Scott Detrow

Recent posts

Network News: December 3 – 16

StateImpact Pennsylvania Wins duPont

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award committee this morning announced that StateImpact Pennsylvania is among its 2013 awardees. In its announcement, the duPont committee said the team’s coverage over the past year has “showed the significant impact of natural gas fracking on Pennsylvania residents, and is an important model for reporting on local issues.” 

“Reporters Susan Phillips and Scott Detrow covered the public policy, fiscal and environmental impact of the state’s booming energy economy, with a focus on Marcellus Shale drilling,” the announcement reads. “Their broadcast reports were heard on public radio stations across Pennsylvania and on a dedicated web site featuring multimedia, data-driven stories. Their work revealed previously unreported aspects of a new gas drilling law, including a provision that would require health professionals to sign confidentiality agreements in order to get access to chemical exposure information and developments in the state’s efforts to establish a natural gas impact fee.”

The awards ceremony will take place in New York in January. Continue reading

Network News: November 12 – 18

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Network News: July 30 – August 5

In the Spotlight:

Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania proved once again this week that while high-tech storytelling tools can help make a story richer, more accessible and more enticing for readers, they can never replace good, ol’ fashioned shoe-leather reporting.

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Bradford Co., Pa., resident lights a methane gas sample on fire.

For more than a year, talking heads and industry leaders have been maintaining that methane migration in the course of natural gas drilling is a thing of the past. “Prob­lem iden­ti­fied. Prob­lem solved,” Chesa­peake Energy CEO Aubrey McClen­don declared last year.

But, after reporting in June on a particularly conspicuous leak (a.k.a. geyser), Detrow opted to continue following the story where it led. He shot video of a second, unreported leak nearby, spent some time with the affected family and made some additional calls and visits, eventually publishing a comprehensive, authoritative report on the lingering problem.

The piece was featured in ProPublica’s Muckreads and a news aggregation site for investors (which brought many new eyes to the site). It was also linked to by the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog.

Well played, Mr. Detrow!

Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. Pennsylvania: In Northeast Pennsylvania, Methane Migration Means Flammable Puddles And 30-Foot Geysers
  2. Ohio: Locked Away: How Ohio Schools Misuse Seclusion Rooms        Continue reading

Network News: July 2 – 8

Happy Birthday, StateImpact!

Can you believe it’s been a year? And what a first year it has been!

Danny Debelius / NPR

Celebration! StateImpact cake.

With three state sites launched, StateImpact was officially announced through social media and traditional press on July 11, 2011. Now in eight states, we’re building an impressive following by telling explanatory, data-driven stories focused on how state issues and policy affect people’s lives.

We’ve won numerous local, regional and even national journalism awards – amazing for a new project! Our broadcast stories are being heard on public radio stations across our states, our digital stories and interactives are being shared on Twitter and Facebook, and our local stories are being heard – and recognized – on NPR shows. “StateImpact, I’ve heard of that,” is a response we’re all hearing more and more! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Continue reading

Network News: June 18-24


In The Spotlight

Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania hit the road at a moment’s notice on Thursday after learning of a methane leak at a gas well in the northern part of the state. His willingness (and ability) to go straight to the source resulted in a timely exclusive packed with people, pictures and details. He also cultivated several sources and exciting leads that he never could have gotten without showing up—promising more to come for the growing number of visitors still arriving at the site.

Reader Faves

Most visited stories, in raw numbers:

  1. Indiana: ‘Uniquely Qualified or Not Qualified Enough? What They’re Saying About Mitch Daniels’ Move to Purdue
  2. Florida: The Truth About Bullying In Florida’s Schools
  3. Pennsylvania: DEP Investigating Potential Shell Methane Migration Continue reading

Meet the Team: Scott Detrow

Detrow, hard at work.

Scott Detrow is part of the Pennsylvania team that will be digging up stories on what’s powering the state’s energy economy. We’ve had a great time working with him already and he’s doing a fantastic job populating the new StateImpact Pennsylvania site. I asked Scott a few questions so you can get to know him, his background and his town of Harrisburg a little better.


Tell us, what made you interested in the StateImpact project after your experience covering the Pennsylvania legislature?
Since I’ve started covering it, I’ve seen the Marcellus Shale go from something people confuse for a person – Marcellus Who? — to a national news story. The chance to spend all my time covering drilling and other energy issues – and to do so from out in the field, as opposed to the state Capitol – was too great to pass up. I’m also excited about moving from daily spot news reporting to investigative work. Continue reading