Why Image Isn’t Everything

You may not be aware of this, but the WTAE studios are located just off the Parkway East in Wilkinsburg. It’s our home base. We are proud residents of Wilkinsburg and actively involved in the local chamber of commerce. Also, like many Wilkinsburg businesses and residents, we’re not proud of the latest news to come out of our neighborhood.

From the April shooting death of 12-year-old Kholen Germany to the horrific death of 18-year-old Kia Johnson who had her unborn child cut out of her body, Wilkinsburg has been in the headlines – and not in a positive way. Such senseless violence makes people, for better or worse, equate Wilkinsburg with violence and crime. Wilkinsburg’s image has taken a pounding no doubt.

Now before you go and blame the media, like some in the community have, let me take the time say this: We cover the news and these stories are the news of the day. We do cover positive events happening in our backyard, but it’s not a question of balance. It’s a question of priority and right now, violence in our neighborhoods is the priority.

That being said, there are good things happening in Wilkinsburg. From a actively trying to restore pride and a sense of community to the development of newer housing for residents, there are attempts to recapture what made Wilkinsburg such a thriving community decades ago. Then, there are professionals I know who have decided to move to Wilkinsburg, believing the location and the opportunity for development make it a location poised for growth.

We all at WTAE want nothing but the best for this community and we’ll do what we can as residents and workers in this area to help make that happen. I just want everyone to know that what you see in the news about Wilkinsburg is only part of the story … an ugly part of the story. It’s not indicative of they way the majority of residents are and certainly not want we want people to think when they see Wilkinsburg.

Let’s hope these tragic episodes will be the last of the violence and let’s hope that all of Wilkinsburg, including us here at WTAE, will be able to be proud of what this part of Pittsburgh has become … and what it will be for years to come.

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