The ongoing downward spiral of this town’s paper of record has not only given credence to all of my ranting regarding “dead tree media” but also led my writing efforts to interesting places.
Not too long after he parted company at The Kansas City Star I had my first meeting with Kansas City Journalist Hearne Christopher in a Westport cafe worked by a local hipsters with bad tattoos. Instantly, I was stunned with his forthrightness and how easily he was able to talk to another writer who had previously joked about his falling down a flight of stairs and the demise of both him and his former employer.
Thankfully, Hearne was able to see through the bravado and bullshit of the written word on the Internet in much the same way he has navigated Kansas City’s news scene for decades. I’ve always had a good sense of history about this Cowtown but very few people have Hearne’s vast working mental index of the players who make things happen in Kansas City. And that was the biggest factor in my decision to write for KC Confidential one year ago.
One of the best parts about writing for this group blog has been getting to know the team that has come together on KCC. Brian McTavish is as smart as he is tall and his command of the written word and comprehensive reviews are the gold standard around this town. Greg Hall looks like American Astronaut hero John Glenn and he carries himself with the same swagger and dignity that plays nicely with his nearly all-inclusive understanding of the sports world. Like so many of you are discovering, Craig Glazer is more than just a club guy and happens to have a remarkably nuanced understanding of the way local life works in Kansas City. Finally, I was impressed to discover that Jennifer Janesko is not only a talented artist and beautiful woman but also a great writer which makes my fantasy about getting her pregnant that much more deeply meaningful and complex.
More than anything, the time I’ve spent blogging on KCC has been a learning experience. I feel like my writing has grown even stronger without the reliance on bold type and tawdry images that mark so many bloggy efforts but don’t play here on KCC. There were even a few times when I’ve had to venture out of my comfort zone (i.e. pajamas) and do something resembling real reporting for this site. Discussing the information gathering process with a veteran journalist like Hearne was an experience that few newsies can attain online. From tips on vetting sources, fact checking and the careful use of language, KCC has been an education that I couldn’t have attained simply writing nasty things about low level celebrities from the comfort of my mom’s basement like so many solo bloggers. Even better, KCC’s connections to the local entertainment world have offered me entry into some of the best events in Kansas City along with many opportunities to drink for free and play grab ass with eager middle-aged women and their supple yet sadly under-attended rumps.
Seriously, you don’t want to know the details.
So what have I learned? Most importantly: Women in the Kansas City burlesque scene are mostly chunky beatches who tease a lot but are unwilling to make bad decisions when it comes down to it. Secondly, the demise of the daily newspaper doesn’t mean that journalism is dead. There’s a lot of great reporting taking place all over Kansas City and it’s really exciting to see seasoned professionals working alongside Citizen Media to tell stories, record events and make observations that corporate newspapers continue to ignore.
Mind you, Hearne and I haven’t agreed on everything.
But I don’t think he needs any help running a successful blog and I’ve always doubted traditional advertising as a reliable business model to support media in the digital age. Still, his advice has been far more helpful than the often pointless back and forth with d-bag comment trolls that brings to mind a rather hurtful yet sage comparison related to arguing on the Internet and the Special Olympics. And contrary to a few worthless Internet comments, some pointless gripping and bitter Kansas City newsie gossip — I’ve learned that Hearne is a good guy with a deep respect for the people and places that define this town.
Nobody knows what the future holds but after a year I’m glad for my time here at KCC and I hope to keep writing on this site because more than anything it has been a good time. And if MILF ass, Jazz, Burlesque, Blogger Beef, Dodgeball, Local Celebs and free booze marked the first year of working with Hearne; I’m hoping the future will be just as fun.