StateImpact Pennsylvania has spent much of the past six years covering how natural gas drilling has changed the commonwealth. By adding more resources to the effort, the project plans to expand its scope by focusing on the entire energy economy.
Four public media organizations in Pennsylvania, led by WITF, will receive a $652,902 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to expand a regional news collaboration. Lead station WITF (Harrisburg) will work with WHYY (Philadelphia), WESA (Pittsburgh) and The Allegheny Front (Pittsburgh).
The partnership, titled StateImpact Pennsylvania, will produce multimedia reports on the energy industry, the economic and environmental impact of energy choices, and how energy production affects the health of citizens and communities.
The CPB grant will support the hiring of three journalists at the partner media outlets for two years, with station support continuing in outlying years “Collaboration is a force multiplier; together stations can do more and innovate faster to provide the local journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “We’ve seen the importance of our investments in collaboration when, for example, stations in the Texas Station Collaborative were better prepared to serve their communities throughout the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.”
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File
StateImpact Pennsylvania is announcing today we are eliminating the comments section of our website. The decision follows similar moves by other news organizations, including NPR, which got rid of its comments last summer.
Over the years, journalists have debated the value of online comments. In particular, problems have arisen around civility and anonymity. Additionally, the tool we use to accept comments, Disqus, recently announced it will charge a fee to keep the service free of advertisements. We’re a small team of reporters and editors. We don’t think it’s a great use of our limited time to moderate comments, nor is it the best use our financial resources to pay for ad-free space.
It’s no secret we cover controversial topics that give rise to strong opinions. Although we’re no longer accepting online comments, we certainly still want to hear your news tips, suggestions, and feedback. And sometimes we make mistakes that need to be corrected, so let us know.