The seven best pieces of Philadelphia journalism in 2008

The 2008 list-spree continues here, and, really, I hope to build on this next year.

No one makes the sensible move to keep a check on the best stories in the fourth biggest media market in the country.

Below, in chronological order, find my seven favorite pieces of journalism from the city’s largest and most influential publications.

  • Philadelphia law firms have finally made some strides in diversity
    By Jeff Blumenthal | April 4, 2008 | Philadelphia Business Journal
    This was an exhaustive analysis of the diversity in Philadelphia’s big law community. I was working at the Business Journal while Bluementhal was putting this piece together, and I was truly impressed by his shoe-leather journalism. That’s why he is the best Philadelphia law reporter you’ve never heard of.
  • The Phantom Five
    By Richard Rys | May 2008 | Philadelphia magazine
    This is a really brilliant piece focusing on the “silent” owners of the Philadelphia Phillies, now the reigning World Series Champions. Breaking into the corporate ownership of sports entertainment franchises is a tough gig and an interesting one.
  • 85 Shots
    Tom Namako and Doron Taussig |Jul 23, 2008 | City Paper
    “It’s been a year since Steven “Butter” Miller was killed. Does anyone remember?” Super well-written.
  • A Taste of Blackmail
    Jacob Lambert | July 30, 2008 | Philadelphia Weekly
    “A satiric and fictional brotherly love mystery starring,” the Inquirer’s noted food critic Craig Laban. I wouldn’t think I’d like it if I didn’t read it first. It’s something different, topical and interesting.
  • Michael Nutter Town Hall Meetings
    By Staff | November 2008 | WHYY
    This is uncut video of a series of town hall meetings held by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. While a host of screaming, protesting and library closings make them interesting, they shouldn’t be, but this is a brilliant example of evergreen journalism. WHYY took its assets and created content that they can potentially store, make searchable and for which they can enjoy archived hits forever. I hope WHYY continues to brand itself as the online news content creator.
  • Who’s the real Vince Fumo?
    By Craig R. McCoy and Emilie Lounsberry | Nov. 23, 2008 | Inquirer
    It’s the story of a generation, a powerful state legislator from South Philadelphia plays high stakes amid a wave of allegations of impropriety. It prompted a flurry of top products, like this and this, but the latest, broadest installment by the Inqy is the best.
  • The Siran Stacy
    Mark Kram | Dec. 17, 2008 | Daily News
    Local coverage doesn’t exclude good stories with broader meaning. Kram chased down a former Philadelphia Eagle in the deep south, tinged by pain and hope. So good I actually bought me a copy. For real!

I wanted pieces that created buzz, like this, offered a entrance into a community most readers don’t know, like this one, was smart, like this one, and sparked a reaction from me, like this one.

So, what do you think? What did I miss? What did you like, or not?