About the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism
Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, or PINJ, exists to provide coverage that focuses on enterprising and unique criminal and social justice stories in Western Pennsylvania. Our journalists strive to provide a particular focus on the inequities in our systems and to shine light into areas that are currently opaque.
Our mission is to fill some of the gaps in local news coverage — gaps created by shrinking news staff at area media outlets. PINJ supports and provides mutual aid to existing community publications, and works to collaborate with new writers committed to civic-engagement initiatives.
We worked to transform an alternative weekly, advertising-funded news organization into a nonprofit newsroom equipped to cover issues other media outlets do not have the staff or funding to cover. This project has been built on sweat equity since early 2020. We are small, but we provide coverage of Western Pennsylvania with long-term and long form enterprise writing and reporting.
PINJ investigations into deaths in custody at the Allegheny County Jail have been received national and regional honors including Best Investigation in the 2022 Nonprofit News Awards and Best-of-Show, the Ray Sprigle Memorial Award in Western Pennsylvania Press Club’s 2022 Golden Quills competition.
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 include The Grable Foundation, The Google News Equity Fund, The Pittsburgh Media Partnership 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 Brittany@pinjnews.org. 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.
The PINJ Team
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.
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. . She is a 2022-2023 Fellow for the Law and Justice Journalism Project.
Her work has appeared in Sierra Club Magazine, NPR, Longform, Spotlight Pa, PublicSource and elsewhere.
Her memoir Animal You’ll Surely Become was published by Tolsun Books in 2018.