Blue Sky News staffer Natalie Fiorilli shoots video of cargo operations following the arrival of a National Airlines charter flight at PIT in April. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

Covering Aviation’s Toughest Year, Blue Sky Turns 2

Happy birthday to us!

Blue Sky News just turned 2 years old, but it feels like we’ve been telling stories about Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports and the crucial role they play in Western Pennsylvania for much longer than that.

What we quickly discovered after our November 2018 launch, however, was that Western Pennsylvania itself plays a crucial role on the world stage, and PIT and AGC are integral parts of advancing the region.

We’re passionate about telling that story, and it shows. A year after our launch, Blue Sky was named the best public relations program for medium-sized airports by our peers at Airports Council International-North America.

Jim Flink, an associate professor of strategic communication at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, said the “currency of authenticity” is what makes Blue Sky’s brand journalism effective.

“Increasingly, brands are taking the opportunity to find their voices and not have that filtered through a third party, and there are all sorts of benefits to that,” he said.

Blue Sky News staffers Matt Neistein and Natalie Fiorilli accept an award from Airports Council International on Nov. 7, 2019, in Miami. (Courtesy of Airports Council International)

Since our first weekly e-newsletter delivered the headlines on Nov. 13, 2018, the Blue Sky team has published nearly 500 stories about everything from emotional support peacocks to award-winning beehives to PIT’s billion-dollar Terminal Modernization Program.

Covering a historically tough time for the industry this year has been a challenge, but we’re particularly proud of the words, photos and videos that show the innovation and dynamism that are a hallmark of our region and its airports.

Whether it’s industry-leading cleaning technology during the pandemic, a revolutionary real estate development devoted to advanced manufacturing or the best space for people with sensory sensitivities at any airport on the planet, telling stories about how Pittsburgh and its people are changing aviation for the better never gets old.

“You’re coming to people who see you as someone who is invested in that space, that really understands its strengths and its shortcomings, and you’re living it on a day-to-day basis,” Flink said.

“You can speak about things in a way that you understand what the crux of the issue really is, not what it appears to be.”

– Executive Editor Bob Kerlik, Managing Editor Matt Neistein, Photo and Video Editor Beth Hollerich, Contributing Editor Jeff Martinelli, Staff Writer and Videographer Natalie Fiorilli, Contributing Writer Alyson Walls, Contributing Writer Elise Gomez

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