Bobbi I. Booker is the managing editor of PlanPhilly at WHYY News, developing news coverage of urban design, development, policy, and city planning in Philadelphia. Driven by her dedication to promoting diversity in media and society, Booker has been a trailblazer in Philadelphia’s media and journalism industries for nearly four decades.
Booker is a skilled audio journalist, tenacious reporter, and experienced editor. Throughout her radio career, she has taken on various roles such as anchor, reporter, assignment editor, executive producer, and editor at organizations like WHYY News, Metro Networks, Shadow Traffic Broadcast Service, WRTI, WWDB, WUSL, and WHAT.
She has covered Philadelphia news stories for both local and national outlets, delving into the impact of City Hall decisions and the importance of the city’s cultural institutions and events. Her reporting encompasses six mayoral administrations, from William J. Green to Jim Kenney. While an undergraduate at Temple University, Booker contributed to the launch of live radio broadcasts for City Council meetings, serving as executive producer.
As the president of The Pen & Pencil Club, one of the oldest press organizations in the United States, she has advised and coached journalists at every level. Booker’s contributions to the Black Press have earned her the National Newspaper Publishers Association Merit Award four times, and her work has been featured in NPR Books, The Associated Press, BlackAmericaWeb.com, Philadelphia magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Urban Box Office Network, and The Lonely Planet.
Her daily focus is to improve society through reporting and community building. She served on the committee that organized the city-wide Soul Train line that set a Guinness World Record in 2012. Through her outreach efforts, she has built relationships that demonstrate an unwavering commitment to journalists serving the broader community.
Booker is also a professor, public speaker, media consultant, and trained gardener through her South Philly-based community 4-H youth program. Since 1999, she has been the host of the popular weekly public radio show “Spirit Soul Music” on WRTI, which presents a thoughtfully selected playlist of spiritually-oriented, socially conscious, and invigorating music to a diverse listenership. She is finishing her master’s degree at Temple Klein College of Media and Communication.