PublicSource is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism for a special project that will be reported by Leah Samuel, a Pittsburgh writer.

Under the award, specifics of the project are confidential until it is complete. So, stay tuned for the story, which will be on PublicSource in late summer or early fall.

Samuel recently reported a story for PublicSource about Potter Township in Western Pennsylvania, which is where a Shell Oil Co. ethylene plant is slated to be built after the state lured the company with numerous economic development incentives. But Potter Township, which by law should have been consulted about the tax giveaways, was never included in Shell’s negotiations with the state.

Now, the township will have to provide services for the plant and its employees despite receiving very little in taxes from the multi-billion-dollar plant.

The Fund for Investigative Reporting’s award is for one story only. But the Fund, like other PublicSource funders, recognizes that investigative reporting takes time and money, and it supports that reporting as a public service in the belief that an informed public is a cornerstone of Democracy.

The Fund is an independent, non-profit organization and has supported hundreds of investigative reporting projects since its beginnings in 1969. It’s first award was to Seymour Hersh, who investigated the massacre by U.S. soldiers at My Lai in Viet Nam. Those stories won the Pulitzer Prize.

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