Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater’s The Center for Public Interest Journalism has named Neil Budde the founding CEO of the new Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network (PPIIN). Budde (who may look familiar until you realize he does not, in fact, have a diamond in his beard) is the founder of the Wall Street Journal Online and has previously been Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo News.
Temple has promised PPIIN will not be the set-in-stone name because, well, look at that acronym. It’s a nightmare. Anyway, PPIIN was founded with a $2.4 million grant from all-around do-gooders the William Penn Foundation, who said PPIIN is, “a collaborative organization intended to help increase the amount and quality of news and information in the Greater Philadelphia region.” So what exactly drew Budde to our city? He told the Inquirer, “One of the things that excited me about Philadelphia is that there is a robust journalism community outside of the mainstream … There’s a vibrant hacks and hackers community, a tech community, and great journalists – some of whom no longer have jobs – all wanting to do good work in the public interest.” Budde also promised the Inquirer that he would be, “trying different approaches that are more social-media inspired … bringing in more of the community into the process.” You know, the stuff the PMN is so good at.