Quotable: GSI Commerce exit for WHYY and design challenge for Temple Times

Sometimes journalists are desperate for any schlub to give perspective on an event, and I’m there to fill in the cracks.

News broke this week that eBay purchased regional e-commerce shop GSI Commerce, and WHYY was interested in whether an exit was good or bad for the region. (I said the region needs balance: exits are great for marketing, provided we also have a diverse portfolio of large, small and startup businesses, though exits can also limit growth.)

“Give me a thousand Philadelphia companies that exit with note, and I’ll give you a region that is seen as a real hub for technology talent and innovation, and the long term benefit of that is real,” said Wink.

Also, earlier this month, I judged a Temple University student design competition and was quoted in the school’s write up of the event.

“Action is a virtue, and the Design Challenge is a way to bring action, entrepreneurship, community involvement and collaboration together,” he said.

 

 

Philadelphia media ecosystem: a profile by Net News Check with a nod to Technically Philly

A surprisingly fairly comprehensive take from Net News Check on the Philadelphia media ecosystem, including the William Penn Foundation investment, the WHYY Newsworks initiative, Philly.com and others, like Technically Philly:

In addition, journalists set free as the city’s newspapers spiraled into bankruptcy have founded independent Web sites, said Chris Satullo, executive director of news and civic dialogue at a site launched in November by WHYY, the local public radio and TV station. And journalism programs at Temple and LaSalle Universities turn out a steady stream of tech-savvy grads eager to add to the mix, he said, pointing to TechnicallyPhilly.com, a Web site founded by three recent Temple grads as an example.

Newsworks: WHYY online news brand launching means a lot to these legacies

A lot of legacies over at WHYY are going to be forged with whatever comes out of Newsworks, the online news re-branding and redevelopment initiative from Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate that I first wrote about back in April.

In short, NewsWorks, which had its official launch last Monday, Nov. 15, is WHYY’s new online news brand, serving as home to its existing journalism, in addition to (A) new columns, (B) calls for community contributions and (C) a trial hyperlocal push in northwest Philadelphia.

It’s a big bold swing and at least four years in the making.

Indeed, where Newsworks is a year or two from now will mean a great deal to the entire news ecosystem of Philadelphia, at least. Some of those people who come to mind:

Continue reading Newsworks: WHYY online news brand launching means a lot to these legacies

Three most relevant, mentioned and impactful Philadelphia columnists write in a niche

Eighteen months ago, I was searching for the best metro columnist in Philadelphia.

I felt the Inquirer’s Dan Rubin was the nearest in a legacy of citywide voice boxes, telling the broadest and widest ranging stories. Perhaps that’s true.

But it’s been nagging me that outside of some media-focused friends — and even then — I never hear Rubin or his other traditional columnist colleagues with any sort of regularity.

Instead, the columnists whose names I read, hear mentioned and myself reference the most are increasingly niche orientated. They’re not writing about the city, they’re writing about and for a very narrowly focused part of it. These are other critics and writers who have long existed in newspaper parlance, but I believe the increasingly niche-dominated media ecosystem means their voices carry greater power than before.

Continue reading Three most relevant, mentioned and impactful Philadelphia columnists write in a niche

William Penn Foundation details plan for Philadelphia online journalism network

Updated 4/25/10 @ 5:41 p.m. with William Penn Foundation clarification

Fewer than four months after its Philadelphia media elite round table to discuss the subject, the William Penn Foundation has released a more detailed outline of its intentions of investing and developing local online journalism in the region.

The report, which was released Wednesday, comes from the J-Lab journalism institute at American University and its Executive Director, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Philadelphia Inquirer business editor Jan Schaffer.

“While we’re not ready to brand the project at this point, it is fair to characterize what we have in mind as an independent journalism collaborative,” said the foundation’s President Feather Houstoun in an e-mail to stakeholders in the initiative.

The final report, which can be read in its entirety here, tacitly outlines the steps to develop roughly two things: (1) a central website of public affairs coverage and (2)  a journalism collaboration by way of staff, funding and shared administrative and business services — which I like to think was at least partially influenced by our pushing on with News Inkubator.

Updated: The William Penn Foundation will not “necessarily” implement what was found in the report, communications director Brent Thompson told me.

More broadly, as Schaffer wrote in an e-mail to those she interviewed in her months-long research: “After a deep analysis of the media landscape, J-Lab has recommended that Philadelphia is ripe for a unique Networked Journalism collaborative, partnering new media makers with original reporting on public affairs.”

It’s a quick and more detailed move less than half a year a large stakeholders meeting that was less than decisive.

Continue reading William Penn Foundation details plan for Philadelphia online journalism network

NewsWorks: WHYY will announce new hyperlocal news initiative for northwest Philadelphia

Updated 4/13/10 @ 8:50 a.m.: Regionally-specific hyperlocal is just part of the broader system

WHYY, the public media station for the Delaware Valley region, is hoping a $1.2 million hyperlocal news initiative for the northwest region of Philadelphia will be the first successful bold Web-first journalism effort from a legacy media player.

Updated: That northwest hyperlocal is just one very large, very expensive trial vertical within a larger rollout.

But will “NewsWorks” go the way of a handful of its predecessors?

Continue reading NewsWorks: WHYY will announce new hyperlocal news initiative for northwest Philadelphia

Thoughts on Future of News panel at WHYY

Edited:Future of News panel
The panel, from right to left, was moderated by WHYY’s Chris Satullo and consisted of Matt Golas, Managing Editor, PlanPhilly.com; Sandra Shea, Editorial Page Editor, Daily News; Joey Sweeney of Philebrity.com and Bruce Schimmel, Founder, Philadelphia City Paper;.

As these panels tend to go these days, really no new ground was covered, but it’s hard to argue with getting accomplished people in a room to talk about it.

Technically Philly partnered with Young Involved Philadelphia this past Thursday to host a panel discussion on the Future of News.

A heavy reliance on foundation funding, a step into telecom, donation and membership programs and other methods that have been argued and re-argued all made brief appearances in last night’s 90-minute event held in a small civic space at the headquarters of WHYY.

Though the sentiment wasn’t hearkened on enough for perhaps the taste of those more obsessively engaged in the conversation, the wider perspective was brought to light.

“It’s really what all of us are doing,” said Sandra Shea, the editorial page editor of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Continue reading Thoughts on Future of News panel at WHYY

WHYY: Joe Frazier wants his whole story told

Interviewing Smokin Joe Frazier in his Center City apartment on Monday, April 6, 2009 for WHYY, Philadelphia's NPR affiliate.

Boxing legend Joe Frazier is the focus of my second professionally produced radio piece, though the first to carry the radio station’s name in my disptatch. Eight months after filing a trial state government report for the Harrisburg bureau of KYW 1060 news radio, I proudly completed a feature report for WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate.

I interviewed Frazier, recorded my narration in a sound booth in WHYY’s Old City headquarters and edited it all together with natural sound — aided immeasurably by the patient stewardship of WHYY Web producer Dan Pohlig. I also wrote a short post to run with the piece on the public radio station’s Unobstructed View blog.

In a city eager for celebrities, I’ve never quite understood why we haven’t embraced Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Most of Joe Frazier’s life, which has seen him rise to international, cultural icon and then fade into the shadows, has been spent calling Philadelphia home.

The 65-year-old former heavyweight champion of the world beat Muhammad Ali once, but officially lost to him twice, including in the famed 1975 Thrilla in Manila, which is featured in a new eponymous HBO documentary. [Source]

Read more and hear my audio report here or below.

Listen here.

Then come back to read the backstory and some of what didn’t make it into the final report below.

Continue reading WHYY: Joe Frazier wants his whole story told