The mixed-up politics of Pittsburgh’s newspapers

Perhaps you have wondered, What is up with the politics at Pittsburgh’s newspapers? My latest column seeks to shed some light. Plus, an exclusive interview with the Trib’s new community engagement editor.

It used to seem so black and white.

Pittsburghers counted on the Post-Gazette for left-leaning perspectives, while the Tribune-Review took up positions on the right.

In the supercharged political climate of our times, and with the midterm elections next month, it often seems the newspapers have flip-flopped positions. Families that once considered themselves aligned with one publication or the other suddenly find themselves bewildered and frustrated by the marked change in tone. Read more…

 

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Honored to have my column in the Courier

In truly one of the highlights of my career, The New Pittsburgh Courier asked me to write a short column about Bill Nunn Jr. and why I wrote about him in The Color of Sundays. It’s in this week’s edition. We’re excited to see Nunn get inducted this weekend into the Steelers’ Hall of Honor.

 

Copy, paste, theft in the ‘fake news’ age

Martha Rial, the freelance photographer who won a Pulitzer Prize with the Post-Gazette, mentioned to me recently that someone had taken one of her most famous photos – again. That tip led to this column about what it means to own an image in the digital age. When the military in Myanmar used and misappropriated Martha’s photo for a propaganda campaign this summer, something truly surprising happened… You can find the full story at NEXTpittsburgh.

Rwandan Hutu refugees with as many possesions as they can carry trudge along the tarmac near Benaco Junction after being turned back by Tanzania soldiers after they tried to flee deeper into Tanzania. Several of the refugees said they would walk all thw way to Kenya or Malawi just so they could avoid returning to Rwanda. PG Photo by Martha Rial Dec. 1996

 

Long live the newspaper!

The clock is ticking on printed newspapers in Pittsburgh – but what will that actually mean for journalists and, more importantly, for readers? My latest NEXTpittsburgh column has dropped with some perspective – both historical and contemporary. If you like it, please take a moment to share it and/or write to me at PittsburghPublicEditor@gmail.com.

What Pittsburgh can learn from Philly. No, seriously…

Never thought I would advocate looking to Philadelphia for advice on Pittsburgh, but … they’re doing some interesting work around media collaboration. I would like to see what we can accomplish here if we get different media outlets all pulling in the same direction. My latest column in NEXTpittsburgh.

Pittsburgh media column

“We are all passionate in our belief that strong journalism is essential to a strong community.”

I’m excited to be partnering with NEXTpittsburgh on a new media column. Inspired by my work at the Center for Media Innovation. Because journalism is too important to ignore or let die.

Please check it out…

Andrew Conte speaking in June 2018 at The First Amendment for the Twenty-First Century conference in Pittsburgh. 

 

#1APgh: The freedom to care

I was humbled and honored to participate in Pittsburgh’s first First Amendment conference this month. The Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Endowments asked the CMI to pull together a panel on how technology both threatens and expands our freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. We put together a killer group that included Trevor Timm from the Freedom of Press Foundation; Stephanie Whited, who “directs communications” at The Tor Project; and David Greene, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It turns out that, yes, you should be afraid … of some lurking threats such as increased government surveillance and government crackdowns on whistleblowers. But I insisted that everyone provide some reason for hope as well, and the panelists had no trouble offering evidence for feeling good. They cited the Supreme Court’s narrow decision requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before accessing cell phone records.

In addition, WESA offered me a prime slot to speak on The Confluence next to Robert Rosenthal, executive producer for the Center for Investigative Reporting, and Indira Lakshmanan, who teaches journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute and is a columnist for the Boston Globe. You may hear the interview here (starting around 36:00).