— Chris Brennan (@ChrisBrennanDN) January 5, 2015
Bobby Allyn, who starts next week as the newest reporter at WHYY, comes to Philadelphia with a host of reporting experience — but more than that, he’s got one of the best stories ever about losing a job in journalism.
Allyn had worked two years at the Nashville Tennessean before being laid off in the summer of 2013. The problem? He was in the middle of breaking a story about the musician Jack White’s divorce when he received news that he was being let go.
It’s not always easy to figure out what the most important journalism is when it appears. Sometimes, it takes months or even years to see that a story’s ripple effects changed us or how we live. That much is apparent in this year’s list of Philly’s most-important journalism.
How the list was made: I reached out on Twitter — both publicly and, behind the scenes, to people in journalism and politics — to get nominations. When it was done, I sorted through and, using my best judgment, came up with the list you see here. (That judgment was often influenced by the number of nominations a piece of journalism had.) With one exception too big to ignore, my Philly Mag colleagues were exempt from a place on the list.
So, you know, your list probably looks different. But here goes. The five most important pieces of journalism in Philly in 2014.
In a move Larry Platt says is inspired by the Green Bay Packers, the Philadelphia Citizen will soon be selling shares in itself.
The site, run by former Philadelphia magazine and Daily News editor Larry Platt, quietly began posting articles in September. Now Platt tells Technical.ly Philly the site will begin selling shares. It won’t be traditional stock, as it won’t go up and down and it won’t pay dividends.
“We want the citizens of Philadelphia to own this civic entity,” Platt wrote in an email to Technical.ly. He didn’t say what, exactly, Citizen stock buyers would be getting in return. Green Bay Packers stockholders get a certificate to frame and put on the wall (or leave in a drawer, et cetera).
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.
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Well, it’s been quite a year for race relations in the United States. From the Ferguson and Eric Garner grand jury decisions and their related protests to Donald Sterling and the Redskins, there has been plenty of racism (and accusations of racism) to go around. And anyone who doesn’t think that racism is an endemic, deeply rooted problem that won’t easily (or ever) be solved is delusional. But that doesn’t mean that everything that offends our heightened racial sensitivities is, in fact, racist. Read more »
A decade-old beef about how to divvy credit for a series of Pulitzer-recognized Philadelphia Daily News editorials has been given new life by the rise of a new news organization in town.
The editorial series “Acres of Neglect” — an in-depth look at neglect of Philadelphia’s park system — ran in the Daily News in 2001. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 2002, losing out to a Los Angeles Times series of editorials about the mentally ill.
Two writers on the Daily News series — Sandy Shea and Carol Towarnicky — say they’ve never been given the credit they deserve on the series. And they say that Frank Burgos — then the editorial page editor of the paper, now the managing editor of the soon-to-launch PhillyVoice.com website — has taken too much credit.
Hate to see Philly @citypaper drop TMW. It's death by a thousand cuts, losing these papers…
— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) December 5, 2014
Here’s one way to measure the passing of a journalistic era: City Paper is cutting This Modern World, a longtime mainstay of alt-weekly cartoons, from its pages.
Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow made the announcement Friday on Twitter; City Paper editor Lillian Swanson confirmed it this morning, and said she hoped to use the space — both in the budget and in City Paper‘s pages — to feature local cartoonists.
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It is far too early to tell whether CNN’s Don Lemon is embattled or just growing his brand. He is becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons — but he’s becoming a household name all the same. When CNN does its talent research, Lemon’s name recognition will creep up on the network’s stars like Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, even though Lemon’s fame is fueled by his becoming an Internet joke.
The latest Lemon embarrassments are photographs, which have gone viral, of Lemon flashing gang signs and grabbing his crotch at a party. This comes after CNN’s bizarre gas mask reporting from Ferguson, when Lemon trapped smoke inside his own gas mask and couldn’t breathe. And while buildings were on fire and stores were being looted, Lemon complained about the smell of marijuana in the air. That follows Lemon’s even more bizarre interview with one of Bill Cosby’s alleged rape victims. Lemon essentially asked the woman why she didn’t defend herself with her teeth.