Two weeks ago, Holly Otterbein was named reporter of the year at the Pen & Pencil Club’s Philadelphia News Awards. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that beginning January 5th, Holly will cover politics, government, and the mayor’s race for Phillymag.com and the magazine’s soon-to-launch urban affairs blog, Citified.
You’ve no doubt heard Holly on WHYY and read her coverage on NewsWorks, including such important stories as this look at domestic violence victims forced to stay with their abusers due to a shortage of public housing, and this gutsy report calling out big private employers for flouting a city law that bans companies from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record.
In earlier years, Holly was a staff writer on the joint WHYY/Daily News “It’s Our Money” project, where she performed the invaluable public service of embarrassing Councilman Jim Kenney into abandoning his $28k-a-year professional Twitter handler and doing the deed himself. (Kenney’s Twitter feed has since become a civic treasure.) Before that, as a staff writer at City Paper, Holly penned this awesome and profoundly weird cover story about Petty’s Island, investigated troubled abortion clinics, and uncovered the pro-life agenda of a state-funded pregnancy counseling agency.
Holly is quite simply one of the best reporters in Pennsylvania, with a sophisticated and nuanced grasp of urban affairs and politics and the sort of range as a writer that makes life easy for editors like myself. At Philly Mag she’s going to have the chance to stretch out a bit stylistically and show off her sharp takes on the city. We’re privileged to have her.
Now a quick word about Citified. Like G Philly and Property, Citified will be a standalone channel on Phillymag.com. Our stories will be written with pep and style, but also a healthy dose of analysis and, we hope, a lot of the context and data that too often are missing in local reporting. Citified launches on January 5th, and we’ll have much more to tell you then.
Follow Holly Otterbein on Twitter at @hollyotterbein.