Joining PublicSource as an employee

Be sure to read “What you need to know about working with PublicSource” first.

About this Page

This page is intended to be a resource for individuals who are seeking employment with PublicSource to understand our policies, benefits and what to expect when interviewing.

PublicSource maintains an employee resource manual to ensure there is clarity around expectations and policies to make our working environment the best it can be for all parties. The sections below are excerpted from the employee manual. We are happy to provide the full manual to anyone going through the interview process and PublicSource leadership will review the manual in full with new employees.

On this page, you will find information about:

Our Values

At PublicSource, we bring together a team of people with different backgrounds and experiences. We share in common a set of core values that guide our work and decision making. We build our team and individual goals in accordance with our values. It’s not enough to get the work done; we want to do it in the right way.

We value: 

  • Being trustworthy: We are trustworthy when we credibly report, write and publish accurate and fair journalism; interact honestly, ethically and professionally; do what we say we are going to do, and learn from mistakes, while offering sincere apologies.
  • Taking risks: We are responsible risk-takers when we model initiative and innovation with thought and care; and seek opportunities to contribute in new ways to our mission.
  • Telling a story: We are storytellers when we find compelling ways to capture depth and do justice to the stories we tell; are mindful of the value our stories bring to the public; take responsibility for the details we share and the impact on the people we represent; engage community members and partners.
  • Fostering an inclusive workplace and journalistic platform: We are inclusive when we actively support a culture of belonging, acceptance and awareness at PublicSource; evaluate and ensure diverse representation in our journalism, in our news organization and across all PublicSource products; treat colleagues with respect, avoid gossip and communicate honestly and transparently to productively address conflict; prioritize a healthy work-life balance, are honest about needs and support that of our colleagues.
  • Collaborating for the common good: We are collaborators when we help, teach and learn from each other by working across teams and share credit for our mutual success; offer tangible steps to our audience to increase engagement in the Pittsburgh region and our work; hold decision-makers accountable for their actions; foster hope through our journalism and offer solutions to build a better future.

Nondiscrimination and no harassment

PublicSource is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination that encompasses all of our employment policies and practices. PublicSource treats everyone equally and provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants. We attempt to hire and develop the best people available, based on job-related qualifications. We make no distinctions in rates of pay or employment opportunities such as recruiting, hiring, company-sponsored training, compensation, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs and recalls from layoff, education and company-sponsored activities based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information or any other protected class.

Our goal is a team-focused, supportive work environment. We will not allow harassment or disruptive activities to create a negative culture or work environment. No form of harassment will be tolerated. Everyone here is responsible for conducting themselves in a businesslike, professional manner that shows respect for others. This policy also applies to all business and related interactions between employees, directors, partners, clients, vendors and visitors. PublicSource will not tolerate any form of harassment that violates federal, state, or local law in the workplace, at social functions sponsored by PublicSource, or at business functions. This refers to harassment (but not limited to) on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, citizenship or disability (or any other prohibited ground of discrimination as defined by federal, state or local law). 

Employees or contributors who believe that they are being harassed by anyone (within or external to PublicSource), or who witness a harassing action should bring the incident to the immediate attention of their manager, the executive director, any member of the Board of Directors, including the President of the Board or any leader with whom they feel most comfortable sharing this information.

Ethics and conflict of interest

At PublicSource, we expect everyone to observe a code of ethics that requires truthfulness, honesty and integrity in all activities. We expect everyone to avoid conflicts that could interfere with our business interests. We expect staff to:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived and  disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality or may damage credibility.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.

Editorial staff members are expected to know and adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics which states that journalists should: 

  • Seek truth and report it
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable and transparent

Applying and interviewing

View open PublicSource positions and instructions for applying on our Jobs page here

When you apply, you can expect to receive a response from our team within 30 days. Although we cannot speak with everyone who applies, we strive to be transparent about the status of your application. 

We are looking for team members who are passionate about the mission of PublicSource and the work we are doing and who are excited to bring their unique set of skills and experiences to our organization. If you feel like you’d be a good fit but you’re worried that your experience might not exactly align with what we’ve posted in a job description, please consider applying anyway. We strongly encourage women, BIPOC individuals, LGBTQ+ folks, immigrants, and people with disabilities to apply. 

Candidates who are selected for interviews will be asked to participate in interviews that could be both behavioral and skills-based. PublicSource compensates candidates who are asked to perform work during interviews and strives to limit the amount of time required for these interviews. This may include, but is not limited to writing tests, reporting a short story or creating a fundraising message (for business staff). 

Work location

Our office is located in a co-working space in the Uptown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. During COVID, the majority of our employees have been working remotely, except in situations that require on-site reporting that are agreed upon with editors. 

After the pandemic, we expect to return to the office, but will be open to flexible arrangements that meet the needs of both PublicSource and employees. 

Onboarding

Upon joining the PublicSource team, employees will participate in a formal onboarding process to help begin their career here. This includes a detailed review of the PublicSource employee manual, sections of which are excerpted throughout this page.  New employees will also go through Human Resources onboarding with PublicSource’s HR provider, Compass Resources.

We will also spend time on PublicSource’s values, code of journalistic ethics and our organizational goals for the year. 

Employment benefits

PublicSource provides a variety of benefits to care for employees’ physical, financial and mental health including:

At least 10 vacation days and seven sick leave days per year. Paid time off increases with tenure.

  • 10 major paid holidays off per year
  • Contributions to health insurance
  • 401(k) equivalent with matching
  • Flexible work hours
  • Professional development/conference stipend
  • Up to 3 months paid family leave
  • Short-term disability and caregiver leave
  • Life insurance
  • Free parking

Performance management

PublicSource appraises employee contributions at least once during every twelve-month period. This framework provides both the employee and their manager with an opportunity for an open, two-way exchange of performance-related information. The objectives of the performance appraisal process are to:

  • Facilitate communication between employee and manager
  • Assess and reward performance and contributions to PublicSource
  • Identify areas for improvement and to develop action plans
  • Establish performance goals for the upcoming year, aligned with organizational values and goals

Social media

PublicSource understands the positive power of social media and its ability to bring people together, share information and inspire action, build brands and promote services. Social media tools have become essential for journalists to gather news and share their work. We also understand the downsides of the ever-changing social media landscape and ask employees to consider all social media interactions and how they may reflect personally on them and on PublicSource.

We encourage employees to familiarize themselves with how social media impacts organizations like ours and how we use social media to market and communicate about PublicSource to others. We will review our social media policy in detail during employee onboarding.

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)

PublicSource is committed to complying with all federal, state and local laws dealing with non-discrimination in all aspects of employment including qualified individuals with disabilities. PublicSource supports the intent of the ADAAA, which is to prevent discrimination against qualified individuals (applicants or employees) with disabilities or a known record or history of a disability, who can perform the essential functions of the job, either on their own or after reasonable accommodation PublicSource. These accommodations may also include a leave of absence and must not impose an undue hardship on the operations of the business.

All information communicated to PublicSource as a result of a disability will be kept confidential (and in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) defined within this document and section) and will only be used to evaluate reasonable accommodation alternatives, to permit an individual to perform the essential functions of their job in a safe and efficient manner and for emergency medical treatment. A refusal to volunteer this information will not subject you to any adverse treatment or penalty; however, PublicSource cannot accommodate a disability until, and unless, it has notice of the condition for actions regarding reasonable accommodation.

Please address any questions about this information to info@publicsource.org.

(This page has been updated in July 2021)