Across the country, local newspapers have taken a hit in the last couple of decades. But some of Philadelphia’s hyperlocal news outlets have survived — and some newcomers have even thrived.
If you’re looking for a smart take on Philly news, Billy Penn is obviously your go-to. But what about a place to keep track of everyday happenings in your neighborhood, like the ins and outs of zoning requests, new sports leagues, or the latest on what’s opening down the street?
Here’s a guide to some of the city’s top neighborhood-level media, and how to partake in the community coverage.
Geographic area: Cecil B. Moore Avenue to Tioga Street and 6th Street to Aramingo Avenue
Neighborhoods: Kensington, Norris Square, Fairhill, Harrowgate and Port Richmond
How to get it: Print copies of Kensington Voice can be found in newspaper boxes at these locations. Community organizations can also request printed copies to be delivered on a monthly basis for free, using this form. There’s also a robust online presence at kensingtonvoice.com.
Who’s behind it? Kensington Voice was born out of Temple University in 2018, through the work of student journalists and organizers. In 2021, it left Temple’s purview and became a nonprofit newsroom with sponsorship from the Federation of Neighborhood Centers. It also gets funding from a handful of other sources, including the Lenfest Institute and Resolve Philadelphia (both of which have also given funding to Billy Penn).
Geographic area: Schuylkill River to 52nd Street and Lancaster Avenue to Woodland Avenue
Neighborhoods: Spruce Hill, Cedar Park, University City, Powelton Village, Garden Court, Squirrel Hill, Walnut Hill, Cobbs Creek and others
How to get it: Subscribe to a daily email news digest here
Who’s behind it? West Philly Local was founded in 2010 by married couple Mike Lyons and Julija Kulneva, who continue to run the site. Lyons is a longtime journalist, most recently for the AP in Eastern Europe, and a Temple alum who returned to Philly. Kulneva previously worked for The Baltic Times, an English-language newspaper in Eastern Europe, before moving to Philadelphia.
Geographic area: Northeast and Far Northeast Philadelphia
Neighborhoods: Holmesburg, Pennypack Park, Lexington Park, Morrell Park, Academy Gardens, Bells Corner, Castor Gardens, Burholme, Lawndale, Fox Chase, Bustleton, Krewstown, Somerton, Torresdale, Mayfair, Tacony, Parkwood, Normandy, Crestmont Farms
How to get it: Northeast Times prints every Wednesday and goes to homes in the coverage area. It is also distributed at a number of pickup locations in the Northeast. You can also find digital copies at northeasttimes.com.
Who’s behind it? The editor is Tom Waring and the sports editor is Joe Mason. The paper, founded in 1934, is a publication of Newspaper Media Group, which has corporate headquarters in New Jersey and owns other hyperlocal pubs including The Bensalem Times, The Cherry Hill Sun, and South Philly Review.
Geographic area: South Philadelphia
Neighborhoods: Point Breeze, Grays Ferry, Bella Vista, Queen Village, Girard Estates, Packer Park, Pennsport, Passyunk, and other South Philly neighborhoods
How to get it: South Philly Review prints on Wednesdays and gets delivered to homes in the following zip codes: 19145, 19146, 19147, 19148. If you haven’t gotten yours by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, call circulation at 856-663-9588. You can also find digital copies at southphillyreview.com.
Who’s behind it? Founded in 1947, the community newspaper is now a publication of Newspaper Media Group, the same owner as the Northeast Times.
Geographic area: South Philadelphia
Neighborhoods: East Passyunk and other neighborhoods south of South Street
How to get it: You can subscribe to the email newsletter on the Passyunk Post home page
Who’s behind it? Founded in 2012 as a “little hobby blog,” Passyunk Post is now published by Joseph F. Marino as of 2018, though the stories are a group effort by neighborhood reporters, editors and contributors. Marino, who has lived in East Passyunk his whole life, is also involved in the East Passyunk Crossing Civic, the South Philly Food Co-op and East Passyunk Community Center.
Coverage area: Germantown
How to get it: Subscribe to the email newsletter on the infohub’s website. (Look for the big green box at the top.)
Who’s behind it? The Germantown Info Hub was started through a collaboration between a community advisory group, researchers, and student journalists at Temple University and Jefferson University, community outreach specialists, volunteers, and media partners. It was borne out of a research study conducted in 2017 and 2018, which identified concerns about how Germantown is covered in existing local media. In 2022, it became a program under Resolve Philly. Its current team includes reporter Rasheed Ajamu and community organizer Maleka Fruean.
Geographic area: Northwest Philadelphia
Neighborhoods: East Falls, Germantown
Who’s behind it? Founded in 2014, The Local is a program of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia. It is also a partner in WHYY’s News and Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.). The founders and editors are Steve and Carolyn Fillmore, and the Germantown editor is Sandy Smith.
Geographic area: Northwest Philly
Neighborhoods: East Falls
How to get it: The monthly newspaper doesn’t appear to have social media, but it is delivered to every residential address in East Falls (about 6k homes). It’s also available at various businesses in the area, as well as the Falls of Schuylkill Library, SEPTA stations and Jefferson University.
Who’s behind it? Founded in 2018, the paper is affiliated with the East Falls Community Council. Its co-editors are Bill Epstein and John Gillepsie, and it’s printed by Chestnut Hill Local.
Newsroom contact: email@example.com
Geographic area: Northwest Philly and Eastern Montco
Neighborhoods: Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy; Wyndmoor, Flourtown and Erdenheim in Montgomery County
How to get it: You can choose from various print and digital subscription options here.
Who’s behind it? Owned by the Chestnut Hill Community Association, this local paper was established in 1958. The newsroom is led by editor Carla Robinson, assistant editor Kristin E. Holmes, features editor Len Lear and reporter Tom Beck. (Robinson, Holmes and Beck are all fairly new to the paper, which has made an effort to be more news-focused in recent months, per Beck.)
Geographic area: Northwest Philadelphia
Neighborhoods: Cedarbrook, Mount Airy, West Oak Lane, Germantown, Fern Rock, Ogontz
How to get it: You can subscribe to Uptown Standard email newsletters on the paper’s website. (Look for the “enter your email” box on the right.) The paper has a circulation of 20k, and can be found at various locations for pickup in the 19150, 19138, 19141, 19119 and 19144 zip codes. Contact the email above for a full list of locations.
Who’s behind it? Founded in 2020, the Uptown Standard aims to serve Northwest Philly’s African American communities. It became a partner in WHYY’s News and Information Community Exchange (N.I.C.E.) in 2021. James Williams is the editor-in-chief.
Geographic area: West Philadelphia
How to get it: You can subscribe to the free email newsletter on the Parkside Journal website. (Look for the blue bar on the left side.) You can also access PDF editions here. Print copies are available for pickup at churches, stores, schools, nonprofits, health centers and senior centers in the neighborhood.
Who’s behind it? The founder, publisher and editor is community resident Michael Burch and the co-editor is Juanita Alexander.
Geographic area: Southwest Philly
Neighborhoods: Kingsessing, Elmwood, Paschall, Eastwick
How to get it: The paper is published biweekly and 6k copies are distributed throughout Southwest Philadelphia. You can also subscribe to the biweekly email newsletter here.
Who’s behind it? Joseph and Lillian Bartash started publishing the community paper in 1945. In 2005, the Southwest Community Development Corp. teamed up with them to help put out the publication. It continued to publish after Joseph and Lillian Bartash both died in 2007.