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Newsapalooza  a first-of-its-kind event for Pittsburgh in celebration and support of journalism — will be held Sept. 26-28 at Point Park University and its Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Presented by the University’s Center for Media Innovation, the day will include national and local experts, sessions, discussions and hands-on media-making activities.

“Newsapalooza is an investment in the Pittsburgh story – the people who tell it and the stories they tell,” said Andrew Conte, assistant vice president and managing director of the Center. “True stories are challenged across America due to the loss of key storytellers – trained journalists. We need to protect this vital civic function, and Newsapalooza is another great way to highlight that mission.”

The Center has long been a champion and supporter for journalism, and both its Pittsburgh Media Partnership and Downtown Pittsburgh Media Hub serve to provide resources to regional news outlets. Its McKeesport Community Newsroom continues to support citizen journalism and storytelling in the Mon Valley, an area where residents are filling gaps left by traditional news outlets. The Center also recently celebrated the first graduates of its Citizen Reporting Academy, presented in cooperation with Point Park's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The Academy was developed with Neighborhood News Network and Trib Total Media. 

“Local journalism is still the heart and soul of our communities," said Jennifer Bertetto, president and CEO of Trib Total Media, a member of the Pittsburgh Media Partnership. "It’s the reporter covering the school board meetings, the photographer capturing the town fair and the investigative team exposing environmental hazards. By actively supporting local journalism, you don’t just gain brand recognition or goodwill. You become a stakeholder in the very fabric of your community.”

Evan Smith, cofounder and senior adviser to The Texas Tribune, said it’s a more critical time than ever to support good journalism.

“In a moment when we’re hopelessly polarized and accurate information is at a premium, robust, trusted local news is not only our salvation – it’s our only hope,” said Smith, who spoke at an early stakeholders’ meeting in January at the Center. “Especially in an election year with momentous stakes.”

Announcing the Next Generation Newsroom

Newsapalooza also will act as the official launch for the next Center for Media Innovation project – the Next Generation Newsroom, a teaching program that fills gaps in local reporting, creates career pathways for early-career journalists and reaches a combined 6 million people through 29 publishing partners.

“The Next Generation Newsroom will further amplify the work we do to support local journalism in the Greater Pittsburgh Region,” Conte said. “The public and corporate support we already have received is a clear sign that this community understands the importance of good local journalism.”

Additional Information and Purchase Tickets

The Center will continue to make announcements throughout the summer about special guests and participants in Newsapalooza.

Tickets can be purchased online. Any person or organization interested in inquiring about a Newsapalooza sponsorship can email Kim Palmiero at

Video: Celebrate the Pittsburgh Story at Newsapalooza

More About: digital journalism, School of Communication, Center for Media Innovation, Pittsburgh Playhouse