Philadelphia Magazine Story Discussed with Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists

Robert Moran, Philly, March 20, 2013

For the second night in a row, the editor of Philadelphia Magazine and the author of its “Being White in Philly” cover story willingly endured a barrage of criticism and some harsh accusations about the controversial piece.

Round Two delivered more punishment for editor Tom McGrath and writer Robert Huber as they faced the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists at a meeting Tuesday at the offices of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com.

A vice president of the association accused both men of being racists. They were subjected to mockery from some of the questioners and threatened with a boycott of the magazine’s advertisers.

As they did Monday at the National Constitution Center, McGrath and Huber responded politely to questions and criticisms. Their answers often did not satisfy the audience.

Some speakers accused the magazine of long-standing racial insensitivity while others demanded that it hire more minorities.

McGrath said more diversity on the editorial staff, which is all-white, “would bring a richer experience to the magazine.”

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Huber said he pitched his story around September and did some interviews with white people around the city before realizing he wanted to focus on the Fairmount neighborhood.

He said he visited Fairmount about 15 to 18 times during six weeks and interviewed 50 to 60 people.

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