The students worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Martha Rial and walked around on photo safaris to make images of the city. They wrote personal essays about the issues they face: One wrote about overcoming body shape issues, and another shared her fear of police officers after the Antwon Rose shooting. They interviewed community leaders and residents at the playgrounds.

We are publishing their stories and dozens of their photographs. We also held a community celebration of the student journalists’ work.

This project alone will not solve the problem of news deserts. But in one struggling neighborhood, these young people started the process of bringing life back to their community’s shared story.

Requesting feedback for a future story: “The Post-Gazette is too liberal, and the Tribune-Review is too conservative.” Remember hearing words like those over the past few decades? Few people would say that any longer. If you feel abandoned by the shifting political leanings of your local newspaper, please share your thoughts with me at Your responses could appear in a future On Media column.

Andrew Conte writes the On Media column with support from The Heinz Endowments. You may find all of his columns here, and you may reach him at