The tourism industry calls it “ruin porn” – a chic fascination with landmarks in decay. Pennsylvania is filled with historic, vacated places just waiting to be explored. To coincide with this growing trend in abandoned tourism, WQED visits a few unique, offbeat attractions. Planned destinations include Eastern State Penitentiary, a haunting world of crumbling cell blocks and empty guard towers in Philadelphia; Eckley Miners’ Village, a coal patch ghost town in Luzerne County; the Carrie Blast Furnace, once the epitome of Pittsburgh steelmaking, the site now hosts weddings, film crews and Halloween parties; Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine in Schuylkill County.
Forgotten/Found aired on Oct 26, 2017.
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In a volatile election year, WQED re-centers the conversation around issues that matter to Western Pennsylvanians. This production features thoughtful reports on our local infrastructure, economy and school safety. A diverse panel of political thinkers share their thoughts on how those issues might be affected by the midterm elections.
Dr. Rueben Brock, California University of Pennsylvania;
Rennick Remley, GOP Committee Chair from Pittsburgh 7th Ward;
Kristin Kanthak, University of Pittsburgh.
Original airdate: Oct 25, 2018
This half-hour documentary explores and exposes threats to Pennsylvania’s watersheds, and highlights the efforts of committed scientists, water-quality advocates, and everyday citizens as they work to protect and restore the state’s streams and rivers . . . not only to benefit Pennsylvanians, but also for the health and safety of all of the life that exists in its downstream communities. Downstream was produced by Point Park University/Environmental Journalism, in association with WQED Multimedia.
Original airdate: Oct 11, 2018
Educators, politicians and activists discuss the issues that shape the community.
Original airdate: Jun 07, 2018
Tattoos can transform – but in a way that goes far beyond body art. Explore the lives of people who use tattoos for mental health and medical reasons. The compelling documentary introduces self-harm and suicide survivors who use ink to cover their scars, a breast cancer patient who got tattoos to make reconstruction look more realistic and a veteran hoping to hide the wounds of war.
Original airdate: Mar 29, 2018
Groundbreaking, influential, transformative. From its beginnings in 1907, the Pittsburgh Courier has been a leader among the nation’s African American newspapers – sparking historic change on issues ranging from education, housing and employment to discrimination in the military. With rare archival images and compelling interviews, this documentary explores the Courier’s impact on civil rights, social justice, culture and sports. The paper also provided historians with an invaluable chronicle of everyday life in the black community.
Original airdate: Feb 22, 2018
It started with a shipwreck in 1850. Two Irish sweethearts are headed to the New World when calamity strikes. The chaos of the shipwreck separated the couple. But many years later, WQED picks up the story in Pittsburgh where their implausible reunion is a love story for the ages. It’s just one of a collection of poignant, romantic and life-affirming stories set in Western Pennsylvania – all with an engaging musical thread.
Original airdate: Feb 08, 2018