A year ago, my housemate Sean Blanda and I had something of a mouse problem.
We weren’t exactly overrun with mice, but I had come across small ones in my kitchen and had our share of droppings.
Our friend was moving and couldn’t take her cat Penny Lane. We welcomed her, eradicated our mouse problem, had a little soldier for the occasional bug or fly and a very playful friend. One year later, she’s still cute and we haven’t had any signs of infestation since.
The North Philadelphia teenager who was arrested for allegedly wrapping a cat in duct tape lost both his father and brother to street violence in the last two years, said the Pennsylvania SPCA’s chief law enforcement officer.
We were searching for a fresh angle on this story, which has received widespread attention. AP’s coverage made it national, being picked up by the Washington Post to name just one. TV news followed it closely too — of course they did because it involves a cute animal — including an in-house appearance by the cat Sticky on the Fox affiliate in Philadelphia, which you can see below, in addition to how the story was reported.
When local news is at its best, it delivers coverage no one else on the planet it can. So, it’s important to take it seriously.
A friend revisited with me a story from northeastern Pennsylvania earlier this year that exemplified it wonderfully: a steer gets loose from a pen the night before a high school agricultural fair. For more than two days it runs wild. The local press, highlighted by the Easton Express-Times and then the Morning Call when it got particularly ridiculous, chased the high school teachers — friends of mine — and the students and administrators as they chased the steer.
It made great, fun, well-followed news. If lessons can be made from when news outlets make mistakes, they can certainly be made from their triumphs. And, livestock or not, this was a triumph. Follow the news feed from that magical May week and what seemed to work.
Dogs may not have caused Northern Liberties to change from blighted to trendy, but they sure were a sign that change was coming.
Twenty years ago, when Frances Robb first moved to the neighborhood north of Old City, dogs were about as rare as a parked BMW. But as Northern Liberties went from edgy to trendy, the canine pack grew. Read the rest here.
Read the full story, comment and then come back for what didn’t make it in.