A dozen damn good reasons to support the Pittsburgh Independent

Independent news matters more than ever. So we wrote some clickbait about it.

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TL;DR: please support our Patreon.

  1. Pittsburgh needs rigorous reporting. Bill Peduto’s years-long quest for social media monitoring software. Rich Fitzgerald’s pension-boosting crony pay raises. Shell Oil gaslighting the public on the dangers of its plastic plant. We break news that the mass media won’t.
  2. We celebrate the best of what’s local. We profile Pittsburgh bands and artists based on their merit and mission, and provide a space for local filmmakers and other cultural leaders to speak honestly about issues that matter.
  3. We are pursuing a different model. Independent local media prioritizes reporting based on impact, not how many clicks it will generate. We’ve worked closely with the Banyan Project and others as we seek to become one of the first functioning media cooperatives in the country, whose coverage is guided by those who read and report the news, not just those who profit from it.
  4. We want to hear from you. Co-ops only function when people work together toward a common cause. It takes time to generate interest and develop a novel business structure, but for now, all of our Patreon supporters receive a year-end survey and an invite to our Discord channel as we grow a community. What should we report on next year? Whose work should we showcase? What did we do right, and where can we improve?
  5. We have freelancers with stories to tell. Few Pittsburgh news outlets have a budget for freelancers, which means many stories with local impact never find a home here. Here are some of the people we’ve been working with:
    • Emma Diehl is writing about local erotica, and women in tech.
    • Joseph L. Flatley, when he wasn’t out infiltrating UFO cults, edited and polished most of our big features from day one.
    • Taylor Fowler interviewed new WYEP host Clara Kent, and has her eye on local arts.
    • Alyse Horn is writing about state and local cannabis industries, and helped with SEO and social media from the very beginning.
    • Eric “michitapes” Stevens has more distorted concert footage on tap from the region’s top underground rock bands.
    • Anthony Stewart ruminates on nature and sustainability. He is working on a 13-month lunisolar planting calendar for local gardeners.
    • We’ve reached out to over a dozen other freelancers so far, asking them to get involved and to pitch us stories. (Do you have a story to tell? Pitch us and send us some clips to info [at] pghindependent.com)
  6. We stood up to West Coast PR jagoffs. After we wrote about Maple House Music Festival, their Los Angeles PR firm got in touch to take issue with some quotes we ran, as well as our headline: “Local billionaire’s rock n’ roll fantasy double books with local music fest.” They made veiled threats that it wouldn’t be smart for a new website with a music section to piss off well-connected music industry types. We didn’t flinch. We acknowledge when we make a mistake, but we won’t back down from bullies who don’t like being criticized.
  7. We won’t publish racist editorials on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Or at all.) 
  8. The #VeoliaFiles are coming.  Remember when lead increased in city water, and a few years later the water authority and the corporation that managed it went to private arbitration and agreed that neither was to blame? Our founder, Brian Conway, has received two separate grants from the Gumshoe Group to support his investigative reporting into what really happened. So far, documents received via Right to Know request include never-before-seen deposition transcripts and other arbitration documents.
  9. We want advertisers. Show your customers you care about real news for real people. Advertise on our site or in our newsletter to help us pay the legal, editing, and other costs it takes to publish untold stories others won’t. We’ll always make clear what’s an ad and what isn’t, and we grant our sponsors no editorial favor. Interested? Email us – info [at] pghindependent.com for packages and rates.
  10. We’re not in this alone. The Independent belongs to the Pittsburgh Media Partnership, and our office is based in the Pittsburgh Downtown Media Hub. We collaborate with like-minded colleagues whenever we can, and our weekly news roundup celebrates the best in local reporting.
  11. We’re on the regularFrom now until the end of 2022, we’ll publish a newsletter twice a week, excepting holidays. Tuesday has a news focus; Friday, local music, happenings and more. Come 2023, after the year-end surveys are in, we’ll reassess and expand. With enough support and interest, we’ll publish new content nearly every day.
  12. We’re only just beginning. Pittsburgh needs independent journalism more than ever. We have more stories than we can take on right now, and receive requests for coverage nearly every day. Help support the Independent so we can focus on what we do best – reporting the news that mass media won’t cover.