The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle is teaming with the Pittsburgh Union Progress to enhance each publication’s coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial.
The unique partnership will provide shared content and allow for pooled resources between the two publications.
The Pittsburgh Union Progress is the publication of the striking workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, covering the labor dispute and other important community news, according to its website. Those workers have been on strike for six months. The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle is a multimedia news organization serving the southwestern Pennsylvania Jewish community.
Included as part of the Union Progress’ team are a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and photographer who covered the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, as well as a reporter who covered the courts for the daily newspaper.
Toby Tabachnick, the editor of the Chronicle, said the partnership will be mutually beneficial for the news outlets because it provides them both with an increase in resources and an amalgamation of knowledge and experience.
Importantly, she said, that combination will help to better serve readers.
“We’re bringing different perspectives from our different publications, different levels of expertise, different types of expertise, and combining them into stories that we’re doing together and stories that we’re doing separately,” she said. “I think we’ll be able to provide our community with a wide range of very serious, sensitive and important reporting.”
Both the Chronicle and the Union Progress recognize that they have a duty to be a voice for their communities.
While the Union Progress brings hard news and courtroom experience to the partnership, the Chronicle has connections and sources in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community unlike any other media outlet in the city.
“Because we’re so ingrained in the community, we have very deep relationships with so many members of the community who were directly affected by the massacre: the victims, the families, the survivors, and also the institutions in the Jewish community that are affected by this event,” Tabachnick said.
Bob Batz Jr., a feature writer and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is serving as the interim editor of the Union Progress. He said he was approached with the idea of collaborating with the Chronicle in February and said yes almost immediately.
“There was nothing about it that didn’t sound great,” Batz said. “I’ve used the term before and I’ll use it again: This is really a dream team for covering this story.”
The writers working at Union Progress, which is online only, didn’t foresee that they would still be publishing six months after the start of the strike, Batz said, but they feel it is important to continue serving their community while the strike continues.
That commitment extends to covering the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial.
“I liked the idea of sharing the work with two small teams,” Batz said, “but more than that, I’m thinking of it in terms of this groundbreaking cooperation rather than a competing thing, which I think is the coolest part about this.”
Torsten Ove is leading trial coverage for the Union Progress. He said he appreciates teaming with the Chronicle, especially because the PUP reporters are working for free while the strike lingers.
“Having the partnership is helpful, and it will mean reaching a wider audience because we’re sharing the stories in both our publications,” he said. “Any kind of wider audience for PUP is good for us. And I think it will help [the Chronicle] as well to get the nuts-and-bolts stories out there about the trial. So I think it’s kind of a win-win for us.”
The Pittsburgh Media Partnership is providing a grant for the collaboration that the two outlets will share.
Adam Reinherz, a staff writer for the Chronicle, said that the partnership will bolster the commitment that the journalists already have.
“We are privileged to have a tremendous responsibility to our readers and to the community at large, and we don’t take that lightly,” Reinherz said. “We didn’t take that lightly on Oct. 26, we didn’t take that lightly on Oct. 27 and we certainly haven’t taken it lightly in the days since.
“We are going to approach this in the best way that we can, building on the great legacy that the Chronicle has, and certainly relying on the incredible work that the [Pittsburgh Union Progress journalists] have done from day one.”
David Rullo writes for the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, where this first appeared. This story is part of ongoing coverage of the upcoming Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial by the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle and the Pittsburgh Union Progress in a collaboration supported by funding from the Pittsburgh Media Partnership.