Hoot: Recognizing that That Philly Isn’t the Only City With a Budget Crisis.

Inquirer staff members Christopher Hepp, Patrick Kerkstra and Michael Panzer get a HOOT this week for their article on other cities dealing with a similar budget crisis as Philadelphia. A great story idea, style and pure depth put it over the top.

The article starts off with Philly. We’ve heard over and over again about the problems the city has paying for just about anything. Frustrations are higher than ever as new taxes get ready to drop. This story takes a bit of a “good news” angle and it works. Through data and three sources (independent and city government), Hepp and Co. explain that Philadelphia has done a relatively good job when it comes to keeping jobs.

“Like Philadelphia, those cities are turning to a mix of service cuts and tax hikes to balance the books,” he writes. “Unlike Philadelphia, some are shedding workers.”

Realistically the article could end there, but it doesn’t.

This Inquirer team briefly profiles the financial woes of nine other major American cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose and San Antonio. Readers get all the important facts about each city: their deficit, taxes and job cuts.

While the article has a ton of information, it doesn’t bog you down when reading through it all. The information on each city is split up with separate headers, so it’s almost like a sidebar which is always easier to read.

Overall, it just gives great perspective and might even make you feel better about hitting up Wawa for a Coke in the near future.

– Brendan McNamara

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