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At a time of immense economic and technological change, how can a local newspaper do more than report on the region’s future — how can it become a protagonist in shaping that future? It’s a question The Kansas City Star has been asking itself, and in partnership with Maker City, we’re announcing an exciting approach. Together, we’ve just launched a new platform that not only reports on, but also engages with makers, entrepreneurs, and civic innovators throughout the Kansas and Missouri region. Working with The Star’s executive team alongside local civic leaders, we’re reimagining how a newspaper can bring its community together to help shape the region’s transformation.

Twenty years ago, journalist Pete Hamill wrote a book called News Is a Verb, with a message perhaps even more relevant today: that making something and making an impact is inherently more interesting than the “synthetic life” of celebrity or shock journalism. The Star shares a similar mission of “journalism that makes a difference.” And together, we’re committed to Maker City coverage that’s a verb: active, engaging, and an ongoing way for all of us to work towards the betterment of Kansas City. The collaboration between The Star and Maker City will grow to include:

  • Highlighting the city’s many makers and entrepreneurs, to teach the broader community about the thriving spirit of innovation in KC.
  • Discussing the 4th Industrial Revolution and the opportunities it creates for KC and the future of work.
  • Creating experiments that help ordinary citizens contribute to their city as a living, growing platform. For example, The Star is collaborating with the Kansas City Science Center to allow schoolkids city-wide to source and share urban noise and air pollution data. The results will be reported on The Star’s weather page.

In this video, Maker City Chairman Peter Hirshberg speaks with Kansas City Star Publisher Tony Berg about the KC Star Maker City project, the economic growth of Kansas City, and the digital transformation of the paper.

The Star is part of the 40 newspaper McClatchy Company, and represents the first step in a nationwide engagement project. If you or your organization are interested in partnering with us or learning about sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at: hello [a]