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Spotlight PA launches historic local news effort

State College bureau brings independent investigative journalism to North-Central PA

June 17, 2022
Rebuilding Local News, Right Here

The middle of the Keystone State doesn't lack much in the way of natural beauty, charming towns, and fascinating people. This region is home to the darkest skies east of the Mississippi; tons of hiking trails and scenic views; and Penn State University, one of the largest and most influential employers in the commonwealth.

But what it does lack is sufficient independent investigative and public service journalism — which is why Spotlight PA has been working for more than a year on a historic effort to rebuild and reinvigorate local news in north-central Pennsylvania.

This summer, we are launching our first regional news bureau — based in State College and reporting on northern and central Pennsylvania. Our team of four journalists will have the time, resources, and mandate to dig deep into the issues of the region. You can expect reporting on everything from the challenges facing rural communities to Penn State to local accountability issues like how our tax dollars are spent and how are towns are run.

We recognize the important responsibility we have as journalists to shine a light on the issues our region faces and to cover those issues with care and determination through a lens of equity.

Everyone deserves access to information — whether you live on a farm or in a village, in a college town or a city. Everyone deserves to see their lives, triumphs, and challenges reflected in the news. Everyone deserves to be served by a trustworthy, reliable watchdog unafraid to expose wrongdoing by people and institutions with influence.

Local news is vital to the health of the communities, large and small, in our region. From Spotlight PA State College, you can expect thoughtful, comprehensive reporting that moves the conversation forward and holds the powerful to account.
You can receive Spotlight PA State College investigations and feature stories in your inbox every week by subscribing to our regionally focused newsletter, Talk of the Town — the first installment of which you're reading right now! Plus, Talk of the Town will celebrate the incredible people and awe-inspiring places of our region, share cool events happening in your area, challenge you with a weekly puzzle, and more.

We couldn't do all this without you. And we want to hear from you — tell us:
  • What issues are important to you
  • Your favorite places to enjoy the outdoors
  • The businesses and people in your community that deserve a special shoutout
  • Anything else you think we should know

We are invested in this region and the people and communities that make it a vibrant, interesting place to live. But that investment is only possible because people in the region are stepping forward to invest in us too, in whatever way they can.

We're blazing a new path forward for local news in north-central Pennsylvania, one that's not at the whims of some big, for-profit corporation or the needs of advertisers, but instead produced with the community, in service to the community, and sustained by the community.

If you have the means, please make a gift or sustain this work with a monthly donation to ensure it can thrive and grow.

Until next week!

Sarah Rafacz, Spotlight PA State College Editor

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Our State College bureau depends on your support.
Help us rebuild and reinvigorate local news by becoming a member now.

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.

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