PublicSource, a nonprofit newsroom serving the Pittsburgh region, has been named as a finalist for general excellence, cross-newsroom collaboration and explanatory reporting in the 2020 Online News Association awards. The prestigious awards honor excellence in online journalism worldwide.

PublicSource is a finalist for General Excellence in Online Journalism in the micro newsrooms category (newsrooms fewer than 15 people) along with El Paso Matters, Idaho Education News and Voice of San Diego.  

Two PublicSource projects were also named finalists in separate categories. 

The Good River project, launched in November 2019 as a regional collaboration, was named a finalist for the Excellence in Collaboration and Partnerships Award. The Good River project was led by PublicSource and produced in partnership with six other nonprofit newsrooms: 100 Days in Appalachia, The Allegheny Front, Belt Magazine, Environmental Health News, Eye on Ohio and Louisville Public Media. Journalists in seven nonprofit newsrooms – spanning five of the 15 Ohio River watershed states — worked for 10 months to produce nonpartisan, engaging and stunning journalism on the watershed.

The True Cost of Court Debt was named a finalist for the Explanatory Reporting Award. The four-part series focused on issues related to court fines and fees in Allegheny County and was led by reporter Juliette Rihl. After our series was published, a team of people from Allegheny County applied to the Cities & Counties for Fine and Fee Justice program, a solution highlighted in the reporting that provides grants to communities working on reform. Allegheny County was one of 10 jurisdictions accepted into the program. 

While PublicSource does not measure its impact in awards, we recognize the importance of celebrating the work of journalists and partners who have been working with PublicSource. It’s also an opportunity to thank people who trusted our journalists with their stories and those who have been counting on us to keep the Pittsburgh region informed. 

Winners of the Online Journalism Awards will be announced at virtual awards events in October. 

PublicSource relies on donations from our readers. For those of you who support our journalism financially, thank you. And for those who don’t yet, please consider becoming a member with a donation that helps to ensure the future of local journalism in Pittsburgh.

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...