Voice of the Suburbs  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   December 2002

Voice of the Suburbs   

Magazine editor John Grogan returns to newspaper commentary as a metro columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

The Philadelphia Inquirer fills out its roster of metro columnists with John Grogan, a former metro columnist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Grogan, 45, returns to the newsroom after three-and-a-half years as editor of Rodale's Organic Gardening magazine, published in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. "It's been a great experience, but I never lost the hunger for commentary," Grogan says. "When this position opened up in my backyard... all the stars lined up." He'll be covering the Pennsylvania suburbs of Philly, where he lives. His thrice-weekly column will run in all editions of the paper, as do those by fellow metro columnists Tom Ferrick Jr., who writes about the city, and Monica Yant Kinney, who focuses on the New Jersey suburbs. "They're all very distinctive voices," says Managing Editor Anne Gordon. "John offers a couple of different voices. He's a beautiful essayist and has done hard-hitting reporting." What he enjoys writing most, Grogan says, are "stories that hit people in the chest and not just in the head."