About the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism

Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, or PINJ, exists to provide coverage of the issues that directly affect our local communities and the people who live, work and go to school in them. Our journalists will strive to provide a particular focus on the inequities in our systems and to shine light into areas that are currently opaque. We also strive to support student journalism and young voices.

We hope to be able to fill some of the gaps in local news coverage created by shrinking news staffs at area media outlets that rely on advertising revenue with both long form and more immediate stories.

PINJ is made possible by a partnership with our fiscal sponsor The Alternative News Foundation. PINJ accepts individual donations and grants. This organization does not accept donations connected to any type of editorial control.

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public. At PINJ, we avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived and disclose unavoidable conflicts. We do not pay for access to news. We accept anonymous donations only for general operation funds. View the Alternative News Foundation Guidestar profile here.

Our funders to date are The Grable Foundation and the Education Writers Association. We thank them for their support.

Visit our Board of Directors here.

If you believe an error is present in PINJ reporting, please contact Director Brittany Hailer at Bhailer08@gmail.com. Any corrections, clarifications or changes to stories will be updated and noted at the bottom of the story page.

Advocating for accommodations has been a constant, but largely quiet, struggle for college students with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990.

Read our first series, Leveling the Playing Field, here.

The PINJ Team

Jody DiPerna

Editor, CFO

Jody DiPerna is an award winning journalist who has been chronicling life, history and literature in Western Pennsylvania for more than 15 years. She was a senior writer for the Pittsburgh Current and has written for Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the Pittsburgh Quarterly, as well as several national outlets.

Email: leftfielddiperna@jodydiperna

Brittany Hailer


Brittany Hailer is an award-wining investigative journalist with a focus on incarceration and mental health. She is a Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared in Sierra Club Magazine, NPR, Longform, PublicSource and elsewhere.

Her memoir Animal You’ll Surely Become was published by Tolsun Books in 2018.

Email: Bhailer08@gmail.com