It's no secret that "best of" editions and Kansas City award season, in general, is mostly just a marketing gimmick.
However, a well-respected, community radio talker and Midtown denizen recently offered a SCATHING critique of this month's current offering from an "alternative" publication.
Here's the word that has garnered mostly agreement:
"I love the resurrection of The Pitch Kansas City and I appreciate so much of their coverage of local issues and politics, however their "Best of Kansas City" stuff almost destroys their credibility as journalists, who must have been held hostage by marketing people with empty values."
Actually, he's being generous and most locals are far more skeptical about the news offerings of The Pitch.
Meanwhile, we notice that the "magazine" isn't really creating much of a buzz with their "best" selections that have garnered only a modicum of social media excitement.
And so we ask . . .
IS THE PITCH "BEST OF" ISSUE IRRELEVANT GIVEN THAT LOCALS WOULD RATHER USE ONLINE REVIEWS AS THEIR LOCAL GUIDE?!?!?
It seems that the tyranny of trustworthy Reviews from 500 Assh*les seems to have replaced rigged voting and informed influencers operating in the print world.
But it gets worse for this former juggernaut of local alternative news that hasn't really endured a "resurrection" at all . . .
THE PITCH SOLICITS DONATIONS AS THEIR MAGAZINE & ONLINE EFFORTS CLEARLY AREN'T CUTTING IT!!!
Proof . . .
Here's the sad, sad note recently ATTACHED TO EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE ON THEIR WEBSITE . . .
The Pitch: "A word to our readers:
"For nearly 40 years, The Pitch has served as the independent voice of Kansas City — a source of investigative reporting, unflinching political commentary, and street-level arts and culture coverage. We have always been free, whether in print or online, and we intend to remain so. Unfortunately, online advertising alone cannot sustain the kind of independent local journalism to which Pitch readers have been accustomed for the better part of the last four decades.
"If you appreciate what we do, we hope you will consider making a financial contribution, which you can do by clicking the "Support Us" button in the bottom-right-hand corner of your screen. It takes less than a minute, and your generosity will help us continue to produce vital, progressive, and honest journalism in the city we all love. Thank you."
This is the way local alternative news ends, not with a magazine scheme but by way of Internets
There's no shame in it, people have to do what they can to survive. Just about every news publication is forced to take donations or pay for play at some point.
The Star pimps itself out for tax breaks. The Biz Journal is mostly advertorial, Ingram's has always been a sponsored content scheme. A new local elite magazine is a money losing whim of a rich white lady who got bored on permanent vacation. 435 is a monthly magazine dedicated to keeping housewives out of trouble. Finally, Northeast News is propped up by moneyed patrons and now . . .
DESPITE DESPERATE MARKETING GIMMICKS, THE PITCH STILL NEEDS READERS TO COME TO THE RESCUE!!!
Still, it's hard to see what The Pitch offers that readers can't get elsewhere . . . They dismissed their best reporters and lost their edge years ago . . . Most of their content is faux trendy and geared toward hipsters who don't really know a lot about this town. In their long struggle to become a failing biz, they lost all of the weed smoker, light to heavy coke user and functional alcoholic swagger when they tossed aside their better writers who fulfilled those niches nicely. Now the magazine is offering cookie-cutter content that was groundbreaking in the 90s and possibly pleasing for people waiting in a dentist's office.
Like it or not . . .
These are the last days for The Pitch and it's clear the new owners didn't realize the financial mess they where buying.
So what's KCMO losing???
Not much from The Pitch in its current form.
Even in its heyday, the weekly was a sketchy rag supported by human trafficking pr0n adverts and mostly home to hack political hit jobs that were good for a laugh and not much else. To some extent TKC fills the news hole (YEAH!!!) but, for the most part, real "alternative" voices have been effectively silenced by an increasingly corporate culture overall and most mainstream media content is nothing more than target marketing that might be a reflection of growing American political tribalism. OR maybe the even harsher reality is that burgeoning mobile phone technology revealed most people are far more captivated about cyber-stalking frenemies via social media than by any news related to local life.
You decide . . .