Meet Spotlight PA’s new Capitol reporter
Hello everyone, I’m Stephen Caruso, Spotlight PA’s Capitol reporter.
While I am new to Spotlight, I am not new to reporting on Harrisburg. I’ve been chasing lawmakers around blind corners and down dimly lit hallways since 2018, first for The PLS Reporter, then for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. You might already follow me on Twitter, where I frequently post about the Yankees. (Oh, and Pennsylvania government.)
While I have learned to love the commonwealth, I am not a Pennsylvania native. As my baseball fandom suggests, I was born in Poughkeepsie, New York. Growing up, I didn’t picture journalism as a career, though I did write columns for my high school paper, which I eventually became editor-in-chief of.
Crossing the Appalachians to start college at the University of Pittsburgh to study economics, I figured I would join the college paper so my pen didn’t get rusty. Instead, The Pitt News, a daily print newspaper, hired me as an editor because I knew how to lay out pages.
That was the luckiest break of my career, because over the next four years I cycled through a half-dozen positions. I snapped photos at student protests, covered Pitt baseball, and attended rallies during the 2016 presidential race. I remained an economics major, but by the time I got my diploma, it was clear that my heart was in journalism.
After jumping through a few internships and odd jobs (including a brief stint as a bouncer), I moved to Harrisburg in March 2018, and have lived in the city ever since. In those years, I’ve attended hundreds of press conferences, protests, and floor debates, where I reported on everything from the crowning of the state amphibian to the outcome of the 2020 election.
My reporting changed the travel policies at the state teacher’s pension fund, highlighted the rising share of bridge-naming legislation, and revealed how cryptocurrency miners were taking advantage of a big state tax break.
I aim to be your Capitol translator, separating fact from fiction and extracting the policy changes that will impact you from the noise of politics.
If I do this job right, you will learn to see the Capitol as I do — as a whorl of competing priorities, personalities, and monied interests squabbling amongst themselves with the future of the state and its residents in the balance.
Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.