Managing Editor

Melissa Troutman is a Public Herald co-founder. She has experience as a traditional print and multimedia journalist and has a passion for photography, teaching, songwriting, and dance.

As Managing Editor for Public Herald, Melissa strives to unearth, or sometimes dust off and reorganize, stories that are valuable to all readers. You can email her at Follow on twitter: @melissat22

“Fracking could literally kill me” @GovernorTomWolf #help

Dorene Dougherty holds a ceramic mask to help her breathe during respiratory attacks trigured by her rare medical condition, encephalopathy. She tells Public Herald that if fracking is constructed near her home it could be fatal. © jbpribanic

Public Herald has made nearly a dozen attempts to talk to Pennsylvania’s new Governor, Tom Wolf, to share our investigations and talk about how Wolf plans to handle the problems from fracking inherited by previous administrations. Some of […]

Pennsylvania Ecosystem Fights Corporation For Rights In Landmark Fracking Lawsuit

Grant Township Supervisor Jon Perry with residents Judy Wanchism and her daughter, Stacy Long, at a fishing hole on Little Mahoning Creek. Both Wanchism and Long appealed a permit to inject fracking waste in the township and Little Mahoning Watershed. © Kyle Pattison for Public Herald

For the first time in United States history, an ecosystem — a watershed, to be exact — has filed to defend itself in a lawsuit. The suit aims to reverse a local ban on the injection of fracking […]

North Carolina Newspapers Keep Fracking Data in the Dark

Bradford County, PA resident is interviewed by Public Herald about her community fight against the storage of fracking waste in backyards, an issue North Carolina will have to face in the state's proposed regulations. © jbpribanic

The major newspapers of Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina all passed on publishing this editorial about proposed fracking regulations for North Carolina and how it relates to Pennsylvania. Why? I’m not sure, but thankfully I have Public […]

First Thoughts on Tesla National Road Trip [Insert “Knight Rider” Theme Song]

Tesla Model S charging while a summer Delaware thunderstorm takes shape. photo: jbpribanic

Public Herald is touring Triple Divide across the U.S.A. in a Tesla Model S. Don’t worry about how we got the car — we promise it had nothing to do with Mark Ruffalo. Tesla’s Model S is an […]

What 43 Kids Had to Say About Fracking @BarackObama @INN

Children are being more and more exposed to fracking; Kennedy Pribanic (on the right), sister of Triple Divide's Joshua Pribanic, sees her first drill rig in Tiadaghton State Forest. photo: Jamie Pribanic

The night Public Herald kicked of its national tour of Triple Divide at Wesleyan College in West Virginia, 43 youngsters between the ages of 11 and 15 showed up — the most kids we’ve ever seen at a single […]

10,000 miles. 0 Gasoline. Cross-Country Tour Of Fracking Investigation Will Challenge Your Ideas About Energy

Public Herald founders Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman with a TESLA Model S. The two embark on a national tour of their documentary "Triple Divide" about  fracking on June 21st. With TESLA's Supercharger network they'll cross the country using zero gasoline.  photo: Tod J Xelowski © Public Herald

Investigative News Team Screening ‘Triple Divide’ Across U.S. What do fracking and the car of the future have in common? This summer, communities across the Unites States will have the opportunity to witness investigative documentary Triple Divide about […]

$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

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 […]

Facts Behind The Daily Show’s Fracking Video

The Daily Show segment on fracking was shot at the home of Christine and Cory Pepper, who have water problems and live next to a fracked well that’s caused documented drinking water well problems on neighbors’ properties. Carol French, another Bradford Co. resident with water contamination, is looking over her left shoulder as comedian Aasif Mandvi reads his notes.

Public Herald & The Daily Show Impacted residents of the most heavily drilled and fracked county in the largest shale gas extraction zone in the United States – the Marcellus Shale – appeared in a segment of The […]

Meet Our New Crush, ‘Mission & State’

Front page January 27, 2014, Mission & State online.

We at Public Herald get crushes kind of often. Our latest one is on Mission & State, a new in-depth journalism project in Santa Barbara, California. Like so many other great connections, we discovered M&S because of fracking. Yes, thanks to that highly controversial and dangerous drilling process formerly known as horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing, we’ve met some really amazing people. Fracking is only one part of Mission & State’s coverage of news in and around Santa Barbara, which finds itself atop the oil and gas rich Monterey Shale, a bedrock formation with average depths of over 11,000 feet underground according to National Geographic. Check out Mission & State’s coverage of the ‘urchin and caviar’ politics surrounding the fracking debate in California.

New York Next On National Tour Of New Fracking Documentary


Triple Divide, a fracking documentary the Scranton Times Leader called “a bombshell that could reverberate across the state,” is headed to New York for a month of screenings and discussion with the journalists who created it, Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic, visiting towns from western New York to the Big Apple. New York is the third leg of the documentary’s national tour across shale regions of the United States and will be at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center on January 24th at 8:00 p.m. Wellsville is directly downstream from the documentary’s namesake, the triple continental divide in Potter County, Pa. where the Genesee River is born. It’s also where the Allegheny River in with New York. Reviews of Triple Divide call it the only documentary on the controversial subject of fracking capable of speaking to all sides. “Even if you have differences, you have to find common ground to speak about this,” says a Pennsylvania organic dairy farmer in the film.