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Shannon McDonald

Shannon McDonald is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.
Shannon McDonald has written 73 posts for Shannon McDonald

And now for something completely different: Working at Billy Penn

My new workspace in the Billy Penn offices

My new workspace in the Billy Penn offices

I now work for Billy Penn. The Philly news site, not the person.

It was a tough decision to leave NewsWorks after four years (and they didn’t make it easy to say goodbye), but as the title of this post suggests, I’m ready for a new challenge.

The bootstrap site (formerly known as Brother.ly) is the work of Jim Brady and Chris Krewson, and I’m thrilled to be working with people who really understand news from a consumer’s perspective. We’re operating under the tagline, “a mobile news platform for a better Philly.” Continue reading

Finding a new home for NEast Philly’s content

d1c762a0-9de0-4563-8b69-db1bb21253c2_400x400When I made the decision in late 2013 to close NEast Philly, offers poured in to keep the site running. Many community groups, politicians, universities, bloggers and local newsies offered to either fund the site, host pieces of the archives or keep the site alive with some kind of fresh content.

I found it surprisingly easy to envision all of these possibilities. After five years of closely managing the site and being extremely careful about affiliations, once I made the decision to close up shop, letting go wasn’t as hard as I imagined. But I knew I wanted to find the right fit for the archives — a place where I could be proud to send people looking for the content, where it would all be in one place, and where related content already exists.

That transition is now complete. Continue reading

How to explain your social media job

social iconsI was recently invited to speak to students in a social media innovations class at Temple University.

I’ve been doing social media professionally for about five years, but I still haven’t found the best way to explain to people what it is I really do and how I do it. It became clear to me during this class why that is.

Though I work closely with the marketing and membership departments at WHYY, most of the social media work I do is concentrated in the newsroom. And the social media I use with my journalism students is also news-based. It wasn’t until I found myself talking directly with students whose career paths are more business-oriented and product-based that I fully realized why it’s so hard to explain social media positions.

“You pretty much can’t teach anything these days without incorporating social media.”

Bingo. That was on one of the (rather boring-looking) slides I brought with me to the class. Everyone uses social media, and because there’s no one clear purpose for it, there’s no quick explanation for how to use it. Continue reading

Why I closed my Philly-based hyperlocal news site

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Two months ago, I wrote my last post for NEastPhilly.com, the hyperlocal news site I started in 2008 to cover Northeast Philly — a large part of the city that, to date, gets little media attention.
For a large part of the last five years, I lived and breathed NEast Philly. I wanted to leave a little bit of time between that and posting my thoughts here.
Here’s some of what I learned over the last half-decade, and what went into my decision to shut down. Continue reading

What my multimedia journalism students will learn this semester

Our classroom at Temple University's Center City Campus

Our classroom at Temple University’s Center City Campus

The Spring 2014 semester at Temple University starts today (we’re delayed a week because of snow and ice), and as of 5:30 p.m., I’ll be back in the classroom with junior and senior journalism undergrads. We’ve got 15 weeks to explore multimedia storytelling. Here’s some of what we’ll do: Continue reading

Teaching Temple University journalism students again

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 6.55.19 PM

It’s been three full years since I taught journalism at Temple University, but I’m back in the swing of things. This semester, I’ve got two full sections of seniors in various stages of boredom and panic.

We’ll be working on multimedia storytelling — telling complete, visually appealing news stories and publishing them to websites students will make for themselves. Continue reading

Temple University alumna profile: Patricia Romeu

I profiled producer Patricia Romeu for Temple University's alumni magazine.

I profiled producer Patricia Romeu for Temple University’s alumni magazine.

I had the opportunity to interview film producer Patricia Romeu to be featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Temple (formerly Temple Review), Temple University’s alumni magazine. Romeu was to be one of the alumni spotlighted in the issue, so my task was to talk to her about what she does and how it relates to her experiences at Temple. Continue reading

Why I love the Philly accent and why it’s not going anywhere [NewsWorks essay]

Screen shot 2013-04-03 at 10.42.08 AM

I could not sit idly by last week as University of Pennsylvania researchers announced findings that the Philadelphia accent may very well be fading.

So as a NewsWorks colleague set out to determine exactly what that meant, I took it upon myself to defend the oft-mocked accent, and explain why, no matter how the city changes, its residents will likely always say “wooder.”

The full essay is below, and you can read the original on NewsWorks. Continue reading

‘Affordable housing for vets’ under scrutiny by Philly civic group [NEast Philly]

The site plan for affordable housing units at a former Northeast Philadelphia convent. Image/Columbus Property Management

The site plan for affordable housing units at a former Northeast Philadelphia convent. Image/Columbus Property Management

This is a story I wrote, collected sound and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

The Holme Circle Civic Association is doing everything it can to prevent Columbus Property Management’s plans for affordable housing for veterans at the site of an old convent. Why? Because veterans aren’t a protected class of citizens, and the HCCA worries that if too few vets apply for residency, the units will be made available to the general “affordable housing” population, which neighbors fear will attract irresponsible tenants.

The full story is below and originally appeared on NEast Philly with audio commentary and an embedded list of documents related to the project. Continue reading

Covering the 2012 election on live TV [NewsWorks]

That’s me on the right with WHYY-TV election night host Tracey Matisak.

Just because I’m a social media editor doesn’t mean I spend all day at a computer using Facebook or Twitter.

Actually, it does sort of mean that, but if you’re a journalist in 2012, you’ve got to be able to multitask and you really ought to develop skills across several platforms. That’s partly how I came to be on live TV Nov. 6 to cover the 2012 election. Continue reading

I’m the new Social Media Editor for NewsWorks

I started at NewsWorks on Nov. 3, 2010. I came in right after that year’s election and less than two weeks before the official launch of NewsWorks.org, the news site for Philadelphia’s public media station, WHYY.

It’s been a great almost-two years, and now I’m happy to announce I’ve been promoted. Continue reading

Why I feel safe in ‘Killadelphia’ [NewsWorks]

In summer 2012, Philadelphia was abuzz – with gun violence. As the WHYY newsroom worked to cover the violence and its affect on the city, I felt compelled to write about my own reaction to the violence.

The full story is below.This essay first appeared on NewsWorks July 6, 2012 [pdf version]. Continue reading

How a work project uncovered my true family roots [NewsWorks]

A portion of the interactive family tree NewsWorks web producer Todd Vachon designed to illustrate a story that was complicated to tell on the radio and TV.

Back in March, my boss at NewsWorks/WHYY came to me and offered what I then considered to be just a fun opportunity to spread my wings at work.

Months later, I’m still working on the project that’s basically changed the things about my life I’ve always accepted as truth.

Through a grant from WNET and the Henry Louis Gates “Finding Your Roots” initiative, I worked with DNA analysts and genealogical researches to confirm what I’d always been taught about my roots: I’m Native American, but not Irish. Turns out neither is likely true.

The full story is below. It originally ran on NewsWorks as a two-video package. Continue reading

How Philadelphia’s AVI will affect the Northeast [NEast Philly]

This is a quick post I did for NEast Philly using data gathered by the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network.

PPIIN created the map of a sampling of Northeast Philadelphia homes. It allows homeowners to enter their address and calculate how much they’re expected to pay under Philadelphia’s Actual Value Initiative to adjust property taxes. Continue reading

Three hours in the car with a news CEO: My tour of Northeast Philadelphia with Neil Budde

A tour of Northeast Philadelphia that winds through some but not all of the region’s many neighborhoods. Image/Google Maps Pedometer

I’ve given lots of people tours of Northeast Philadelphia, but only ever to friends and always informally.

So I was interested by a request from Neil Budde to do a sort of ride-along in the Northeast. Budde is new in town and was recently named the head of Temple University’s Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network, housed under the Center for Public Interest Journalism and funded by the William Penn Foundation. Continue reading

City Planning Commission holds first public meeting for Lower Northeast District [NEast Philly]

Residents of a Northeast Philadelphia planning district used a map to identify their neighborhoods’ strengths, opportunities and weaknesses.

This is a story I wrote, shot video and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

As the City of Philadelphia continues implementing portions of its comprehensive plans, meetings have kicked off around the city in 18 identifiable regions. There, city planners will meet with residents to single out neighborhoods’ strengths, weakness and opportunities. Each district will eventually implement a plan that makes better use of neighborhoods and their assets.

The full story is below and originally appeared on NEast Philly. Continue reading

Zoning Board overturns application Holmesburg methadone clinic [NEast Philly breaking news]

A neighborhood rally against a proposed methadone clinic in Holmesburg, summer 2011. Photo/Stephen Schultz for NEast Philly

This is part of a series I’ve written, shot video and taken photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

I got a call today from Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle’s office informing me Philadelphia’s Zoning Board of Adjustment had revoked an over-the-counter permit for a methadone clinic in Holmesburg, a Northeast Philadelphia neighbor.

It’s not the end of the story, but it’s a milestone in series of reports NEast Philly has done, starting with the news we broke in July 2011.

I got a call just before July 4th from a Holmesburg resident who wanted to know how a methadone clinic was opening in her neighborhood without anyone realizing. I called legislators and the civic association and the story unfolded, eventually making headlines city-wide. Continue reading

New owners for Stokes property just as Planning Commission enters Holme Circle [NEast Philly]

The Stokes property in Northeast Philadelphia was recently purchased by a developer.

This is a story I wrote, shot video and took photos for and published to NEast Philly, the hyperlocal news website I own/edit in Northeast Philadelphia.

Reporting on civic association meetings is one of the most challenging things I do for NEast Philly. It’s an hour or three spent with residents who have the deepest knowledge of a neighborhood possible. There are often vague references to extinct properties, multiple and disjointed topics of discussion and a free-for-all “new business” discussion.

But every now and then, a group’s meeting comes together in a way that makes it enjoyable to write. And the published product is better for it. Continue reading

St. Hubert’s brown and gold fights on – but for how long? [NewsWorks]

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

My editor asked me to contribute a personal essay about a recent shake-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. On Jan. 6, a commission announced that four high schools and dozens of grade schools would close at the end of the year. My alma mater, St. Hubert’s High School, was on that list.

After a weeks-long appeals process, the diocese announced Hubert’s and the other three high schools will remain open for now.

This was an especially difficult piece to write, given that I rarely flex my personal essay-writing skills, but I was glad for the chance to share it with a larger audience.

The full story is below, and originally appeared on NewsWorks Feb. 28, 2012 [pdf version]. Continue reading

SEPTA: fake tokens ‘very rare’ but not impossible to come across

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch about fake tokens: where do they come from and how do they end up packaged with real ones? After a little digging, I got details on how and where tokens are sorted and packaged.

You can read the full story below. It originally appeared on NewsWorks [pdf version]. Continue reading

Marketing continues for Philadelphia Media Network tablet despite exec’s departure

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with Yoni Greenbaum and Mark Block about their former and current roles at Philadelphia Media Network, owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, about Greenbaum’s departure after helping launch the company’s tablet device.

You can read the full story here.

Talking new media publishing at Uncapped Live

The whole Uncapped crowd at Sigma Sound studio. Photo courtesy of 215mag.com.

Why was I involved with the Vitamin Water #UncappedLive event series Sept. 6? Part of the 16-day celebration of music, media, arts and other niches was the New Media Unplugged event hosted by two.one.five. magazine and Technically Philly at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound studio.

I joined editors from Geekadelphia, Drink Philly, Naked Philly and Generocity, among others for a pretty informal discussion about my work with NEast Philly. Continue reading

Hear me on the radio: Aug. 24

I was on the radio today as part of my job with WHYY/NewsWorks. I’ve been asked to do semi-regular commentary on the media, given that my job involves days filled with media consumption. Continue reading

Introducing District 172: NEast Philly’s investigative reporting series

Late last year, NEast Philly, the hyperlocal site for Northeast Philadelphia that I own and edit, was awarded an Enterprise Reporting Fund grant from J-Lab.

A handful of Philadelphia publications were given $5,000 grants to collaborate with other news organizations to produce in-depth reporting. Continue reading

Lemonade stand contest helps kids focus on business

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with Stephanie Deeter, public services manager for the Bucks County Free Library about the library’s summer contest that teaches kids about business through a lemonade stand contest.

You can read the full story here.

Granite Run Mall assigns retail space for new dinosaur museum

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

A Delaware Valley mall will assign retail space to a new dinosaur museum. I spoke with Granite Run Mall Marketing Director Aubrey Proud about the Dinosaur-ium,

You can read the full story here.

Philadelphia Zoo keeping a watchful eye on its new snow leopard cubs

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with the Philadelphia Zoo’s Carnivore Curator Tammy Schmidt about the zoo’s two new snow leopard cubs and how the zoo planned for their arrival and will see them into the future.

Full story with video here.

Kensington parish a finalist in national grant competition

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

Kensington’s Visitation BVM parish was the only Philadelphia building chosen as a finalist in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s This Place Matters grant competition. The parish is hoping for the $25,000 award to further its community outreach programs. Voting ends June 30.

You can read the full story here.

Hear me on the radio: May 19

I was on the radio today for the first time ever. As part of my job with WHYY/NewsWorks, I’ve been asked to do semi-regular commentary on the media. Continue reading

Beer vendor wants you to “tweet from your seat” at Phillies home games

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I talked to Bill Watkins, a beer vendor at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies. Watkins uses Twitter to deliver beers to fans who don’t want to miss an inning or wait for the the next vendor so stroll by. Tweet your section, row and seat and he’ll bring you a beer.

You can read the full story here.

Charter school hosts “Prom Shop” for its students in foster care

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with organizers at Arise Academy Charter High School in Center City Philadelphia, where local businesses donate outfits, accessories and services to the students in foster care to make their prom special.

You can read the full story here.

Visit Philly joins foodspotting to create virtual food tour

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with Caroline Bean of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation about Visit Philly’s new partnership with Foodspotting.

You can read the full story here.

The new gig: NewsWorks

NewsWorks launched at 12:01 a.m.Nov. 15, 2010. And I get to be a part of it.

I’m the Feed Blogger for NewWorks, the new online initiative from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate.  I’m responsible for making sure readers in the Delaware Valley know what’s happening in the region — right up to the minute. By working with other journalists to report stories as they happen and aggregating content from other small regional sites, I update the Feed up to five times and hour. Continue reading

Earth Month event celebrates South Street’s mural-wrapped trash cans

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program Executive Director Jane Golden and Streets Department Commissioner Clarena Tolso talked about their efforts to wrap 50 South Street trashcans in fun mural designs. You can read the original story here.

Philadelphia Police name five new horses after fallen officers

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with Lt. Ray Evers of the Philadelphia Police Department about the return of the department’s mounted unit. The first five horses have been named after officers who died in the line of duty since 2008. You can read the original story here.

Cherry Hill raising funds for its September 11th memorial

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger.

I spoke with Dan Keashen, chief of staff for Cherry Hill, N.J., Mayor Bernie Platt about the town’s 9/11 memorial. Four Cherry Hill firefighters assisted with the rescue and recovery efforts after the World Trade Center collapsed.

You can read the full story here.

A semester as an adjunct journalism professor

After teaching a month-long high school journalism course through Temple University, I was asked to stay on as an adjunct for the Fall 2010 semester in the journalism department. I was thrilled.

I spent the next 15 weeks teaching 13 students — mostly freshmen — about grammar and AP Style, and worked as a teaching assistant for Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, Temple’s capstone journalism program, with which I have a partnership through my business, NEast Philly.

Aside from being excited about the new opportunity, I also looked forward to teaching two classes I’d taken as a student at Temple. Continue reading

LEGO competition teaches science, service

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger. I attended a LEGO robotics competition in Chestnut Hill where I interviewed adults and children and shot photos and video. You can see the original story, along with a slideshow, here.

Cut in line to see Santa – for a fee

This a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger. I interviewed marketing directors at several area malls to talk about the Santa Fastpass, which allows users to stand in a short VIP line for a $2.50 fee to cut down the wait time to see Santa Claus. You can read the full story here.

Injured firefighter’s condition upgraded

This is a story I wrote for WHYY’s NewsWorks.org, where I work full-time as the Feed Blogger. I went to Roxborough, where I followed up on a fire that left many people temporary homeless and landed a firefighter in the hospital. You can read the full story here.

My four weeks teaching Temple University High School Press


*The image above was designed by Jillian Bauer, my co-teacher.

I spent the last four weeks co-teaching Temple University High School Press, an intensive month-long summer journalism program.

The program unites students from the School District of Philadelphia with Temple University Department of Journalism’s extensive resources. I helped the 10 students write and edit stories, shoot photos, records videos and work on their interviewing skills. Continue reading

Metro Philadelphia freelance articles

As part of my company’s partnership with Metro, Philadelphia’s most widely read daily newspaper, I contributed one freelance story every other Wednesday, to be featured in the paper’s Northeast zone. The partnership ran from April 2010 to September 2010. Below are the pieces I’ve done. You can see all the PDF images here.

Continue reading

Owls in the City

I did a freelance piece for the Winter 2010 issue of the Temple Review, Temple University’s alumni magazine. As part of the 1,00o-word feature, I tagged along with one of the university’s “Philadelphia Experience” classes, in which students use the city as their classroom.

An excerpt: Continue reading

My latest project: NEast Philly

Posts on here have been sparse, and for good reason. I’ve been spending the past few months working on my latest project, NEastPhilly.com.

NEast Magazine is a magazine for Northeast Philadelphia – a large, but widely ignored region of Philadelphia. I’ve been working with many people to help set up the Web site and generate content. Continue reading

Groups come together for Port Richmond’s waterfront

Port Richmond resident Michael Duffy looks at images of his neighborhood's waterfront history.

Port Richmond resident Michael Duffy looks at images of his neighborhood's waterfront history.

This article ran on Page 2 of the May 6, 2009 edition of The Fishtown Spirit, where I work as a writer and copy editor.

“Pulaski Park is a little piece of the Delaware Waterfront,” said Joy Lawrence of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society at last week’s meeting about plans for the area. “It’s a hidden gem, and we want to talk about our vision for the future.”

Lawrence set the tone for last Wednesday’s meeting at Our Lady of Port Richmond, where residents of the riverwards came to find out what’s in store for Pulaski Park and the rest of the Delaware Waterfront.

Residents of all ages came to hear plans from several groups involved in the project. Present were representatives from the New Kensington Community Development Corp., Delaware River City Corp., the Department of Recreation and Philadelphia Green. The representatives took turns presenting a slideshow, which outlined the waterfront’s current progress and plans for the near future.

“Our main goal is to introduce the plan for Pulaski Park,” Sandy Salzman of the NKCDC told The Spirit. “It’s a w

onderful little park. A lot of people aren’t aware it’s there.”
Continue reading

Five unique stops in Philly

South Philly's Famous 4th Street Deli is among the five stops I recommended to Wilmington News Journal readers.

This is a story I wrote for the March 27, 2009 issue of Delaware’s Wilmington News Journal about some great stores in Philadelphia that people should stop by when they visit. I also took the photos.

The next time you visit the City of Brotherly Love, take the locals’ approach to shopping: mix it up, hit several neighborhoods and avoid the box stores.
Advertisement

You’ll find that Philly’s shopping scene is more than The Gallery and South Street. Unique stories can be found around the city — and they offer friendly service, reasonable prices and exceptional quality.

Start from the south and work your way north for a memorable trip. If you don’t want to drive, every neighborhood in Philadelphia is easily accessible by public transportation.

Here are five stores (with photos) worth a look.

Continue reading

Strawberry Mansion organizations want more from Nutter’s budget

This is a story I did for MURL, Temple University’s senior journalism class. The assignment was to go out into your assigned neighborhood – in my case, Strawberry Mansion- and report on how the residents feel about Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget proposal. This was a team reporting project, but I was responsible for the written portion.
budget

Eric Jones* is almost 3 years old. His age is painfully apparent as his faulty legs struggle to carry him up the jungle gym beneath the weight of his puffy coat and snow cap. Eric spends his days the same way he has since he was 7 months old – in the care of Phyllis Fultz and Roslyn Fulton, who run the Urban Pioneers daycare on French and 31st streets near Ridge Avenue in Strawberry Mansion.

Eric – along with his five playmates – embodies childhood innocence, right down to the runny nose his caretakers attribute to the change in seasons. What Eric doesn’t know as he clasps the hands of a girl around his age, guiding her up the sliding board at Mander Playground at 33rd and Diamond streets in Fairmount Park, is that the odds are stacked against him. His race, socioeconomic status, neighborhood and infrequent contact with his father are designed to hold Eric back in life. These factors will work against him in every stage of his life until he either rises above or succumbs to them, becoming another statistic in Philadelphia’s records.

Several people will influence Eric’s life and guide him along what they hope turns out to be the right path: his parents, his caregivers and Mayor Michael Nutter.

Continue reading for thoughts from daycare owners, school teachers and nonprofit organizations. Continue reading

Exclusive interview with Rob McElhenny of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

Shannon McDonald | The Temple News | March 24, 2009

‘Sunny’ star still a Philly guy at heart

Photo courtesy of Michael Becker for FX

Photo courtesy of Michael Becker for FX

If the name of his show wasn’t enough proof already, Rob McElhenney, 31, is a Philadelphia guy. In an exclusive interview with The Temple News, the writer, producer and star of
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reminisces about his days of hanging out in Fairmount Park, sneaking into bars and roaming Temple’s Main Campus for a semester.

Shannon McDonald: You’re a born-and-raised Philly kid. How did you spend your time growing up?

Rob McElhenney: I grew up in South Philadelphia at Moyamensing and Dickinson, then, I moved to Delaware County after high school. I went to high school at St. Joe’s Prep and hung out with kids from all different schools. I don’t know if kids do this anymore, but we used to go to Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park after school to hang. Sometimes we’d go to the bars that let underagers in.

SM: I hear you went to Temple for a while. Have any fond memories?

RM: My time at Temple was short. I went for a semester but didn’t finish. I wasn’t a great student – I wasn’t excelling, and I wasn’t there long enough to declare a major. I wanted to leave Philly and see new things, so I moved to New York. I stayed there for seven years before heading out to Los Angeles.

SM: When did you realize you wanted to make a career out of acting?

RM: As a kid, I did plays in school but never really thought of it as being a career option. It wasn’t until I got to New York City and met waiters and bartenders who were doing shows at night that I ever considered it as a profession. I enrolled in Lee Strasberg [Theatre and Film Institute], which is associated with the Screen Actors Guild and started acting. Continue reading

24th Police District gets new captain

Shannon McDonald | March 11 | Fishtown Spirit

This article ran on Page 7 in the March 11 issue of The Fishtown Spirit, where I work as a writer and copy editor.

Captain Daniel Castro is the new leader of the 24th District

Captain Daniel Castro is the new leader of the 24th District

An old marketing campaign for the Fraternal Order of Police featured a poster depicting a wounded police officer in front his squad car. “You wouldn’t do it for a million bucks,” the poster read, “but we do it for a whole lot less,”

Two decades and several slain police officers later, Captain Daniel Castro of the 24th District knows that statement is truer than ever. With just three weeks at the 24th under his belt, Castro is vowing to do all he can to bring the communities together and make them safer for the residents and the officers who patrol them.

Continue reading

Getting around Brewerytown

By Shannon McDonald

This is a story I did for MURL, Temple University’s senior journalism class. The assignment was to go out into your assigned neighborhood – in my case,  Brewerytown – and report on how the residents get around. This was a team reporting project, but I was responsible for the written portion.

The snowstorm that hit our region last Tuesday night left the city silent, snuggled up in a white, powdery blanket. But by Wednesday morning, the streets were a mess, the tighter ones paved in ice and the thoroughfares slippery with slush. Brewerytown residents didn’t seem to mind.

“I ride my bike in all kinds of weather,” said Waugh Wright, 34, a resident on the 800-block of Ringgold Street. “It’s a little icy today, but not bad enough for me to put the bike away.”

Wright is a teacher who bikes to work everyday, unless the weather is especially bad. Even though schools were closed last Wednesday, that didn’t stop Wright from pedaling around his neighborhood. The three-and-a-half year Brewerytown resident says the biggest attraction of biking is its environmental benefits, though the exercise doesn’t hurt, either. Continue reading

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