Based in San Luis Obispo County, California, a pernicious online tabloid claimed they published investigative journalism that shined a light on public corruption. Instead, they corrupted journalism, defaming for profit. As a result, lives were torn apart. Communities were sharply divided. Political wars were waged. Public confidence in legitimate news sources eroded. When the community began questioning their methods, they engaged in years of personal vengeance, conspiracy theories and wild, unsubstantiated allegations. Aided by a local radio icon, activists, politicians and online trolls, they terrorized their critics for years.One of those critics lived through it all to tell his story, unfiltered and without the spin.
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Aaron Ochs is a author of “Defamers: How Fake News Terrorized a Community and Those Who Dared to Fight It,” a spell-binding nonfiction chronicling nearly a decade-long entanglement with a controversial online tabloid.
Aaron has worked in journalism, web development, graphic design and marketing positions for nearly 20 years. Ochs started his professional career as the co-publisher of The ROCK newspaper, which served California’s Central Coast for a decade. He went onto become a reporter for Information Press and columnist for various online news organizations.
Aaron enjoys public speaking, performing music as a singer-songwriter and has contributed to volunteer organizations throughout San Luis Obispo County, California. He now provides marketing and consulting services as Principal of U.S.-based Ochs Creative (www.ochspr.com).