There’s a journalistic catfight brewing…
When Nashville-based SouthComm bailed Village Voice out of the local red ink machine known as the Pitch earlier this year, it was every alt journalist for his or herself. The handwriting, long on the wall, had sent longtime Pitch editor C.J. Janovy and top writing gun Nadia Pflaum scurrying for greener paycheck pastures along with carpetbagger Joe Tone.
And there’s since been strong journalistic evidence that – unlike the village idiots – SouthComm gets it.
If you want to be a successful alternative newsweekly, don’t weigh readers down with overly-long opuses and shopworn hipster subject matter and points of view.
Just come clean and give ’em some news they can use.
SouthComm’s Nashville Scene was a hipper, gentler breath-of-fresh air compared to the dated hipness of the Pitch. Plus it was printed on coated stock – as in glossy paper – and insiders say the wretches at the Star‘s pseudo alt weekly Ink were (and still are) shivering in their timbers.
That said, SouthComm had a lot more up its publishing sleeve and the betting money was that KC would get a taste of it…
That being two equally smart, snazzy zines, Her Nashville and The City Paper. Again, both on glossy magazine stock – and both high quality variants to the run-of-the-mill grocery rack offerings or stuffy business pubs we’re all too familiar with.
And as of this month, Eagle No. 1 has landed in the form of Her Kansas City...
Which I’m here to tell you, blows away the local competition that I’ve seen.
Sizewise, think of it as a hipper-looking version of KC society zine The Independent. Plus it’s all color, all of the time.
However what sets Her Kansas City apart is its editorial content.
The fact that Her KC actually has editorial content – real news, real features and real real – puts it in a class by itself.
I’m not a mom, never had a period and subscribing to Cosmo (almost) never has crossed my mind.
However I can read, I do get around, and not only does Her KC have style, it has a bit of substance. Including an up-front interview with Kauffman Center attendence exaggerator Jane Chu, a well-written how-to-meet-dudes column, a Nadia Pflaum feature on UnicornTheatre honcho Cynthia Levin, a legit fashion spread featuring models from the Kansas City Ballet, a second coming of infamous former Pitch bad grrrl Jen Chen, a tip sheet for working moms, a wedding survival tale, wine etiquette tips and columns about kids, spirit, health, attitude and KC history.
Now here’s the total deal…
The writing and reporting isn’t dumbed down like it all-too-often to always is in other women’s zines.
Believe it or not, these guys are legit!
And it’s not an ad rag – not yet anyway. And I don’t think it will be because that doesn’t appear to be the mission statement. Her Kansas City’s October issue has 40 pages, 19 1/2 of which are ads. Compare that with the 132 page, July issue of HerLife magazine with approximately 68 1/2 pages of ads to make it past.
If you ask me, Her Kansas City – while it also panders to local adverstisers – is far more substantive and has the makings of a publication women would actually want to read. Rather than just a pub populated by boilerplate designed as a garnish for the mag’s sales reps.
I’s only a one off, but at long last KC appears to have landed a thinking class women’s zine not too smart for its own good.