Dear readers,

We’re thrilled to share with you some good news. So far this year, PublicSource reporters have taken home 16 awards from local, state and regional journalism contests.

In addition, the national Education Writers Association recognized PublicSource reporters Mary Niederberger and Jeffrey Benzing as finalists for their stories on disproportionate treatment and challenges for black girls in the Pittsburgh region as part of our “I am a black girl and…” series.

Journalism professionals selected PublicSource for the following honors:

A selection of photos from PublicSource’s award-winning work. (Mosaic by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
A selection of photos from PublicSource’s award-winning work. (Mosaic by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)
  • Two Robert L. Vann Awards of Excellence from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for the ‘I am a black girl and…’ series and a story on how hundreds of students are arrested in Pittsburgh Public Schools.
  • Two Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania for the school arrests story and an investigation into ties between a police commander and the company providing the Pittsburgh police force with body cameras.
  • The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh honored PublicSource and specifically our executive director, Mila Sanina, with a Humanity Day Award. The awards go to local organizations and leaders who are committed and passionate about providing vital resources to Pittsburghers.
  • The past year has been challenging for journalists and media at large, with the deadly June attack on the Capital Gazette in Maryland and growing distrust in what we do from many in the American public. The Daily Beast recently published a story on a poll indicating that more than 40 percent of Republicans said the President should have the authority to shut down media outlets if they misbehave.

    The free press afforded to us all by the First Amendment is under attack, and not only in Washington, D.C. It’s commonplace for PublicSource reporters to be accused of being fake news, to have doors slammed in their faces or to even be threatened. Yet each day they set out to deliver you the truth and share with you the most authentic stories and voices found in the Pittsburgh region.

    It is said often by those of us in the journalism profession that we don’t do it for the awards. But these awards reinforce for us  — and hopefully for you — that the work we do has value and that we’re doing it the right way.

    Your readership and support make all the difference at PublicSource. Please consider donating to support our fearless, public-service journalism.

    Halle Stockton is the managing editor of PublicSource. You can reach her at halle@publicsource.org or 412-515-0065.

    This fact-based local reporting drives impact and creates change. Help power that impact.

    James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” PublicSource exists to help the Pittsburgh region face its realities and create opportunities for change. When we shine a light on inequity in our region, like the “completely unacceptable” conditions in low-income housing in McKeesport, things change. When we ask questions about policymakers’ decisions, like how Allegheny County is handling COVID-19 safety for its employees, things change. When we push for transparency on issues that affect the public, like in the use of facial recognition software by Pittsburgh police, things change.

    It takes a lot of time, skill and resources to produce journalism like this. Our stories are always made available for free so that they can benefit the most people, regardless of ability to pay. But as an independent, nonprofit newsroom, we count on donations from our readers to support this crucial work. Can you make a contribution of any amount (or better yet, set up a recurring monthly gift) to help ensure we can continue to report on what matters and tell stories for a better Pittsburgh?

    Halle has served as managing editor for PublicSource since 2015, leading the newsroom and its editorial strategy. Prior to this role, Halle was a reporter for PublicSource for three years and for the Sarasota...