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WVIA Receives Grant Funding for New Local Reporter to Expand News Coverage to Williamsport, Lycoming County

WVIA FCFP Grant Pressroom Image

PITTSTON, PA- WVIA has been awarded an $80,000 grant through the Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. This grant will support the addition of a dedicated, full-time WVIA News reporter to exclusively cover Williamsport and the Lycoming County region.

WVIA News is currently composed of a News Director and five full-time journalists who, along with freelance writers, videographers, and photographers, bring detailed community stories to life from many perspectives within Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. WVIA News was founded in 2022 and has been rapidly growing, gaining momentum fueled by the generous support from local communities and the increased demand for a trusted source for local nonprofit journalism.

In a recent survey conducted by WVIA News, 53.7% of respondents stated that they are only somewhat satisfied with the local news options available to them, and 65.9% stated that it is very important to them that a news outlet covers local news. Residents of Lycoming County made up a substantial portion of the survey responses.

WVIA’s Senior Director of Education and Grants, Vicki Austin, commented, “I am thrilled that the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania recognizes the value of a reporter dedicated to Williamsport and Lycoming County, and is providing the support needed for WVIA News to make it happen. This investment in news for the health of the community reflects the Foundation's vision to create powerful communities through passionate giving.”

As a trusted, legacy organization serving our region for over fifty years, WVIA covers 22 counties and has a unique coverage area. For the past three years WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe, has prioritized local content and the creation and growth of the News Team with solid support and guidance from WVIA’s Board of Directors.

WVIA is dedicated to expanding its News Team and developing reporters who can focus on regional issues in its varied communities. “Williamsport City and Lycoming County as a whole are priorities for WVIA News,” said WVIA President & CEO, Carla McCabe. “An embedded journalist that can report exclusively on topics affecting these areas while developing collaborative relationships with journalists from other regional outlets will allow WVIA to further our mission in this region.”

"From the beginning, WVIA News has been asking people what they want from local journalism, and what we've heard is quite clear,” says News Director, Julie Sidoni. “They want the best information they can find about important happenings in their communities. This new reporter ensures that the people who live in Williamsport and Lycoming County will have someone dedicated to telling the stories that matter to them most."

This is the second grant-funded news position for WVIA in 2023. These additions to WVIA’s growing news department are evidence of the level of support from donors and the community for local non-profit journalism, and the level of commitment from WVIA to fill the need for such.

The Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program is made possible through the generosity of multiple field of interest funds.

Abert F. and Edythe B. Hardt Fund
Alfred A. DiCenso and Robert L. Ellison Foundation Fund
Catherine E. Reardon Fund
Charles J. Plankenhorn Fund
Dietrick Lamade Fund
Dr. Marshall D. Welch, Jr. Fund
Elizabeth C. Kackenmeister Fund
Elizabeth S. Metzger Fund
Fairman R. Megahan Fund
Frances Piatt Frey Fund
Frederic T. Moore Fund I
Frederic T. Moore Fund II
George A. & Shirley S. Durrwachter Fund
George R. Lamade Fund
Harold W. and Grace L. Biehler Memorial Fund
Herbert P. Haskin Memorial Fund
Hortense Sherman Fund
Howard J. and George R. Lamade Family Fund
James B. Graham Fund
John G. Snowden Fund
Lawrence E. Maroney Fund
Louis A. Wetzel Fund
Margaret R. Brown Fund
Marion Mallinson and Marion Clinger Fisher Fund
Mattie E. Clark Fund
May Heilman Spangle Fund
Myron H. McBride and Gertrude H. McBride Fund
Olga Lehman Fund
Peter and Rosemarie DePasquale Fund
R. H. Confair Family Fund
Reverend Thomas P. Simmons Wilson and Ida G. Wilson Memorial Fund
Thomas L. Stearns Fund
Van Buskirk-Rothrock Fund
William C. Heilman Fund
William H. Plummer Fund
Williamsport Lycoming Community Fund

About the Grantor 
The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania works to improve the quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets. FCFP strives to create powerful communities through passionate giving. For more information visit www.FCFPartnership.org.

About WVIA
WVIA is the PBS and NPR affiliate serving over 22 counties in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. For over 50 years WVIA has been committed to serving the people by offering informational, educational, and entertaining content that enriches and expands viewpoints and serves as a catalyst for positive change. WVIA television channels include WVIA TV, WVIA PBS Kids 24/7, and WVIA Create. WVIA’s radio channels include WVIA Radio, WVIA Arts, and the Chiaroscuro Channel. WVIA’s programs can also be found streaming live and on-demand on wvia.org and the WVIA app.

WVIA Mission
WVIA educates, inspires, entertains and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.