Saturday, June 3, 2023

Spotlight PA

Spotlight PA to Launch State College Bureau, Partners with to Provide More Local Accountability Journalism

Christopher Baxter is the executive director and editor-in-chief of Spotlight PA.

During the past two and a half years, with the enduring and generous support of Pennsylvanians across the state, we have built Spotlight PA into one of the most successful local journalism endeavors in the United States. But the challenges before us are immense, and we cannot rest.

That’s why, a year ago, I began discussions with a group of residents and stakeholders in State College about extending Spotlight PA’s journalism to bolster reporting in the region.

As part of this initiative, Spotlight PA will be hiring a team of four journalists dedicated to the community and committed to high-quality, nonpartisan investigative and public-service journalism.

All of this journalism will be made available at no cost to other media outlets — and today I’m excited to announce a new partnership with to extend the reach of our journalism in the region.

Spotlight PA is built on the belief that the public will support unique, high-quality investigative journalism you can’t get anywhere else. In doing so, we can build a new path forward for local news in Pennsylvania that’s sustainable and puts the community first.

The success of our State College bureau depends on your support. Make a tax-deductible contribution today and become a founding donor to our State College initiative at

Spotlight PA’s State College bureau will elevate issues of regional importance to a statewide audience, while also fostering mutual understanding among all Pennsylvanians. The bureau will focus on State College, Centre County, north-central Pennsylvania, and the northern tier.

In advance of our anticipated launch in July 2022, we’re conducting community listening sessions to determine the region’s most urgent information needs. Initial plans for coverage include an investigative reporter assigned to Penn State University, as well as a rural affairs reporter in partnership with Report for America. Far from just providing the news, we will connect and engage with residents in the region through innovative digital storytelling, creative partnerships, community events, and more.

The State College regional team will be employed by Spotlight PA and receive organizational support from the statewide newsroom, including management and editing — thus avoiding the significant start-up costs associated with launching a brand-new, nonprofit news outlet.

Spotlight PA retains full editorial control, and our funders have no say whatsoever in which stories we pursue or how we pursue them. We do not accept anonymous donations, and all of our supporters are listed publicly at

Spotlight PA was formed to serve you, the public, and we want you to be a part of our efforts. Many of the best investigations start with a call or email from a concerned reader. If you have tips or suggestions for an investigation, please visit to see the various secure ways you can communicate with our team.

After having lived in Pennsylvania for more than a decade, I’m proud to be leading such an ambitious effort to provide the people of this state with more of the high-quality investigative journalism we all need and deserve. Together, we can hold the powerful to account.

Learn more about Spotlight PA and how to support our investigative journalism at