Hailed as an innovative civic engagement program, tomorrow night’s premier of It’s Your City will feature a live, hour-long interview with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, simulcast on WHYY’s television and radio stations and streamed on the program’s website.
It’s Your City is the latest creation of The Next Mayor, a multimedia partnership between WHYY, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the Committee of Seventy. Created ahead of the 2007 Philadelphia mayoral election, The Next Mayor offered the public in-depth coverage of election issues. Now that the “next mayor” is currently in office, WHYY felt it was time for discourse between the mayor and his constituents.
“We want to track whether or not this city is changing the way it does business and how it affects the entire region,” says managing editor Alan Tu, a long-time producer for WHYY. “[Nutter] was elected on a reform agenda. What is he doing to fulfill his campaign promises?”
Senior Daily News writer Dave Davies will host Friday night’s show. Although viewers, listeners and members of the studio audience will have the opportunity to pose their burning questions to the new mayor, Davies says he’ll have some one-on-one time interviewing Nutter.
“I’ll be asking him about what has seemed new to him, what’s been difficult, different campaign issues,” Davies says, reluctant to spoil any surprises for tomorrow night’s show. “He has contract negotiations with all four municipal unions coming up, so we’ll talk about that.”
Tu likened the project to the op-ed pages of a local newspaper, with the show operating as a forum for politicians and citizens to engage each other. Although there are no scheduled broadcasts beyond tomorrow night’s premier, WHYY hopes to continue this program as developing issues in the city dictate.