$35K Awarded To Public Herald To Tour Fracking Documentary Across U.S.

Journalists and Public Herald co-founders Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman high-five in celebration of their INNovation Fund award to tour their investigative documentary Triple Divide across the country.  photo: Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network

Journalists and Public Herald co-founders Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman high-five in celebration of their INNovation Fund award to tour their investigative documentary Triple Divide across the country. photo: Pittsburgh Continental Philosophy Network

PENNSYLVANIA — Investigative news nonprofit Public Herald has won $35,000 to tour its investigative documentary Triple Divide about fracking in the Marcellus Shale across the United States.
Public Herald is one of eight winners in the first round of INNovation Fund grants awarded by the Investigative News Network (INN) with funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The INNovation Fund has chosen Public Herald and others “to undertake innovative projects that will bring their organization closer to financial sustainability.”

publicherald_logo_black_text_outline-01“We are thrilled to be awarded this grant,” said Public Herald co-founder Joshua Pribanic. “We’re also very grateful to the public who got us here. So far we’ve been able to do our work because of them.”
Public Herald’s tour will demonstrate how documentary can inform and engage new audiences and members. “We publish online but have spent a lot of time in front of real audiences with Triple Divide, and when people see our work they want to support the kind of reporting we do,” said co-founder Melissa Troutman.

Narrated with help from Academy-award nominated actor Mark Ruffalo, Triple Divide is Public Herald’s first feature-length documentary, the culmination of nearly two years of reporting. Thanks to the INNovation Fund, Pribanic and Troutman, who co-wrote, directed, edited and produced Triple Divide, will now reach new communities across the country.

“Our investigations cover cradle-to-grave impacts not covered anywhere else, such as the predrill water testing problem and pressure bulb effect of fracking,” said Pribanic. “This information is crucial for areas where fracking is ongoing or just getting started.”

In addition to the documentary, audiences will be introduced to Public Herald’s #fileroom transparency project at Publicfiles.org, working to create an online database of oil and gas files.

“We also plan to tour the country in an electric vehicle,” said Troutman. “Our aim is to expose both online and ‘offline’ audiences to the culture and sustainability of emerging transportation and energy technology.”

Public Herald is now accepting tour stop proposals from groups and individuals across the country who want to screen Triple Divide. To add your state, email Melissa@publicherald.org and Joshua@publicherald.org. See video clips and tour dates at TripleDivideFilm.org.

Edinboro Film Series hosts Triple Divide at Edinboro University. photo: jbpribanic

Edinboro Film Series hosts Triple Divide at Edinboro University. photo: jbpribanic

Triple Divide is set in the watersheds of the triple continental divide in northern Pennsylvania, one of only four in all of North America. Public Herald thanks Mountain Watershed Association for fiscally sponsoring the U.S. tour project and empowering communities through watershed awareness, advocacy and restoration.

You can follow the tour by tuning in on Twitter @PublicHerald and #TripleDivide. Read more about the winning projects at Investigativenewsnetwork.org/innovation.

About Melissa Troutman