Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters.
HARRISBURG — Spotlight PA has launched a Diverse Source Database of Pennsylvania experts as a public service for all journalists. The database, now available at sources.spotlightpa.org, aims to ensure that local and statewide news coverage is more equitable and better reflects the communities we serve.
It includes nearly 100 Pennsylvania-based sources who made their contact information available to journalists. Participants defined themselves and their expertise on their terms, including their pronouns, names, phonetic pronunciations, and more.
Spotlight PA is continuing to grow and improve the list. If you would like to nominate someone or yourself for the database, you can use this form.
Like every database, there are limitations. There are people who don’t trust the media, who don’t want to be singled out in this way, or whom Spotlight PA has missed because of its own limitations.
This is also just a small step in the commitment to diversify journalism in the state. The database is a tool to help journalists expand and improve their coverage, and Spotlight PA has invited all of its 58 partner newsrooms to participate, nominate, and use it. Spotlight PA will continue to use its leadership position in this collaborative network to advocate for greater representation and inclusion in coverage throughout the state.
In addition, Spotlight PA has created a new Twitter handle, @PA_Sources, which will feature experts from the database each day and highlight when they appear in coverage.
If you have ideas for improving the database or suggestions for how to encourage journalists to use it, Spotlight PA would love to hear from you. And if you value this kind of public service in Pennsylvania, please consider becoming a member of Spotlight PA today.
This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation Fellows Fund for the Future, and was led by Tamara Dunn, formerly of the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre.