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Published December 22nd, 2017 at 6:05 AM
Above image credit: From infrastructure to the Beverley Hillbillies, we take the time with stories that are important to you. (Collage: Cody Boston | Flatland)
Like any publication, this magazine cranks out content all year long. Every article we post resonates with us, but we each have our favorites — the pieces we really, really, really hope find their way to you. Here are our 10 staff picks of stories from 2017 we think you should read and watch — if you didn’t the first time around — or read again and share.
Cover Stories and News Reports
The first Monday of each month we bring you the deeper dive with our ‘Cover Story,’ and you can always find solid news and issues reporting throughout the month. Find those stories here: Cover Stories and News & Issues
Suspended in Time
This is a perfect example of the type of multimedia package that plays to all of Flatland’s strengths. First of all, it starts with a fascinatingly unique topic. The post also includes vivid writing, augmented with a great visual package of historic photos. The video clips also add context and provide a behind-the-scenes look at the reporting process.
— Mike Sherry, Online News Editor
A Ledger of Names, Mine Among Them, Tell Our Vietnam Stories
I liked this piece because it connected us even more to local Vietnam experiences, and I liked the candor and vulnerability in it. I’m especially drawn to this one since the documentary, “The Vietnam War,” was such a big deal for KCPT — this piece was a wonderful addition to that effort.
— Kliff Kuehl, CEO
Giving Away the (Wind) Farm
Never mind that this story is already picking up national accolades — such as one of the best collaborations of 2017 — its real importance is in what it means for anyone living and working in Kansas. Internally, this was a long, hard investigative report that required pretty much all hands on deck, and a lot of focus and organization. I’m proud to have been a part of it.
— Kirstin McCudden, Managing Editor
The People — Their Lives and Their Curious Nature
Without a doubt some of our most read and shared content comes when we tell very personal stories. From our curiousKC initiative, which asks readers to let us know what they’d like us to cover, to history, to food, and the city’s culture, this category gets to the heart of who Kansas Citians really are. Read more from curiousKC, Eats & Drinks and People & Places.
The Day Before The Fall of Saigon
A story about the strength of one woman and what it took to keep her family together before the fall of Saigon. This was also a story of a Kansas Citian and her experience with the Vietnam War, in advance of the multi-part documentary series from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that ran on KCPT this fall.
— Jonathan Bender, Food Editor
Whatever Happened to Smaks?
People love food. And people love feeling nostalgia. That’s where this story really hit the mark. It was submitted through curiousKC, which means a reader submitted this question and we got the chance to answer. What followed was true engagement from other readers. It was so much fun to read people’s memories and learn more about other restaurants that have come and gone in Kansas City.
— Hilary Becker, Social Media Manager
Couple Brings Fresh Ideas to Troost
Flatand tells the stories of the local community — its people and places — and what makes Kansas City tick. This story encapsulates that mission. Justin Clark and his wife Rashaun opened Urban Cafe early this year in an area that had few to no healthy restaurants. Rashaun grew up in the area, and this is where the couple chose to raise their three daughters. The two are striving to make a difference in an area that has been known as the racial divide in Kansas City for decades.
— Kelly Cordingley, Digital Coordinator
Eyes on the Eagle
The curiousKC stories nearly always draw my attention, and often times I find myself saying, “I was wondering about that, too.” That was the case with the question about the eagle monument on Ward Parkway. Not only did the story tell me all about the eagle, but it did it in such a fun, hands-on, interactive way.
— Colleen Boeding, Senior Finance Specialist
Our legacy for visual storytelling is apparent when our talented producers get behind the camera. These immersive experiences are released by chapters, so you can binge watch or go at your own pace. Find all of our Video Series here.
Public Works | The Cost of Our Public Transit
“Public Works” was an in-depth look at our metro’s infrastructure system with comprehensive original reporting. This series took you underneath the pavement to tackle the state of our water and sewers. I’m particularly fond of this public transit piece because it showed just how important the bus system is for lower income people in Kansas City.
— John McGrath, Multimedia Producer
Art can take you on a journey. With In Situ, you get to travel inside the home of Henry Bloch, one of Kansas City’s most prominent citizens, and inside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a renowned art museum, as you learn about a collection of five paintings bound for public exhibition. It’s a beautifully told story of how art can leave a lasting impact on all the lives it touches.
— Cole Blaise, Multimedia Producer
We rarely talk about art and business in the same conversation and because of that we might miss a stunning truth: Art is one of the economic engines that drives Kansas City. In Artconomy, we told the story of how visual and dramatic arts can connect people, sustain careers, and provide enrichment opportunities to Kansas Citians. The digital series also framed the discussion with beautifully composed pictures of public art while presenting the architecture and business hubs of the city through an artistic lens. Artconomy showed us that art and business can be combined to provide a vision for the future of KC.
— Brad Austin, Creative Arts Producer
— As always, follow Flatland @FlatlandKC for more of the stories that matter to you.
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