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McKeesport Media Oasis Project Helps Young Storytellers Find Their Voice

Lou Corsaro
Point Park University
Andrew Conte, Isaiah Johnson and Sirinity Moorefield join WESA's Kevin Gavin for "The Confluence" on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.


It’s been almost three years since The McKeesport Daily News published its final edition, and a pilot program out of Point Park University aims to fill at least a portion of that media void. 

The McKeesport Media Oasis Project worked with local middle and high school students this year to teach journalism skills and encourage storytelling in their own community. The collaboration between the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University and the Youth Community and Schools Together Leadership Network, or Youth CAST, culminates in a showcase and celebration Saturday.

Center director Andrew Conte was joined in studio Thursday by two of those young writers: Isaiah Johnson and Sirinity Moorefield, both students in the McKeesport Area School District.

Credit The Green Building Alliance
The Green Building Alliance
Jenna Cramer, Executive Director of the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh

Elsewhere in the show, explosions involving gas pipelines have rocked communities near Pittsburgh and Boston recently—causing evacuations, destroying homes, injuring dozens and killing a young man. Dangerous incidents are rare, but Pennsylvania is in the midst of a pipeline-building boom, and the Mariner East 2 line is supposed to come online soon. StateImpact Pennsylvania's series continues with Marie Cusick’s look into why residents living nearby are wary of new pipelines.

90.5 WESA's Amy Sisk reports on the Trump administration’s hearing to roll back Obama-era emissions standards. The day-long hearing in Pittsburgh Wednesday heard opposition from dozens of the citizens in attendance, as Trump prepares to reduce requirements for vehicle manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency to over 50 miles per gallon by 2026. The Trump administration proposed capping that requirement at 35 miles per gallon by 2021. 

And for the past 25 years, the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh has been a leading organization in the move towards sustainable energy. Executive director Jenna Cramer, who joined the alliance in 2008, took over in July. She says Pittsburgh is nationally known as a leader in sustainable development, but there's still a lot more that could be done.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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