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Rural Issues

Meet Marley Parish, rural affairs reporter for Spotlight PA State College

by Marley Parish of Spotlight PA State College |

Marley Parish

This story first appeared in Talk of the Town, a weekly newsletter by Spotlight PA’s State College regional bureau featuring the most important news and happenings in north-central Pennsylvania. Sign up for free here.

I’m Marley Parish, the new rural affairs reporter for Spotlight PA’s State College regional bureau.

I’m excited to call Centre County home again after spending two years in Harrisburg.

I grew up in rural western Pennsylvania and fell in love with journalism at Allegheny College. The student-run paper there taught me every step of the process: pitching story ideas, reporting, editing, designing, and delivering copies to newsracks.

After graduating, my career kicked off at the Centre Daily Times. As a community reporter, I wrote about local government and K-12 schools, covering everything from a local girl’s efforts to reverse a township’s ordinance that barred chicken-keeping to the Bellefonte Area School District reevaluating its nickname and logo. I also monitored elected officials’ decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, writing stories about how and why the Centre County Board of Commissioners could meet privately to discuss reopening the county without public input.

Most recently, I worked for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, where I wrote about state government, politics, education, health, and elections. I received statewide recognition for my coverage of the 2020 post-election review conducted by state Senate Republicans and my reporting on an unauthorized review in Fulton County. I also examined what more restrictive reproductive health policies could mean for Pennsylvanians after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

I love that journalism takes me to different communities. If I weren't a reporter, my knowledge of Pennsylvania would probably be limited to where I've lived. But through attending public hearings, filing open records requests to a range of state agencies, and talking to people across the commonwealth, I've developed a nifty map of Pennsylvania and its people. And that intimacy informs all my work. No matter the assignment, I always want to report the truth, elevate underrepresented voices, and maintain a solutions-based approach.

It’s essential to be present in the communities I’m covering, so I hope you’ll reach out to talk about what kinds of stories you want to see. I’m eager to dive deep into stories about agriculture, the environment, community development, and monitor how government spending and state-level policies impact north-central Pennsylvania.

Outside of journalism, my favorite role is being an aunt. When I’m not working on a story, you can find me shopping small at a boutique or drinking at a local coffee shop.

Let’s chat. You can reach me at

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