Philadelphia Magazine Responds to the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Announces Diversity Initiatives

In the wake of the recent controversy over Philadelphia magazine’s October 2015 cover and the lack of diversity of its staff, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists issued a statement last Friday afternoon calling on editor Tom McGrath to resign (third item).

This morning, McGrath sent the following letter to PABJ’s president stating his intention to remain in his post to oversee the implementation of a series of immediate and long-term diversity initiatives the company is announcing today. Read more »

Farewell to City Paper, the Absolute Best Place to Work


I can’t remember what brought me to City Paper’s doorstep.

I’d like to think that I was a fan of the publication and wanted to contribute to the legacy of journalism in Philadelphia. It should also be noted that I was about to graduate college with a degree in the unemployable arts and could articulate my five-year plan in high-school Spanish. So sure, that might have had something to do with it, too.

Either way, I was on the fast track to becoming the city’s worst bartender when I showed up at Second and Chestnut with zero experience and the sneaky feeling that I wouldn’t last one semester in law school. I can still remember then-editor Ashlea Halpern asking me, in so many words, what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her the truth, because I was 21 and that still seemed like the right approach: I had no idea. The last time I had set a career goal I was in kindergarten, and the whole Sugar Plum Fairy thing wasn’t panning out.

I’m not sure why she hired me – likely because I had a working laptop and the internship was unpaid – but nine years later I’m still unbelievably grateful that she took a chance. And a week after City Paper announced its unceremonious end, I’m still unbelievably sad that Broad Street Media was afraid to do the same.  Read more »

Sam Bradford Isn’t a Championship Quarterback

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in a quagmire of an NFL season with two directions: With several wins in a row they hey can re-establish their pre-season status as one of the better teams in the NFC, or they could go down the drain faster than a dropped Advil in the sink.

(Think about it, have you dropped an aspirin and saved it from sliding down the black hole?)

As I look out unto the football landscape, I see more bad things going on with the Eagles from this point than good. The bad deals mostly with the quarterback Sam Bradford. There are two schools of thought with Bradford. One, he is a quarterback still on the mend, both physically and mentally. Coming off of two ACL surgeries, Bradford is said to need more time to find his groove playing the most trying position in the NFL. The other theory, the one I believe most, is that Bradford has lost his edge as a professional player, that battled by injuries and inconsistencies in his pro career, he no longer possesses the requite competitive instinct needed to succeed at the championship level. Read more »

The Lineup for ThinkFest 2015 Is Confirmed!


Planning the lineup for ThinkFest takes about six months, so you can imagine how exciting it is for us to finally announce that all the speakers are confirmed. Our goal for the event is to create a platform where a whole bunch of interesting people can share their stories and ideas, which range from taking Hollywood by storm to developing a medical technology that will forever alter lives to suddenly becoming a darling of the startup world. Read more »

This is America, Speak … Whatever You Want

One of these things is not like theod

One of these things is not like the other.

Saturday was a good day to be a Philadelphian. A great day. Collectively, maybe one of the best days.

After a not-too-shabby introduction by Mayor Nutter calling for LGBT rights, Pope Francis took the podium at Independence Hall with a speech that the place was built to host. At times speaking in Spanish – and drawing cheers from the crowd – the man of the hour seemed to hip-check Donald Trump. “I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation,” he said. “You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”

That’s right. A politician and a leader of the Catholic church got together and said a real thing. And this real thing felt good, maybe even holy. It was weird, it was wonderful, it was the essence of Saturday in Philadelphia.

And yet, it was within the same state that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is promoting a bill to make English the “official” language of Pennsylvania. And within the same week that he cut the mic of Leslie Acosta – a bilingual immigrant as well as the General Assembly’s first/only Latina lawmaker – who was arguing that the bill is unconstitutional. Read more »

A Note About Our October Cover

Tom McGrath, Philly Mag editor, here. We just posted the online version of this month’s magazine cover story on how to choose a school for your child. Given the controversy the cover image has generated in the last 24 hours, I wanted to make a few comments.

First, simply put: We blew it with the cover photograph (which we’ve chosen not to republish here). To include not even one African-American child on the cover fails to reflect not just the diversity that exists at the Greenfield School (where the photo was taken), but also that within the city of Philadelphia. I’ll offer no excuses here about process, etc.; at the end of the day, I chose this photo for the cover, and it was without question the wrong choice. I apologize for my failings in judgment and for our insensitivity. Read more »

#PopeReads: Francis’s Debut Album Drops in November

pope-arrival-crowd-wave-jeff-fusco-940x540Each day during his trip, we’ll bring you some of our favorite stories about Pope Francis’ visit to the United States from other media outlets.

Pope Francis to Release Pop-Rock Album ‘Wake Up!’,” Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

Yesterday, I wrote about Catholic ambient dubstep. The same day, news broke that Pope Francis is actually releasing a pop rock album.

“Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” finds Pope Francis addressing a South Korean audience in English last year amid atmospheric synths, trumpeting horns and skyscraping electric guitars reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. “Wake up / Wake up,” Pope Francis says on the track. “The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you / It is a duty to be vigilant / Not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.” Later on the moving track, the Pope tells his audience, “No one who sleeps can sing, dance and rejoice,” as he urges them to wake up and go.

The track actually premiered on Rolling Stone. I eagerly await to see what score the pope gets from Pitchfork. Read more »

8 Takeaways From Pope Francis’s Moving Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Pope Francis delivers the homily at a mass this morning at the Basillica of Saints Peter and Paul. | Photograph by HughE Dillon

Pope Francis just finished saying Mass for a couple thousand people at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City. The event was grand, moving, lousy with priests and nuns, and had its own special Francis thing going on. Here are eight things worth noting: Read more »

In Homily, Pope Francis Calls for Greater Role for Laity … and Women?

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Photograph by HughE Dillon

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

Pope Francis began the Philadelphia portion of his U.S. visit today in noteworthy fashion, noting changing times for the Church and calling for a greater role for the laity, and perhaps women, in the future.

In Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul that was attended largely by bishops, priests, nuns, and deacons, the Pope called on the Church to foster in its faithful a greater sense of “personal responsibility” for the institution’s mission. “This will require creativity in adapting to changed situations,” he said.

“We know that the future of the Church in a rapidly changing society will call, and even now calls, for much more active engagement on the part of laity.” Read more »

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