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Editor's Notes

From the archives 2020

Spotlight PA partners with Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, expands coverage of Western Pa.

by Christopher Baxter |

Courtesy Triblive

Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News and Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

The drive between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh is a haul, even for the leadfoots among us. Depending on the weather, the steep climb through the mountains can be a tad treacherous, and the train runs so infrequently it hardly seems a good option. And yet, the connection between the two cities is more important than ever.

The future of our state depends on Pittsburgh’s revival and the success of the rest of Western Pennsylvania. Likewise, the future of the region rests, in part, on those in power in Harrisburg setting the agenda. And yet, despite that interdependence, Pittsburgh receives less news and information from Harrisburg than ever.

Today, I’m proud to announce a new partnership with Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to better connect Western Pennsylvanians with the decisions and actions of our leaders in the Capitol, and to better reflect the issues unique to the region across our journalism.

The addition of Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to Spotlight PA — Pennsylvania’s largest statewide news organization dedicated to accountability journalism on the Capitol and urgent statewide issues — is the centerpiece of our bold new commitment to the western half of the state. We now provide our journalism free of charge to 20 newsrooms in the region, which account for nearly half of our 47 newsroom partners statewide.

Spotlight PA’s high-quality, public-service journalism from the capital allows local newsrooms to keep their resources focused on their local communities, while providing their readers a more robust news report each day. But this uniquely collaborative effort in Pennsylvania relies on your support. Help shine a light on injustice and hold the powerful to account by becoming a monthly donor to Spotlight PA today.

“We are honored to be part of the Spotlight PA team,” said Jennifer Bertetto, president and CEO of Trib Total Media. “What Spotlight has accomplished in the past year shows the power of joining forces to multiply our strengths. Covering Harrisburg well is essential to our mission to serve Southwestern Pennsylvania, and we look forward to a long partnership with our colleagues across the state.”

As part of the new partnership, Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review will contribute a reporter to the Spotlight PA newsroom who will focus on elevating the concerns of those in Western Pennsylvania throughout our coverage, not only better connecting Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, but fostering a better understanding between Pittsburgh and communities elsewhere in the state.

The reporter, Jamie Martines, joined Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2016 and worked for two years on the education beat before covering Allegheny County government and special projects. She has also covered major breaking news events in the Pittsburgh region, including the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Tree of Life mass shooting, concerns about air quality following a series of fires at the Clairton Coke Works, and the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation of clergy abuse in the Catholic church.

Additionally, Spotlight PA recently joined the Pittsburgh Media Partnership to take a direct role in shaping the future of journalism in the city and beyond, recognizing that robust accountability reporting on the state government and our elected officials is a critical component of a strong and thriving Democracy in the region.

Filling that need was the founding principle of Spotlight PA, a centralized team of highly talented journalists covering all aspects of the state government and urgent statewide issues, in collaboration — and not competition — with other newsrooms across Pennsylvania.

» YOU POWER OUR WORK: The kind of accountability reporting we provide for free to communities across the state is more important than ever. Help us hold the powerful to account and become a donor now.

Our commitment to Western Pennsylvania has never been stronger, but the path forward required some difficult choices. Earlier this year, Post-Gazette management approached us about removing their reporter and exiting the Spotlight PA collaboration. For a number of reasons, we agreed and their exit was effective July 17.

With Triblive/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review — and through our expanded network of partners in Western Pennsylvania, including the recent addition of 90.5 WESA — our content will be available to more people than ever. And we will continue to seek additional partners who share our mission, values, and commitment to accountability journalism.

Because by holding the powerful to account, Spotlight PA’s journalism can help drive meaningful change toward a more fair and equitable Democracy in our commonwealth.

Christopher Baxter is the editor in chief of Spotlight PA. You can reach him at cbaxter@spotlightpa.org.

100% ESSENTIAL: Spotlight PA relies on funding from foundations and readers like you who are committed to accountability journalism that gets results. If you value this reporting, please give a gift today at spotlightpa.org/donate.

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