The History of the Philadelphia Inquirer

The history of the Philadelphia Inquirer mirrors the path of all the big gray ladies in the United States.

While putting together suggestions for the Inquirer months ago, I came across some interesting reading on the third oldest newspaper in the country, which is nearing its 180th birthday. Follow it and the path of your own hometown paper.

But why isn’t the Inquirer already cashing in on its historical brand? It seems it may be moving that way, but I want to see more and as a means to develop, sustain its brand and monetize it.

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Flat Stanley in Washington D.C. for the Obama inauguration with Christopher Wink

And I thought children hated me.

Debbie Reinhardt’s second-grade class at the Kiel School in Kinnelon, N.J. sent me Flat Stanley, the title character of a children’s book from 1964. The flattened boy from the book gets sent around the world in an envelope.

I’ve been charged with showing our pal Stanley around Philadelphia, but before I get to that, I took him on the road to our nation’s capital earlier this week, where I was for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama. Check some dispatches below.

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First to report Rendell named Obama’s vice presidential running mate: how an entire newsroom tricked me

AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster. Edited by Christopher Wink

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster. Edited by Christopher Wink

This is the story of how more than 20 statehouse reporters fooled me into believing I had a hot-breaking story – for the second time in a month. Last week I posted that a personal essay of mine was accepted by the Columbia Journalism Review and appeared on the CJR Web site. My essay touched on a story that I think is worth telling more deeply.


This past summer I was honored to serve a prestigious post-graduate internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association, the country’s oldest state government reporting society. For three months I covered Pennsylvania state government in the Harrisburg Capitol, home of the largest full-time state legislature in the country, representing the nation’s sixth most populous state. On a rotating basis, I worked for six media outlets, including Pennsylvania’s three largest dailies. I worked with serious, accomplished journalists, a handful of them ranked among the state’s most influential.

Yeah, and they screwed with me a lot.

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My Services: Hire me to tell your story

The cover of a book I published with Blurb. Hire me to do something similar for your family.

Hire me to tell your story.

For a birthday, anniversary, wedding or another special event, let me tell your story. I will interview you or your family and compile a commemorative profile, just as it might appear in a newspaper or magazine. If you choose, it can be printed and framed in a variety of styles to your preference. I also could use a publishing service to create a book in a style of your choosing.

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Casting objectivity aside and supporting a former professor

My last day working with the Village of Arts and Humanities on May 1, 2008.

My last day working with the Village of Arts and Humanities on May 1, 2008. One way I came to know Eugene Martin, second from left in front row. I wrote a letter on his behalf.

Journalists are supposed to stay uninvolved. I get this. I like this. But sometimes it doesn’t work.

Reporters are still people.

Eugene Martin, a professor and mentor of mine while at Temple University, is being forced out of his native Philadelphia’s largest research institution. Because of my close relationship with him, I felt I needed to get involved.

In my experience, there might be something to learn about potential bias and conflict for all young journalists.

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The Northeastern U.S. Cities: an embarrassment of urban riches

This is a conversation I’ve had too many times.

I am in WashingtoĀ D.C. today, the day after Martin Luther King day, for the inauguration of Barack Obama. While I will have much more to say on that in coming days, being here reminded me of how often we in the mid-Atlantic take for granted what we have: five of the most influential cities in the country and among the more meaningful in the world.

All Americans have relative access to them, but the densest collection of our residents can visit Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington D.C. for the weekend.

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How are those portable toilets going to hold out at the inauguration?

Portable toilets near the FDR Memorial in Washington D.C. on Jan. 19, 2009

Portable toilets near the FDR Memorial in Washington D.C. on Jan. 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. — I’ve heard fears about the available public toilets at the grounds of the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Oh, portable toilets, our most unloved friend. I’m off to the National Mall now, far behind millions who may have gotten there when security opened this morning at four a.m. What’s going to happen when all of those folks have to go?

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Strange encampment near FDR Memorial in Washington D.C.

The entrance of the Roosevelt Memorial, tonight adjacent to a strange cluster of unidentified tents.

The entrance of the Roosevelt Memorial, tonight adjacent to a strange cluster of unidentified tents.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is in left field of a well-worn baseball field, wedged between the icy Potamac River and the city’s Tidal Basin.

Tonight, so is a strange encampment of brown tents, bright lights and vehicles with federal government license plates.

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