April 18-24, 2002
To say that the Daily News covered the wage-tax debate wouldn't begin to tell the story. The paper was all over the issue, not just reporting, but agitating, especially with packages like the one titled "The Tax We Really Hate." (The paper ordered T-shirts depicting that front page, and Councilman Frank DiCicco wore one to a Council session last week.) Editor Zack Stalberg even admitted recently that the paper was devoting more resources to tax coverage than to the priest sex-abuse scandal because "we're able to influence the outcome of the wage-tax issue, but it's hard to influence the Vatican." But the day after Mayor John Street announced he wouldn't veto the sure-to-pass Council bill requiring him to continue making small annual cuts in the tax, the Daily News' front page was devoted to a Yo! section feature on the Mini Cooper, a really really small car. "It was humility," jokes Stalberg, that led the paper to pass up a chance to run yet another wage-tax cover. But seriously: "The biggest [factor] was our belief that most people would be aware of it by the time the Daily News came out," Stalberg explains. "There didn't seem to be any real point to rubbing it in. It was getting a ton of attention by that time." Plus, he adds, it would have been tough to beat the other recent wage-tax cover featuring an illustration of Street's head being squeezed as if in a vice. "If you can't do something special, it's better to move on," Stalberg says. "I'd rather people remember the pinched head."
The Pennsylvania Women's Press Association (PWPA) is in recruitment mode. Prospective members are invited to the spring meeting in Bethlehem on April 27; the guest speaker will be Kiki Peppard, "a one-woman media campaign" who's working for legislation that would bar employers from asking about applicants' marital and family status. For details, contact Tracy Jordan, PWPA's southeast district director, at 610-559-2148 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Inquirer columnist Lucia Herndon, Inky-columnist-turned-author Jennifer Weiner and Inky-columnist-turned-author-and-Metro-columnist Clark DeLeon will be among the speakers at the 54th Philadelphia Writers' Conference, June 14-16 at the Holiday Inn Independence Mall, Fourth and Arch streets. For more info or to register, visit www.pwcgold.com.