Suggestions for the Philadelphia Inquirer

I finished a two-week rotation in the Harrisburg bureau of the Philadelphia Inquirer last month, as part of my internship with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association. I’ve since moved on, but because I am in Philadelphia, I thought I would share some thoughts that came to mind about improving the third oldest daily newspaper in the country.

In Spring 2006, as a sophomore, I had a transcendent internship with the paper’s city desk. I will always remember that as a seminal moment in my life. It was the first time I understood the power, the problems and the potential of one of the largest, oldest and most respected newspapers in the world.

After my second, briefer stint, some thoughts came to mind.

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The 2008 presidential debate locations suck

TV shot of 1960 presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

I was reading about the locations of the debates this election cycle and decided they were lame.

First presidential debate:
Friday, September 26
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Vice presidential debate:
Thursday, October 2
Washington University in St. Louis, MO

Second presidential debate:
Tuesday, October 7
Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Third presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

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Patriot-News: The state legislature on TV

This ran for the Patriot-News of Harrisburg on Sept. 7

Next year, retiring state Rep. Jerry Nailor won’t have to listen live to the drum of the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s debate, which is lengthened by camera hogs, he said.

“There are a handful of legislators who say, ‘I am for motherhood and apple pie, and let me tell you why, and I will tell you why for the next 20 minutes,’” said Nailor, R-Mechanicsburg. “Because the camera is on.”

The Legislature’s floor debate has been broadcast on the Pennsylvania Cable Network for more than a decade. Its proponents say the channel makes government more transparent. But with viewership growing, some lawmakers said others in the Legislature abuse the free TV time. More.

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Yelp, I'm on Yelp

Join me in reviewing food. As of Aug. 28, I am on the popular Yelp.

Thus far I have only reviewed three places in Harrisburg, but hope to get into the habit of doing so for all restaurants. Join and let’s share places we like and those we don’t. It’s a great tool to find the best places in the best locations anywhere, particularly because the site is known for its fine community.

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Harrisburg International House

Mostly foreign students and temporary workers living in the Harrisburg International House.

While in Harrisburg until last week, I lived at the International House at Third and Chestnut, right in its center city. I left Aug. 30 – leaving my recommendations about what to do in Harrisburg.

During the summer, most of its residents are foreign-born on temporary visas working at Hershey Park, nearby hotels or studying. That provided a fun experience in the hostel-like atmosphere: dancing with a bunch of young men from the United Arab Emirates, playing Uno with girls from the Dominican Republic and watching the NBA playoffs with a group from the Ukraine. I didn’t need a car, could walk to work and play basketball and the grocery store.

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Harvard University rejected me

Got an e-mail from Harvard University yesterday:

Thank you for your application to the following position at Harvard University. Although we are unable to further your candidacy for this specific position at this time, we appreciate your interest in Harvard.

I applied Aug. 15 for a full-time position I saw on Journalism Jobs, called the assistant editor of the Digital Journalism Project, part of the school’s Nieman Foundation.

The position appears to have been taken down from J-Jobs, so I’ll post the description here. Sounded like fun.

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Internet Vacation: Because sometimes you need an IV

I recommend an occasional IV for everyone.

Yes, the Internet vacation is a necessity. Through the magic of forward posting on this site, RSS feeds of this blog on all my social utilities and a reckless abandon when it comes to e-mail, I can do that with some regularity now that I am in between my post-graduate internship and an upcoming trip that I’ll post about in coming weeks. -I haven’t checked my Google Reader in a week or more – oh the horror!

The Internet vacation certainly isn’t new, even if my pushing the IV for short on Twitter and elsewhere may be.

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Geronimo surrenders on this day, go jump in a pool

Two hundred twenty-two years ago today, famed Apache chief Geronimo surrendered to U.S. and Mexican forces after 25 years of fighting. Now in mainstream culture his legend is reduced to jumping into pools or otherwise inanely leaping.

Do you want to make up for the brutal repression of a people and hundreds of years of neglect by learning why Geronimo is such an important historical and revolutionary – albeit ultimately unsuccessful – figure? Of course you do.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you say quote Wikipedia at length? Alright:

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Check me out on MySpace: why I am selling out

As of last week, Chris Wink is on MySpace.

The first comment I got came from one of my oldest friends: “Wow, you are Sellout Central recently!” Surely noting my July foray into Facebook and other social networking experiences of late. I was a long hold out, interested in their function but critical of their effects and bored with their benefits.

Brian James Kirk, a journalist I know, has a MySpace page that ranks higher in Google searches than his Web site or other professional work. Such a frustration can cause “brain hemorrhaging.” That’s for sure, which is why many people hide or at least veil their identities, particularly on MySpace – the creepiest of all social networking for anyone over 16.

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My Commencement Address (Temple University: 5/22/08)

By Christopher Wink | May 22, 2008 | Temple University Commencement Address

Seventeen hours ago I got off a plane from South Dakota, having spent my last week as a Temple student working with members of the Lakota Nation. It was another lesson in community.

Temple University’s graduating Class of 2008, today, we are graduating together from a long series of such lessons. Indeed, we are not just graduating from a university, but an entire community, something I have learned with a wonderful intimacy through my tenure here.

As I have learned about community, I have learned of the true expansiveness of Temple. See, the neighborhoods of Philadelphia, too numerous for me to know in entirety, have taken on a richness and a vibrancy like I never before realized they could.

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