Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania,

We want to hear from you:

How do you get the news and information you need?

How well does local news serve you and your community? What news sources do you trust, and why? What do you wish journalists understood about your life? We want to know.

The​ American Journalism Project​, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Media Partnership, wants to hear your views on how local media can meet your needs. What we learn will help us create local news that better serves your community.

Take our brief online survey at this link: https://publicinput.com/pittsburgh or text PITTSBURGH to 73224. We'll share survey responses with the Pittsburgh Media Partnership, but all names and contact information will be kept confidential.

This survey is part of a larger community listening project. Some respondents will be chosen to participate in a 2-hour digital focus group and paid cash for their time. If you’d like to continue the conversation with us, make sure you include your contact information in your survey responses.

Below is a set of frequently asked questions about our community listening. If you have additional questions about this project, please contact Fiona Morgan, Director of Community Listening for the American Journalism Project, at fiona@theajp.org or ‪(919) 408-7223‬.

Photo by Lance Anderson, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the American Journalism Project?

The American Journalism Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to local news. We are building a new public service media that is governed by, sustained by and looks like the public it serves. We fund and support nonprofit, nonpartisan, local news organizations. You can find out more here.

What is the Pittsburgh Media Partnership?

The Pittsburgh Media Partnership is a collaborative of local news organizations across the greater Pittsburgh region. Its mission is to support a vibrant, diverse and independent local media ecosystem. The partnership is an initiative of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University, which provides administrative support and fiscal oversight. You can find out more here.

What will happen as a result of this community listening project in Pittsburgh?

What we hear from you will influence the future of local news in the Pittsburgh region. The American Journalism Project will present our findings to the Pittsburgh Media Partnership and its member newsrooms. They’ll use what they learn to inform the stories they cover, the people they speak with, the people they hire, the organizations they partner with, and how they communicate with the public. Pittsburgh Media Partnership may also share this information with local funders as they make the case for support for the kind of local news and information people want and need.

Who do you want to hear from?

We want to hear directly from people who live in the greater Pittsburgh region, which includes Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

We believe residents of local communities need to be part of the conversation about local news, so that we can build a better and more sustainable future for our communities. We want to hear from people of every age, race, income, ability, and political viewpoint. We’re especially interested in hearing from people who have traditionally been underserved by local media, including people of color, and people who live in neighborhoods and suburban or rural areas that lack local news coverage.

Will you publish what I say if I respond to your survey or participate in a focus group?

The American Journalism Project and the Pittsburgh Media Partnership may decide to publish some of our findings, but no names or identifying information of anyone who participates in our survey, focus groups, or interviews will be published, unless those individuals specifically grant permission to do so.

Can I take the survey anonymously?

Yes. You can express your views without leaving contact information. But if you want to get updates about the project or be considered for a focus group, we need a way to contact you, so please include your email address or mobile number in your survey responses.

What will you do with my contact information?

Contact information will be kept confidential in a password-protected location and used for this research project only. We will never sell it, and we will not share contact information with anyone without permission.

I got a text message about this out of the blue. Where did you get my number?

We purchased a random set of phone numbers in the greater Pittsburgh area from a marketing company called Exact Data. Doing so allows us to reach a broader and more representative set of residents in the southwest Pennsylvania region. If you do not wish to receive messages from us, text STOP and your number will be removed from our list.

Are the text messages being sent by a person or are they automated?

Both :) We send out initial messages through an automated system, but each message is seen by at least one member of our community listening team. We can respond individually to your comments and questions within hours, if not minutes. So rest assured, if you respond, you will be communicating with a person.

Do you have a political agenda?

No. Both the American Journalism Project and the Pittsburgh Media Partnership are nonpartisan organizations, not affiliated with any political campaigns or political parties. Our agenda is to improve and strengthen local news.

Are you trying to sell me something?

No. This is a community outreach and research project.

Who is funding this project?

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the American Journalism Project receives grants from philanthropic foundations and tax-exempt donations from individuals. You can find a list of our funders here.

Funding for the Pittsburgh Media Partnership is provided by The Heinz Endowments and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, philanthropic foundations in Pittsburgh.

How can I help spread the word about this project?

We would love your help sharing our survey with your friends and neighbors. Here is some sample language and a link below. You can find more sample sharing language and simple graphics to use on social media at this link.

How do you feel about local news? Who tells the story of your community?

The Pittsburgh Media Partnership and the American Journalism Project want to know how residents of Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania get local news and information.

Take our quick survey at https://publicinput.com/pittsburgh or text PITTSBURGH to 73224 and influence the future of local media. For more information, visit https://listening.theajp.org/pittsburgh