PPIIN – Philadelphians, Please Invent Interesting Name

PPIIN – Philadelphians, Please Invent Interesting Name

I’m writing this post (and others that will follow soon) here on the site of the Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple and on my personal website because the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network still doesn’t have its own, full “web presence.”

One reason is that we don’t yet have a final name or domain name, which I’ll address later in this post.

I’m grateful that those who did the early planning for PPIIN wanted to give the CEO they hired the chance to shape the vision for the organization rather than asking someone to come into the job with a detailed blueprint already developed. Of course, that means we have a lot to accomplish quickly to meet the expectations of a community eager to see this project succeed and a growing need for it.

When I arrived in Philadelphia in early March, I set myself a goal of the end of April to have gotten up to speed and to have drafted a strategic plan and timeline for the next six months (perhaps more aggressive than the 100-day plan proposed by Christopher Wink). I should now be halfway through that process, but it still feels as if I’m only scratching the surface.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve met with dozens of people across a wide swath of Philadelphia – including the worlds of journalism, civic affairs and technology. The good news is that, in addition to getting great ideas, I’m quickly learning some of the great Philly restaurants I heard so much about as I prepared to move here (though I have yet to earn the Philadelphia Foursquare badge).

The list of people others thought worth meeting was long, and many are still in the queue to be contacted. If you’d like to share your ideas or meet, don’t be shy. Send me an email at neil@neilbudde.com, comment on the Facebook page, or contact me via Twitter @neilbudde.

I’ve also spoken with leaders of other non-profit news organizations, several of whom reached out to offer advice, and read or re-read numerous reports on the subject, including the hot-off-the-presses report for Investigative News Network by my friend Elizabeth Osder. This week, I’ll be attending three events related to journalistic collaboration, technology and investigative reporting on a trip to California. The field of non-profit civic news has been full of news lately, with examples of success and failure from which to learn.

All of this discussion and research are beginning to bring shape to my thinking about how best to bring life to PPIIN. Most often, a name will come out of a strategy, which is one reason the name was left open for now. But at other times, a name may help focus your thinking. In a world of 140-character opinions, perhaps a catchy two-word name is just what is needed right now. Certainly, your ideas for a name also will help me understand how you think we can help foster more high-quality public interest journalism in Philadelphia.

And that is why I’m opening up this forum for your naming ideas. Post them as comments below, or tweet them with the hashtag #PPIINname.

Here’s a few ideas I toyed with:

Philadelphia Reporter
Newsdesk Philadelphia
Philadelphia Newsrooms (borrowing from a Chris Satullo column)

Can you come up with a name that embodies the multiple goals for PPIIN:

  • Support a network of journalists interested in improving the quality of local civic discourse through quality content development and strong distribution partnerships;
  • Support the expansion and diversification of civic engagement in public decision-making ;
  • Increase the public’s understanding of significant issues of public interest to Philadelphia and the region through media coverage and public discussion;
  • Increase the transparency and accountability of public institutions and officials.

Sorry, no prize for the winner. And please don’t buy up the domain name first (unless you want to take a tax deduction and donate it to us later). In fact, if you have a really great name, send it to me privately.

Neil Budde

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