Happy post-Thanksgiving Sunday. The turbulent Eagles face a sullen Miami team before they take on what could be must-win NFC East games every week in December. And in today’s Q&A we speak with one of our business reporters, Christian Hetrick, who is tasked with covering the largest cable television company in the United States: Comcast.
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 Christian Hetrick, who’s dedicated to covering Comcast and the telecom giant’s reach in Philly, and beyond.
You’ve recently moved into a role where most of your reporting focuses specifically on Comcast. That’s a pretty large task. What kinds of issues do you hope to cover?
With Comcast being the corporate behemoth in our backyard, I want to cover the company in a way that’s meaningful to a local audience. I’d like to focus on how the company is a major power player in our area, one of the region’s largest employers, and a crucial service provider of broadband internet, which is essentially a utility now. Of course, I’m still interested in what Comcast and NBC do nationally and around the world, too.
What are some hurdles you’re facing when it comes to covering a cable and media giant like Comcast?
They own so much stuff! From the Philadelphia Flyers to Saturday Night Live to theme parks in Florida, there is a lot to keep track of. Comcast is constantly making news on all fronts, whether it’s a civil rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court, contract disputes with popular channels, or lobbying legislation in statehouses. Another challenge is truly getting inside the company. For example, I can’t just file records requests to get internal documents like I could with a government agency.
What kinds of news or stories capture your attention?
I love news stories that hold power accountable, so anything that exposes wrongdoing is a must-read for me.
Why should people be more aware of what Comcast is doing in our region?
Comcast is quite literally reshaping the city skyline and has a major impact on the lives of thousands of workers and hundreds of thousands of consumers in our region. So what the company does matters and deserves our attention.
The holiday celebrations continue in Philly. Thanks for capturing the spirit, @the_brittjames!
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I hope this can be fixed. Lack of a driver’s license makes it difficult to get and keep a job, be a responsible parent, care for elder relatives, eat healthfully, and do all the things we hope people will do to live fulfilling productive lives. The way our system just keeps punishing people, often for trivial infractions, is disproportionately hard on the poor and working class. — Enlightenmentvalues on Pennsylvania having changed a law suspending driver’s licenses, yet it won’t help thousands still banned from the road.