Editor's Notes

Celebrating Spotlight PA's 3 years of high-impact accountability and public-service journalism

by Christopher Baxter |

In three short years, Spotlight PA's investigative and public-service journalism for Pennsylvania has driven meaningful change and empowered residents to demand the same.
TOM GRALISH / Philadelphia Inquirer

For too long, political power in Pennsylvania has been preserved — year after year, generation after generation — by divisiveness, by focusing on what makes our regions and communities different, and by a pervasive lack of transparency throughout our state government.

So three years ago, we came together to demand better.

We founded a newsroom unafraid to stand for certain core principles. We believe accountability and transparency create a more ethical and honest government. We believe the people who pay the bills have a right to records and information to understand how that money is being spent. We believe the more people who participate in our Democracy, the stronger it will be.

And, fundamentally, we believe a strong free press is vital to the health of our state.

That does not mean we favor one political party over another or one particular policy over another. Instead, with your support, we have the time and resources to follow the facts wherever they lead, and our body of reporting shows we’re unafraid to call out both sides of the aisle.

Today, on the third anniversary of the launch of Spotlight PA, I invite you to consider all we’ve achieved so far, and to make a one-time or sustaining contribution to power another year of vital journalism. If you read and appreciate our work, we need your support. It’s that simple.

Making the government more transparent and accountable is a long and frustrating process, but we’ve shared in victories time and again. Whether it’s greater oversight of State Police, more transparency about how the legislature spends our money, or more than $19 million owed to the public due to a government error kept secret until our reporting — it adds up.

› READ MORE: Explore all of Spotlight PA’s hard-hitting investigations here

Combine that vital investigative and public-service journalism with our newsletters and events that are all crafted to better serve you and reflect your life — to bring you all the news you need from across our big state in one place, to celebrate our differences and see what more we have in common, and to empower you to get involved and drive change.

And this year, we’ve taken our first step toward returning more reporters back to our local communities with the launch of our first-ever regional bureau based in State College.

Together, we’ve created something special, and it’s getting attention across the U.S. Just this week, Spotlight PA was named a finalist for two more national reporting awards, and new startups in other states are increasingly looking to replicate our success.

Make no mistake — this is just the beginning. The opportunity to grow and expand Spotlight PA’s reporting, impact, and service to our communities is enormous. We have big plans for the future, but none of it matters without your support.

This unique work is sustained by the generosity of our members — not advertisers or subscription fees. Each contribution not only helps financially, but also serves as a resounding vote of confidence in the public service our team provides.

With a recent contribution, Spotlight PA member Andrea S. wrote, “I value what you are doing, how you do it, and the good that can result. Thank you!”

Today, I say thank you to our members for believing in our mission and ensuring Spotlight PA’s future is strong. And if you’re not yet a member, I invite you to make a one-time or sustaining gift now and invest in trusted, independent journalism you can’t get anywhere else.

Onwards together, and happy birthday Spotlight PA!

Christopher Baxter

Executive Director & Editor in Chief, Spotlight PA

PS: If you were moved by this note and wish to support Spotlight PA’s work, you can do so now by clicking this link or visiting spotlightpa.org/donate.

Help raise $125,000 in support of Spotlight PA's vital investigative journalism for Pennsylvania as part of our end-of-year fundraising campaign.