PublicSource: Providing accountability journalism in the digital age

The landscape of journalism and the communications field has evolved immensely over the past two decades, leading me to adapt and embrace a precipitously changing environment.

Advancing toward this new territory has meant myriad changes for us all, requiring more resources, time and energy to explore its complexity and master new skills.

The Internet was first thought to be a threat to accountability journalism because anyone can publish on the web. But something amazing happened. Innovation in news popped up everywhere.

It became obvious that building content for the Web simply allows reduced costs for digital distribution. While it takes less capital to run a web-based organization, it still requires significant resources for reporters, web developers, office space, equipment, lawyers and other services.

One of those “born-digital “ news enterprises producing accountability journalism is PublicSource, where I’m the new director of communications, overseeing external communications, public relations, marketing and advertising.

Expanding my skill set from traditional media relations to results-driven new media and social media has been an astounding journey. Becoming part of a nonprofit online newsroom has, thus far, been a distinct highlight in my career.

Specifically, I am helping to advance notable journalism that provides in-depth information about issues Pennsylvania residents face.

Our editor, Sharon Walsh, likes to call PublicSource the ProPublica of Pennsylvania. In a sentence, it is an independent news group producing in-depth reporting on the environment, public safety, social justice and government accountability.

Our goal is to write stories that create impact by providing readers with evidence-based knowledge that cultivates informed communities, providing knowledge that is far-reaching and effective in advancing the power of speech. Informed communities precipitate empowered citizens and create positive impact that affects us all.

Social media tools, outreach and the plethora of analytics that guide me in generating PublicSource’s strategic plan are a perfect complement to my roots and training in media relations. It is my challenge to determine what news our audience is most hungry for. What matters most?

In addition to publishing original in-depth reporting, PublicSource publishes the best reporting from a host of regional media partners. Each report is selected for its ability to examine and explain issues of public concern.

Partnerships are a key to our success. An exchange between media enterprises allows both partners to reach more people and share a wide variety of news. We look forward to elevating regional partnerships and expanding our reach to a national level.

We publish our content through our website at publicsource.org and email our stories to those who sign up through the website. Dozens of media partners throughout the state publish our stories, including WESA.fm radio in Pittsburgh, the Harrisburg Patriot-News and the Erie Times-News.

We exist to serve you, the public. Please visit us at publicsource.org and let our reporters know your thoughts.

Visit us and be informed at publicsource.org, where you can register to receive our free weekly newsletter.

Reach Pamela Goldsmith at 412-315-0262 or pgoldsmith@publicsource.org.