New Staff at The Allegheny Front: Julie Grant, Kara Holsopple

  • Allegheny Front staff, clockwise from top left: Reid Frazier, Kara Holsopple, Julie Grant, Jennifer Szweda Jordan, and Kathy Knauer. Photo: Jim Judkis

September 13, 2013

There’s a new team in place at The Allegheny Front

Fresh off of winning an Edward R. Murrow Award in New York, reporter Julie Grant has come to Pittsburgh to work for The Allegheny Front.

During her time working first in Ohio and then later in New York, Grant’s covered a wide range of issues. For 17 years in Ohio, she reported on topics including education and state politics. She began to focus on environmental news before moving to New York. Her work has been heard on The Allegheny Front, The Environment Report, The Splendid Table, Living on Earth, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Studio 360.

Grant covered a controversy that resulted after the Obama administration and the U.S. Agriculture Department implemented the new school lunch program. It became a point of contention last year in New York’s congressional campaigns. Grant’s work won an Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news reporting in New York.

“I covered it quite extensively, and at the station where I was working, North Country Public Radio, we were all very happy that it won this nice award,” Grant says.

Grant also took part in a documentary project called The DNA Files. Distributed by NPR, and focused on genetically modified crops, her reporting took all the way to India.

“At the time, they were not allowing any GMO crops but had found Monsanto had planted a GMO rice field in the Basmati region in northern India, and the farmers had burned it. And we wanted to go with them and learn about why,” Grant says. “Five years later, all of these issues are still ripe right now.”

Grant’s first story for The Allegheny Front in her new role airs this week. It’s about using games to communicate environmental and economic information.

In another change at The Allegheny Front, Kara Holsopple has moved from years freelance reporting to full-time work. She'll be producing stories, coordinating social media, editing the website and assembling the weekly program. Holsopple has been a contributing writer for various magazines including Table, and an outreach educator for WYEP's Radio New(s) Vision Program. She holds a masters degree from Chatham University.

“As a lifelong resident of southwestern Pennsylvania, this work represents a unique opportunity to cover my home community on multiple platforms,” Holsopple says.

Holsopple produced The Allegheny Front’s Rewind in 2011 to celebrate the program’s 20th year on-air.  This experience gives Holsopple extensive knowledge on the issues important to our listeners, say The Allegheny Front's executive producer Kathy Knauer.

"Hiring Julie and Kara represents the next step in making our show even better,” says Knauer. “We won dozens of press awards this year, and we know that the new additions to the staff will garner even more recognition for the important reporting we’re doing on environmental issues.”

Meet Grant and Holsopple, and the rest of the team, at The Allegheny Front’s next free public eventGreen Gathering: EcoGames on Weds., Sept. 25. It’ll be a fun, FREE evening of board games and environmental discussion, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Register here.