WVIA Receives Grant Funding For New Local Reporter

Members News

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