Katie Blackley


Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer of Pittsburgh Explainer and our Good Question! series and can usually be found exploring the city, answering inquiries from curious listeners. She also reports on Pittsburgh's LGBTQ+ community and is co-president of the local chapter of NLGJA.

She's the author of a book based on the Good Question! series.

After graduating from Duquesne University, Katie was an editor for KQV 1410 AM in downtown Pittsburgh and did freelance video work for the Civic Light Opera.

She’s passionate about all things Pittsburgh and believes someday she’ll solve the Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery. 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

This is the first part in a three-part WESA special on public libraries. Find the second segment here and the third here

Free to the People. The words are etched above the entrance to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s main branch in Oakland. It’s a concept that was once considered radical, but has become an essential part of American communities.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

More than 16,000 people in Allegheny County could be impacted by a proposed change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The federal Department of Agriculture proposal would tighten restrictions for states that maintain a flexible income eligibility level for SNAP recipients.

Charles "Teenie" Harris / Carnegie Museum of Art/Teenie Harris Photographs

Many of the country’s most prolific piano players got their start in Pittsburgh. The city has long cultivated a deep bench of musical talent from jazz greats to classical performers.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Two southwestern Pennsylvania farms have been secured for permanent agriculture protection as part of a larger 40-farm conservation program.

Sean Spencer / 90.5 WESA

Fans of the late Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller gathered in Blue Slide Park a day before the one-year anniversary of his sudden death. Miller, whose real name was Malcolm McCormick, died of an accidental drug overdose in his Studio City, Calif. home last year.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

There’s a party at the graveyard this weekend. Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh’s oldest of its kind, turns 175 this year.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A robot cut the ribbon at the groundbreaking for a new technology innovation facility in Hazelwood Wednesday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Rap star and Pittsburgh native Malcom McCormick, who went by the stage name Mac Miller, died one year ago this month. After his death, a benefit concert and donations raised more than $935,000, which Miller’s family used to create the Mac Miller Fund.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

When Alex Herisko entered the PennDOT Driver License Center in downtown Pittsburgh, they took a number -- 715 -- and looked up at the sign to see how many customers were ahead of them: about 60. Herisko settled in for a long wait.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Four bronze panther monuments keep watch over the Panther Hollow Bridge in Oakland. Weathered over a century, the statutes appear to stalk passersby. 

Antonio Licon / 90.5 WESA

A year after it was established, the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs has helped local governments pass inclusive laws, establish policies for transgender students and worked to end discriminatory practices in the state. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Fundraising is essential to nonprofits, and many organizations don’t just accept cash donations anymore. Public radio listeners may recognize the messages that describe how to donate old cars, RVs and other vehicles.


It’s time for parents to have hard conversations with their kids about their internet behavior. That was the message from the Pittsburgh FBI Field Office Wednesday morning, when officials announced the results of a July initiative called Operation Independence Day. The nationwide operation netted 67 suspected child traffickers. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvanians who prefer not to be identified as male or female will soon have a gender-neutral option for their state-issued identification, including driver’s licenses. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Last weekend, more than 1,000 people waited in line — some overnight — to see a dentist. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Along Fifth Avenue where Pittsburgh’s Oakland and Hill District neighborhoods meet, sit the remnants of concrete foundations and staircases. Trees and wildflowers wrap around broken brick walls and peak through crumbling retaining structures all the way up the hillside.

Google Maps

Older LGBT people are more likely to suffer from cognitive loss and dementia, according to a new study from the University of California San Francisco

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

South Hills transit riders can expect delays for about a month as the Port Authority of Allegheny County replaces light rail tracks and pavement. Work will begin Friday and end Aug. 22.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Police Officer Calvin Hall was remembered by many as a difference-maker. 

Aesopposea / Wikipedia Commons

Native American tribes were the first to settle in western Pennsylvania. The names they gave rivers and towns are still here today, but many leaders of these tribes have been forgotten. Nonhelema, a Shawnee warrior and peacemaker, is one of these figures.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Housing is a main priority for Homewood residents. In a city short 17,000 affordable units, neighborhood activists are acutely aware of the need for low-income housing options. But in many new buildings that accept federal subsidies, formerly incarcerated individuals are barred from renting. 

Pittsburgh Public Schools Photographs / Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Homewood was founded by Pittsburgh’s wealthiest families, but it eventually became one of the city’s poorest and most racially segregated neighborhoods.

Greg Sciulli

With a new roof and exterior brickwork, the 103-year-old Wilkinsburg Train Station is looking for tenants. The historic structure sat vacant for nearly 50 years and is in the midst of a significant restoration.

Marie Miclot / Grappling Fight Team Pittsburgh/True Believer

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which began the movement for LGBTQ equality, local trainers will host a self-defense class for people who identify across the spectrum. 

From Saw Mill Run to Nelson Run to Glass Run, there are about 80 roads in Allegheny County that include the word “run” in their names. No one sprints down these streets, but the word is ubiquitous in the region.


It has been one year since Antwon Rose, a black, unarmed teenager, was fatally shot by white police officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld fired at the teen as he fled a car that had been involved in a drive-by shooting.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Fifty years ago police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar frequented by LGBTQ clientele in New York City. Those inside, led by transgender women of color tired of harassment and oppression, fought back. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This month, most of the Pittsburgh’s iconic water features gushed to life for the first time this year. Fountain designs range from ornate Renaissance-style to modern, marble staircases. They greet park visitors and provide moments of tranquility among downtown skyscrapers.

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

For nearly four decades, GSAs have been a supportive environment for LGBTQ students and community members. 

Allegheny Cemetery

Pittsburgh's iconic Allegheny Cemetery has commemorated Memorial Day for 150 years.