News is News No Matter How it is Delivered
We are far from the feared death of the media that some so-called experts projected. I don’t think it is time to hit the panic button.
Instead, we need to acknowledge the shift and pivot of storytelling. Our sources are widening, which offers the news world a chance to grow and become more interactive.
We will always have news. In the future it may not be delivered in a physical form to your doorstep, but it will always be accessible.
It’s devastating that newspapers are closing up shop, but there is an upside to it. Reporters now have the opportunity to worry less about strict print deadlines and limited space, and can better focus and delve into their subjects.
The newspaper business is just like any other business – it must evolve to changing times and cater to its audience to remain relevant. Sure, the decline of newspapers cannot be considered a positive, but it highlights the elephant in the room: The customer wasn’t being catered to.
I’ll concede that I haven’t had a newspaper delivered to my home in nearly a decade. But I still consume news every day catering to my interests and informing me on events around the city.
How do I do it? Simple – I diversify my news sources beyond just print and television.
Here are some websites, podcasts, and social media accounts that I follow and recommend.
PhillyVoice is a long-running well-known website to check out the latest news. This site is often the first to break local news.
I enjoy BillyPenn for its perfect balance of serious news matters and some lighthearted content that gives you Buzzfeed vibes - but with far more credibility.
The gold standard of online local news. With several interactive podcasts and live events throughout the city, the website gives off a conversational essence. It’s never condescending nor aiming to be anything other than what it is -- news.
GridPhilly is a feel-good monthly magazine highlighting what makes Philadelphia an amazing place, with its coverage of wellness advocates, sustainability efforts and local activists.
I enjoy how the program has evolved in recent years. Host Conrad Benner originated the podcasts to talk to local artists – especially street artists – but recently began embracing the creative insights of activists, politicians and small business owners. Creativity itself is an art, so I love hearing the creative thought processes and inspiring stories of Benner’s guests.
Philadelphia Free Library Podcast
Like most things associated with a library, this podcast is a hidden gem and resource overlooked by most people. I started listening to it on a whim this past fall and enjoy its content the most out of any of those I’ve listed. A recent favorite episode was an interview with journalist Ronan Farrow.
Behind every successful figure is a story of how they got there. Philly Who is a great podcast because host Kevin Chemidlin takes successful Philadelphians and creates a relatable conversation for the listener. My current favorite episode is Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook, the chefs behind Cooknsolo, a collection of restaurants that includes Zahav, Federal Donuts, Dizengoff, Goldie and Abe Fisher.
I am a huge fan of several podcast series from the Philadelphia Citizen. Two of my favorites are “Ideas We Should Steal” and “The Politics Section.” Host Larry Platt gives a blunt perspective on local politics that is entertaining and thought-provoking.
I recently had the privilege of watching Select’s Matt Cabrey emcee the 75th annual Philadelphia Public Relations Association Jubilee Gala. I was so impressed with him I checked out his podcast. Cabrey interviews big-time Philadelphia business leaders and explores how they got to where they are now in their industry.
Social Media Accounts:
Make sure you follow Fox29’s Alex Holley on Instagram. Alex shares local stories she’s working on for FOX29, as well as Philadelphia’s latest events on her #AlexAroundTown series.
If you want to know what VIPs are visiting town or what big events are taking place, HughE Dillion’s account is your hottest source. Recently, he posted a fun photo of SNL’s Colin Jost enjoying brunch at a restaurant in Rittenhouse Square.
Visit Philly @VisitPhilly This website and Instagram account has become my go-to source for every single event coming up in the city. I especially appreciate that it is helpful for both visitors and longtime residents of the city.
Peopledelphia @Peopledelphia It’s easy to completely overlook our everyday interactions and surroundings, but Peopledelphia embraces these occurrences with a raw unfiltered dialogue that’s thought provoking. I often find myself looking at a post from the account and reflecting on its content for minutes upon minutes.
News will always be around, although the method of delivery will continue to evolve. And evolution is not a bad thing. Since we can’t backtrack, it’s time to embrace the pivot.
Abby Snopek is an Associate in Ceisler Media's Philadelphia Office.