Project Lead, Spotlight PA (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Project Lead, Spotlight PA (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Project Lead – Diverse Source Database for Pennsylvania

Spotlight PA is seeking a freelance journalist or researcher to create a diverse source database for Pennsylvania journalists. The project will be overseen by Spotlight PA, an independent, non-partisan newsroom focused on accountability reporting on the state government and urgent statewide issues. The final product, however, will be a public, searchable database of Pennsylvania-based experts who are people of color – akin to a localized version of NPR’s national source database. This project is made possible by a generous grant from the PA NewsMedia Association Foundation Fellows Fund for the Future.

Amid the national conversation about race, equity, and inclusion, Pennsylvania’s newsrooms are grappling with their own history of discrimination and systemic racism in staffing and coverage. On the latter point, journalists have tended to amplify white voices over others in their stories. A diverse source database is just one step towards ensuring that our local and statewide news coverage is more accurate, equitable and better reflects the communities we serve.

What You’ll Do

  • Oversee the research and creation of the source list, making use of Spotlight PA’s extensive collaborative network as well as original reporting/outreach to identify POC experts located in cities and towns throughout the state.
  • Create a submission form for suggestions for the list to be sent to local journalists, media partners, professional journalism groups, and other stakeholders to ensure this is a collaborative effort.
  • Confirm a minimum of 100 sources who agree to be listed in the database with a photo, proper identification and current contact information. The database will be organized by topic. (Spotlight PA staff will oversee the technical creation of the web interface.)

Other Information

  • This will be a remote freelance position.
  • Ideal candidates would be freelance journalists or researchers with strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • The project lead will be paid a competitive rate.
  • The project lead will be expected to complete the project within 2-3 months.

How to Apply

We know not everyone reading this will fit exactly what we’ve described. We encourage anyone who shares our passion for more diverse, equitable, and inclusive journalism to apply. Spotlight PA is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, and we especially encourage applications from members of underrepresented communities, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with special needs.

Please send a resume and brief cover letter explaining why you’re interested in the position to

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

About Spotlight PA

Spotlight PA is a Harrisburg-based newsroom dedicated to producing non­partisan accountability journalism about Pennsylvania government and urgent statewide issues. We are an independent watchdog unafraid to dig deep, fight for the truth and take on the powerful to expose wrongdoing and spur meaningful reform. We connect Pennsylvanians to their state, and to each other, through public service journalism that matters to their lives and is creatively told in the many modern, digital ways they consume their news. Spotlight PA’s journalism is published in 35+ news outlets around the state. Learn more at