What do we journalists even do?

Another issue of The Pitch hit stands today
Dear Pitch Final 21

Graphic by Enrique Zabala

Whew! We survived the making of yet another magazine, and it hit stands this morning!

For our staff, deadline week is the best of times and the worst of times. Every month, when we send the PDF to our printer one to five minutes before the deadline, it feels like we’re making it by the skin of our teeth. It’s a common feeling for most small, independent news sources around the country.

That is precisely why we are, once again, asking you to consider becoming a member for as little as $5 per month.

We at The Pitch love what we do, and want to keep bringing you interesting and insightful pieces. But producing quality journalism isn’t cheap. If you enjoyed this story, or have enjoyed reading any of our stories in the last 40 years, please consider clicking the “Support Us” button right here.

But you deserve an explanation of why we are asking for you to become a member. Most folks think that the journalism world looks like the movie Spotlight on an infinite loop. And, yeah, sometimes we are following the hidden paper trail and bringing down the “bad guys” with investigative tear-downs. But there’s a heck of a lot more to it.

Let’s look at deadline week, for example. Brock, our editor-in-chief, scrambles and coordinates an army of freelancers, staff writers, photographers, and illustrators to cultivate the best possible representation of our moment in history. This month, he actually got to shout “stop the presses!” in regards to a change—a lifelong journalist fantasy, finally made manifest.

Andrew, our director of operations, is essentially playing the most difficult game of Tetris imaginable with our layout designer, Jordan. Together, they decide what ads and what stories go where. You may notice in this month’s issue that they put an ad for HIV PrEP in the middle of an article about Missouri’s “dogmatic, misguided” attorney general, Eric Schmitt. This was not by accident. Please, join us in our delight at the easter eggs of print journalism.

Jason, our director of marketing, spends the week making sure all client ads are ready for print in the right dimensions and CMYK color format. He and our entire sales team work doubly hard to develop a client base that you, the reader, are actually excited about. We want to put ads in front of our nose that mean something to you. In most cases, thanks to our ever-laboring sales team, we’re advertising local businesses that we happily frequent ourselves.

Hell, we’re not even close to explaining what deadline week looks like. Content Strategist Lily works with writers, pouring over and editing pieces for hours. Digital Editor Savannah goes over every story multiple times with a fine-tooth fact-checking comb. Enrique, Shelby, and Nidhi, our design interns, collaborated to create the gorgeous Nachos & Tacos centerfold spread. (The graphic at the start of this article is also Enrique’s work.) We could go on and on and still never fully encapsulate the mammoth effort of teamwork that every issue requires.

We thought it would also be a good time to ask you, Pitch reader, to consider becoming a member. There’s a lot of work that goes on with our small team—so much that no one has the time to write or read all of it—and we depend on membership contributions as small as $5 per month to keep this plucky ship afloat.

Here’s a final attempt to explain deadline week: Every month, the office comes alive in a special way. The nerdiest journalism puns you can imagine are tossed room to room. We scatter pens all over every surface (even the kitchen counters) as we scrutinize draft after draft of the magazine, highlighting little errors and making those last-minute changes to headlines. We absolutely love it, because when we hit “send” to the printer, it means we’ve created something that doesn’t just belong to us.

It belongs to an entire city, you included.