aug. 7
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera

The San Diego Police Department has reportedly viewed streetlight video footage in connection with more than 140 investigations.

Tease photo for Coastal Cities Wrestling With 'Manage...

Coastal Cities Wrestling With 'Managed Retreat' Ramifications Of Rising Sea Levels

Aug. 1
By Alison St John

The California Coastal Commission has encouraged cities to include a strategy called “managed retreat” in their plans to prepare for sea level rise. But the commission may be retreating from that position.

Tease photo for Oceanside Residents Lobby For New Str...

Oceanside Residents Lobby For New Strategy To Save Disappearing Beach

July 23
By Alison St John

A group of Oceanside residents wants to build rock “groins” or jetties to help stabilize the sand that is disappearing from their beaches. It’s a controversial strategy.

Tease photo for Treating Mental Health Crises Could P...

Treating Mental Health Crises Could Put Tri-City Hospital In Crisis

June 27
By Alison St John

Tri-City Medical Center in North County has agreed to negotiate with the county to open more beds to treat people with mental health crises. But taking that on could put the hospital in a crisis of its own.

Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside recently a...

County Supervisors Weigh In On Solutions To 'Public Health Emergency'

June 25
By Alison St John

San Diego County Supervisors took a number of steps to address what they called "a public health emergency," with a new plan to strengthen mental and behavioral health services region-wide.

Tease photo for O’side Green Kitchen Opens In Oceanside

O’side Green Kitchen Opens In Oceanside

June 25
By Alison St John

The City of Oceanside has spent $1.5 million on a state-of-the-art community kitchen to cut down on food waste, teach sustainable cooking practices and generate meals for hungry families.

An MTS trolley car passes by a mostly empty par...

SANDAG Vice Chair On Future Of Transportation In San Diego County

June 19
By Alison St John, Brooke Ruth

The San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG, is currently in the process of updating its regional transportation plan to bring it in line with state targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, vice chair of SANDAG, joins Midday Edition to discuss the development of the plan.

View all stories by Alison St John ›