Pittsburgh Independent’s most-read stories of 2022

These are our 11 most popular stories of 2022.

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Top 11 stories of 2022:

#11. Not sure what the Independent is all about? Start here. Published May 1, the day we launched, it discusses former mayor Bill Peduto’s likely illegal use of social media monitoring software, and why so many critical news stories in Pittsburgh never get published:

#10. As relevant today as the day it was published:

#9. UPDATE: The lawsuit remains in federal courts. Bloomfield Development Corporation, Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh, Hill District Consensus Group, Lawrenceville United, and Polish Hill Civic Association joined as intervenor defendants, as expected:

#8. A preview of the beloved band’s final show (for now) was a hit with our readers:

#7. Black Forge Coffee was our day one sponsor, but this scoop came organically. I walked in to Black Forge Allentown some two weeks before it was scheduled to close for good, and I said to Billie, who was working the counter that day, that this was likely one of my last visits there, and wouldn’t it be incredible if someone would just step in at the last minute to keep it all from going under. Her eyes flashed, she smiled, and said, “well, I have something to tell you:”

#6. One of our first major hard news scoops, our reporting was supplemented with documents procured via right-to-know request and audio recordings of council hearings provided by sources. The Independent was the first in Pittsburgh to report on years of crony pay raises in Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office. (Pittsburgher of the year, indeed):

#5. Anecdotally, this was our most talked about story of 2022. Dan remains incarcerated:

#4. Not first-ever, but Pittsburgh’s first record plant in a long, long while. This story went viral on twitter when we first broke the news. Construction on the plant remains on schedule:

#3. It’s the unsolved Pittsburgh mystery of the year. Published Dec. 16, it might end up at #1 by year’s end:

#2. UPDATE: Shell’s enormous plastics plant has already exceeded air pollution limits for smog-producing volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), reports StateImpact. Also, this was probably our best headline of 2022.

#1. Steelers minority owner Thomas Tull double-booked his music festival for the same day 300 bands played Millvale Music Festival. Despite advertising that their festival was created to inspire Pittsburgh’s music scene, it was clear from the outset that Maple House organizers had never even heard of the long-running grassroots local festival. The news struck a chord with our readers, who made it our most-read story of the year for 2022:

Thanks again to all of our readers, contributors, and supporters. We have big things planned in 2023. If you appreciate our reporting, please consider supporting our work so that we can continue to publish news that few in Pittsburgh dare to tell.

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He is a 2x 2023 Western PA Press Club Golden Quill award winner, in feature and business reporting. And a 3x finalist in the investigative reporting category.

He is a 2018 first prize winner in environmental reporting from the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for reporting on lead in Pittsburgh’s drinking water.

In 2022 and 2021, he was awarded a grant from The Gumshoe Group to support his investigative reporting.