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Happy Birthday, St. Pete Catalyst

Bill DeYoung



The St. Pete Catalyst is five years old today.

Our experiment in local news technically launched in late January of 2018, without any bells or whistles. Very few people saw the website during that soft opening; it wasn’t until March 20, when the first Daily Spark newsletter was emailed, that the Catalyst truly arrived.

That’s five years of professionally written, all local, business, finance, civic and arts news, delivered – absolutely free – to inboxes across St. Pete and elsewhere, six days every week. 

Publisher Joe Hamilton

Within weeks of launching as an innovative online business publication, the Catalyst began to cover local politics, City Hall and commission decisions, neighborhood issues and other civic matters.

Senior writer and editor Bill DeYoung

The arts section – developed to fill another all-too-obvious gap in existing local journalism – debuted within the first year. Then we started covering education. Next came real estate transactions. Then a community events calendar. Sports is coming along, too.

The Catalyst has, since the beginning, included guest columnists and “Community Voices,” a forum for outside writers to contribute.

Our Founder and Publisher Joe Hamilton shares five more aspects of Catalyst philosophy in a piece also on the site today. 

Launching soon is the Tampa Catalyst – experienced journalists are being sought, and are asked to send cover letter and resume to

Reporter Veronica Brezina

The Tampa edition will come under the umbrella of Cityverse, Hamilton’s ambitious startup civic platform that will connect the community online through information, ideas and experiences. Stay tuned for more on this, coming soon.

So here’s to five good years – numerous, multi-talented writers have come in and out of our orbit – and a toast to the future, to Cityverse and the Tampa Catalyst and to all the St. Pete stories yet to be written.

Reporter Mark Parker

In an introductory piece written in March, 2018, author and journalism maven Roy Peter Clark expressed the hope that the fledgling platform would fill a widening void in local news coverage:

“When I looked up the word ‘catalyst’ in the dictionary it said: ‘An agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.’ Cities continue to thrive and stay progressive only if they avoid sitting on their laurels, only when they open themselves to change.

“But what kind of change, and in what direction? Catalyst, it’s up to you. It’s up to us. Please show us the way.”









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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    John Donovan

    March 20, 2023at3:22 pm

    Congrats! You’ve filled a niche. Broaden your horizon and avoid being another TBT.

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The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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