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The Knight Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation are working together to bring Pittsburgh a new Online regional news initiative.

As a part of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s ‘vibrant democracy’ mission which was initially to encourage and promote civic engagement, the new initiative seeded with Pittsburgh Filmmakers is set to strengthen the delivery of local news, bring on more in-depth reports and garner community involvement.

Over the past 10 years jobs in US Newspapers have dropped by 20% and news room staffing in general is down by almost one third. The Pittsburgh Foundation has seen a need and an opportunity to engage everyone in Pittsburgh and launch a professionally developed, public interest news site which can help to supplement local news partners.
A team of professional journalists will produce in-depth media rich reports for the media community to draw from.

The idea is to connect (re-connect) the community, the media and to really get the conversation started.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers will provide an infrastructure and administrative support at their Melwood Avenue, Oakland office for the initiative, lending a solid base, existing resources and knowledgeable staff.

“Our new on-line initiative is intended as a much-needed resource that I believe can serve as a trusted and reliable source of information for our community to ensure that our citizens continue to be well-informed about important issues” said Grant Oliphant, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s President and CEO.

Charlie Humphrey from Pittsburgh Filmmakers noted: “We cannot continue to view news and information production in silos where everyone is rushing to scoop everyone else. We need to look beyond that competitive model and look for a way to strengthen all media outlets.”

In layman terms, the new, as yet unnamed, initiative will be a free, protected, repository for media outlets to deposit and withdraw from. The content will be regionally relevant, in-depth, professional produced and available for repost or story inspiration as long the source is attributed.

The initiative will be a great source for Pittsburgh’s ever growing Blogging community giving local writers sources, stats, details, facts and figures to beef up their work.

Personally I’m really excited to see what comes out of this whole deal. I’d like to see more in-depth, less sensational, locally based news.

What do you think?

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