Saturday, February 4, 2012

Politics and Journalism

In Cities and Sustainability class on Wednesday, we heard from two fabulous guest speakers - Josh McNeil, head of the League of Conservation voters on Philadelphia, and Anthony Campisi, a journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. They were each charismatic speakers with some great things to say.


  • The average Amercian spends 6 minutes per month thinking about policy! You have sot start where the people and have very little time to influence their opinion on politics. 
  • People don't care just because you do. 
  • There hasn't been one law passed on shale gas in PA because we started campaigning in the wrong way. 
  • Campaigns care about votes, money, and lastly, doing the right thing. 
  • PA has no election rules - $1.6 million of the total $6 million of the governor's campaign came from gas drillers. 
  • People running for political positions are instructed to spend 80-90% of their time on the phone asking people for money. That means politicians only have 10% of their time left for policy!
  • Sustainability is by nature long term, and news is sudden, so it can be very hard to write stories on sustainability. 


  • Philadelphia currently has 2 news papers which is extremely rare. In addition, they are both run by the same company and are possibly consolidating.
  • The inquirer used to have 17 reporters in each suburb - they are now cut back to 1 or 1.5 reporters in each. 
  • The stories he finds interesting are those that are really interesting, regionally significant, or unexpected.

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