About Us


East County Media is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization. Our federal tax ID number is 83-1108634.

Our mission is to create and support independent, public interest news, emergency alerts, and events to inform the public in inland San Diego County.

CONTACT US: (619) 698-7617 or info@eastcountymedia.org


President and Executive Director: Miriam Raftery has over 35 years of journalism experience and has won over 350 major reporting awards regionally and nationally including top honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and San Diego Press Club. She has also organized major charitable benefit events for multiple organizations and is the founder of both East County Magazine and East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

Vice President and Treasurer: Mark Raftery, attorney at law, is past president of the Foothills Bar Association and has extensive experience in business law. He is also a former Scoutmaster, Toastmaster, and YMCA board member.

Secretary: Jonathan Goetz, award-winning reporter and broadcaster on KNSJ, has a Bachelor of Science degree in technical and sustainable management. He has also worked as a community organizer and documents designer for a software company.

Board Member and Fundraising Chair: Henri Migala, Ph.D. has written nearly $30 million in grants that have been funded. He has lived and worked in 15 countries in global health, international development, higher education administration and humanitarian aid including disaster relief. His past positions include Director of International House at the University of California San Diego, Executive Dean and Grants Administrator for Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, and Adjunct Faculty instructor at San Diego City College. He holds a doctor of education degree from San Diego State university, a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Texas, and a Master of Art degree at the University of Texas, where he studied anthropology. He has also authored many academic papers. A volunteer and board member with Aguilas del Desierto, Inc., he helps save lives of lost migrants. As a Rotary Club President, he has worked with International Relief Teams. He has won many awards for community service and international activities including working to eradicate polio through the World Health Organization as well as participating in rural, border and cross-cultural health issues, disaster relief and reconstruction. Also the founder of Henri Migala Photography, he has won numerous photography awards and most recently had one of his images chosen as a “Top 10” finalist in the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest. The independent photographer has provided video and photography for East County Magazine ranging from racial justice and civil unrest to wildfires, desert wildlife, political debates and more.

Board Member, Health and Diversity Liaison: Dr. Raed Al-Naser is a pulmonologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. He received his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology and has been in practice in the US over 25 years, serving f East county over 15 years. Dr. Al-Naser is the president of San Diego Chapter of National Arab American Medical Association ( NAAMA). He is also a member of the COVID-19 San Diego Equity Task Force and a member San Diego County Medical Society Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee advocating for improving health outcomes for Arab and Middle Eastern Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities.

Board Member and Youth Liaison: Doris Bittar is an international award-winning visual artist, writer, educator, peace and civil rights organizer. Born in Baghdad to Lebanese and Palestinian parents, she has lived in California for over 30 years. Her accomplishments link diverse American communities to issues of migration, labor, peace and civil rights. She is president of the San Diego American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and founder of Teach and Learn Literacy, bringing English to homes of Syrian refugees. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and has taught art courses at UCSD, San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and the American University of Beirut. Author of over 50 publications on art and politics, her works appear in museums in the U.S. and abroad. She also served as a labor union organizer on the East Coast and is a member of Gulf Labor, an artist collective that urges museums to treat migrant labor communities with dignity. In San Diego, she is a member of Public Address, an artists’ collective, and of Feminist Image Group.

Board Member and Arts Liaison: Spencer Powell, artistic director and co-owner of Visionary Dance Theatre, is an award-winning choreographer and actor who has been teaching for over 25 years, mentoring students to Broadway and beyond. His belief in "diversity that has no limits" has enriched the community through multi-cultural dance and theatre.

Board Member and Music Liaison: John Fistere is an independent nonprofit organization management professional, educator and systems engineer. He holds an engineering degree from Yale University and worked for Westinghouse and Solar Turbines, traveling the world as a company representative. A founding member and past president of San Diego Festival Chorus and Orchestra,  he is also active in La Mesa Rotary Club, has read children's books for Rolling Readers and read newspapers for the visually impaired through KPBS Radio Reading Service.

Board Member and Literary Liaison: Reina Menasche, award-winning novelist, has a master’s degree in social work and is a clinical coordinator of mental health support for children and families. She has taught classes and interned in journalism. Reina has also acted in San Diego's Old Town, bringing historical characters to life.

Board Member and Community Liaison: An Iraqi immigrant who personifies the American dream, Nital Meshkoor has taught immunology and veterinary medicine, served as executive director of an Iraqi human rights organization, worked with the United Nations on refugee resettlement and as a case manager for Catholic Charities. She is also a former refugee as well as a talented poet, author, and real estate broker.