Working with PublicSource: Resources for freelance contributors, interns and staff

Are you considering working with PublicSource? Here’s what you need to know.

At PublicSource, we produce independent, ambitious, high-impact local journalism by covering the most important stories in the Pittsburgh region. Without PublicSource, many Pittsburgh stories would go untold. 

PublicSource employees and freelance contributors are of the utmost importance to us as an organization. Our brand of independent, fact-based journalism is only possible because of their hard work in seeking the truth and telling it. At PublicSource, we work hard to ensure our team and operations exhibit core values of excellent journalism and principles of integrity. 

We are as committed to producing high-quality local journalism as we are to treating our employees, freelance contributors and interns with fairness, professionalism and respect. If you are working with us or are interested in doing so, please reference this page for all of the information that you need and what to expect. Here, we have tried to articulate our principles to ensure we adequately support and meet the needs of our staff and contributors. “Contributor” is an independent contractor providing content services to PublicSource including but not limited to writers, fact-checkers, developers, visual journalists, artists and audio producers. We value employees and dedicated contributors at all stages of their careers who bring different experiences and perspectives to PublicSource.

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

If you are interested in working with PublicSource, please be intimately familiar with the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Journalists and contributors to PublicSource uphold principles delineated in the SPJ’s Code of Ethics:

  • Seek Truth and Report It
  • Minimize Harm
  • Act Independently
  • Be Accountable and Transparent

Our goal is a team-focused, fair and 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 working at and with PublicSource is responsible for conducting themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates respect for others. This policy also applies to all business and related interactions between employees, directors, partners, freelance journalists 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). 

PublicSource is an equal opportunity employer, an anti-racist organization, and we  believe it is crucial for our newsroom, the contributors we work with and our journalism to reflect the communities we serve in the Pittsburgh region. We intentionally evaluate how people of various demographics are represented in our journalism. It is a priority to have diverse voices in all of our stories, not just stories about diversity. As a guide, we use the Fault Lines framework offered by the Maynard Institute as we produce local journalism and build our newsroom:

  • age/generation
  • race
  • gender, gender identity or expression
  • sexual orientation
  • geography
  • class

What we have no tolerance for/are not interested in: 

  • clickbait
  • dishonest ways of newsgathering, including obtaining documents by unethical means
  • plagiarism
  • cheap shots 
  • pay for play; we are fiercely independent and do not accept donations and grants from people or organizations that want to influence our journalism
  • racist, sexist, ageist or any kind of bigoted behavior

Please visit this Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about PublicSource.

To learn more about...

  • Joining PublicSource as a freelance journalist/contributor, go here
  • Joining PublicSource as an intern, go here

PublicSource employment

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