I started this blog about three years ago when I worked at the Lawrence Journal-World. I thought people in Kansas City should have more information about the media in town, from personnel moves to controversies and awards and important stories. I walked a fine line in reporting these things while working at a newspaper I’d inevitably have to write about.
It’s been almost two years since I moved to Chicago to take a news job, and I think it’s time to hang up the keyboard.
It’s hard covering something when you aren’t in the thick of things. I don’t have the sources to make this blog as deep as it could be. I don’t have the desire to hammer KC news organizations for every transgression. I don’t have the time to devote to the things that should be covered.
In short, readers who want to learn about media goings on deserve better than what I can give them. The last few years, my work on this blog has been akin to Billy Butler lumbering down the first-base line: half hearted and ineffective.
That’s not to say this hasn’t been a worthy experiment. There have been some stories that have gone viral or started a discussion about important issues. Mostly it’s been about getting these things down on the record.
My first full month writing, Dec. 2011, saw 444 people visit the site. I thought that was pretty good for a blog covering a topic with a limited audience that just landed on the Internet.
My readership grew. In 2012, my first full year writing, the blog got more than 29,000 hits. In 2013, it got more than 44,000 hits. So far this year, it’s gotten more than 36,000 hits. In August, I saw my 100,000th pageview. Pretty cool.
Still, I’d say readership was limited at best, confined mostly to web searches for various meteorologists, whether or not newscasters had boyfriends or were gay, and who is John Eligon? The top 10 search terms? “Lisa Teachman fired,” “John Eligon,” “Lisa Teachman,” “Alexis del Cid,” “Kelly Jones News Anchor,” “Martin Manley blog,” “Michelle Bogowith,” “Michelle Apon” and “Jabulani Lefall.” My favorite was “Katie Horner now a plumber?????” With five question marks.
I’m proud of some stories I wrote, particularly covering the circulation issues facing local papers and think pieces that dealt with how newspapers can recapture audiences that aren’t loyal anymore, that would rather binge on “Orange is the New Black,” that has more options competing for its time than ever. My post on Ryan Sellers, the local photographer who captures regular Kansas Citians on any given day for his TrueKC blog, is a favorite.
I enjoyed the discussion that followed a Westport bar’s decision to celebrate Quantrill’s Raid (admittedly a non-media topic, but no one else was writing about it), the day Star staffers became millionaires and the viral reaction regarding The Star’s policy of not using the word “Redskins.”
My goal was to share information that people wanted to know, because local news plays actually does play a prominent and important role in the everyday lives of citizens. I wanted to contribute to a city I love and still call home. I don’t know if I succeeded in that, but I’ve had fun doing it. I hope someone else takes the baton from here, and can do a better job than I of providing regular, nuanced coverage of local media.
I might dive back into the MediaKC pool now and again, if only to flex my writing muscles. But I don’t anticipate writing much more on this topic. I will, however, continue writing about my upcoming wedding on my other blog, Groom Without a Clue.
Thanks to those of you who subscribed to this blog. Thanks for your comments, which weren’t as bad as those left on most comment boards. Thanks for taking an interest in your local media.
Mostly, thanks for reading. That’s all any writer can ask for.