After their bye week, the Birds are back on the field today. They’ll need to use all the rest they received during their time off with Tom Brady and the Patriots visiting for a highly anticipated regular-season rematch of the last two Super Bowl champs. And further below, we chat with Pranshu Verma, a relatively new reporter at The Inquirer who is focused on New Jersey politicians and its state government.
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with Pranshu Verma, who covers New Jersey’s politics and government.
How would you describe covering N.J. politics and the state’s government so far?
It’s action-packed. I started right before this year’s election, and got thrown right into it. Now that the elections are over, it’s supposed to be a slow time. But legislators have other ideas. There’s talk about legalizing marijuana, banning vaping, eliminating mandatory minimums, and doing it all before the middle of January.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
Learning the nuances of issues quick enough to communicate it clearly and effectively to our readers. It’s important to provide our readers with the bigger picture and to do that you really have to grasp the issues.
What stories capture your attention?
The biggest story in the state, by far, is the controversial Gov. Chris Christie-era tax-incentive program called Grow NJ. Many corporations have taken advantage of the program to get millions in tax breaks they probably shouldn’t have gotten. The Inquirer has been at the forefront of this story, and there’s so much more that’s going to unfold. I’m also interested in the rise of progressive activists who are disenchanted with the Democratic establishment, and there are a bunch of fascinating congressional races coming up in 2020. And of course, there’s Rep. Jeff Van Drew. He’s one of two Democrats nationwide to vote against the Trump impeachment inquiry, and it’ll be fascinating to see how his re-election bid plays out.
What story are you currently working on that you’re excited to publish soon?
I’m profiling the leader of New Jersey’s Working Families Party. She’s new on the job and has some big ideas on how to move away from “politics as usual” in the Garden State. If she’s successful, it could alter the state’s power dynamics for years to come.
Hiding in plain sight 📸. Thanks for the reflection, @that_wandering_couple!
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Solid NBA player. He did seem to have a bit of a persecution complex.He in one sentence he alibis for his techs by saying family issues made him a hothead. Then he says it was the refs’ fault for the way they treat players. Huh?Truth be told, except if multiples get you kicked out of a game, tech fouls really aren’t that big a deal in the NBA, and that’s exactly how the NBA wanted it -- a “players league,” not a “refs league.” — Jaygee, on Rasheed Wallace left Philly behind, but he also brought a part of it with him during a 16-year NBA career.