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WITF’s PA Post launches and REAL IDs in Pennsylvania


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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, September 10, 2018:

Coming soon to an email inbox, radio, newspaper or website near you: PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization created by WITF Public Media.  

WITF launches on Monday, featuring news articles and analysis focusing on Pennsylvania state policies and politics. There are three main components to PA Post. First is the website. Second is a Monday through Friday e-newsletter called The Contextwhich begins Sept. 17 and will include top stories (from PA Post and trusted media partners) and analysis. The Context is written by Emily Previti and edited by Scott Blanchard. The third component of PA Post is a weekly podcast, called State of the StateThe podcast begins Sept. 27 and is hosted by Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer. 

Why PA PostWITF Public Media has covered legislative and statewide issues since our founding in 1964, on television at first, and then on radio, in print, at community meetings and online. We’ve built both a public and commercial radio network for state government news and PA Post expands that distribution network to include newspapers and digital media organizations across the state. Select media partners will collaborate with us to contribute their content to PA Post, as well. 

WITF Public Media is pleased to introduce PA Post to our fellow Pennsylvanians, and appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the initiative are WITF President and CEO Kathleen Pavelko and Multimedia News Director Tim Lambert.  We are also joined by Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas served as an inspiration for the PA Post digital model.

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Kathleen Pavelko and Tim Lambert


Also on Monday’s Smart Talk, the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress after 9/11, seeks to improve national security by ensuring that everyone has secure driver’s licenses and identification documents. Beginning in spring of 2019, Pennsylvanians will be able to obtain REAL IDs. These IDs will be needed to board domestic commercial flights and to enter certain federal buildings and nuclear energy plants. 

It is not mandatory for Pennsylvanians to purchase REAL IDs; PennDOT says that other forms of “federally-acceptable identification,” such as passports and military IDs, can be used to board flights and gain access to secure sites, as well. A REAL ID will not be necessary for tasks such as driving and voting. 

The new IDs will cost $30 up front, plus a periodic renewal fee, similar to a standard driver’s license. To make sure that people are not losing money or time in transitioning to this new form of identification, PennDOT explains, “The expiration date of the initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on your current license or ID card, plus an additional four years, unless you areover 65 and have a two-year license. For more information visit PennDOT’s REAL ID website.

On Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss Pennsylvania’s implementation of the REAL ID are Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman McLaurine Klingler and PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers. 

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Kurt Myers


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