Name: Hannah Kinney-Kobre
Title: Digital Editorial Coordinator
CP Start: January 2022
Hannah Kinney-Kobre is a fast talker—a skill she’s channeled into a full-time gig as Pittsburgh City Paper’s Digital Editorial Coordinator.
Getting the words out on CP’s socials (with speed, accuracy, and a side of punchy sarcasm) has been Kinney-Kobre’s main mission since joining the team in 2022. However, she’s had all kinds of opportunities at City Paper and her role has expanded since her start – she’s a self-described “jack-of-all trades."
One of her biggest accomplishments has been revamping City Paper’s newsletter, turning it into a daily email digest named after the paper’s mascot: City Pigeon. She’s broken election results, written film reviews, run contests, and even got the chance to write a feature for this year’s fall guide.
“It’s good to work somewhere that is so connected to the city,” she says. “I feel like I know everything that’s happened in Pittsburgh this past year!”
A North Carolina native, Kinney-Kobre was raised by two “hippie-ish” parents who were around for the heyday of alt-weekly popularity. “I’ve been exposed to this type of stuff since I was a kid,” Kinney-Kobre says, acknowledging that her “cultural references are over the place.”
One example of this is her taste in books and movies. “I watch a lot of movies… anything really, but lately it’s been screwball comedies,” she says. “I collapse my hobbies into every aspect of my life.”
At Boston University, Kinney-Kobre majored in English and Film Studies before finding her way to the ‘Burgh for a different job. One click on LinkedIn and she rerouted to City Paper, where she’s been click, click, clicking ever since.
As the voice of City Paper’s social presence, Kinney-Kobre posts a handful of newsy items daily on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (She prefers Twitter because “it’s fast.” Go figure.)
When not at work, she finds herself on the hunt for vintage clothing scores, reading or watching movies, or being terrorized by her pet cat.
Kinney-Kobre says the collaborative work environment and unique character of the Paper suits her.
“There are stories in here that other papers aren’t telling, like under-the-radar arts stuff, social justice issues,” Kinney-Kobre says. “I grew up reading alt weeklies… and there’s something even now that is just cool about being an alt-weekly. It’s not a paper of record; it has a personality."
Little known fact: the Squirrel Hill Tunnel is one of the sexiest spots in Pittsburgh. After all, where else is everyone united in screaming about someone riding their ass?— Pittsburgh City Paper (@PGHCityPaper) February 4, 2022
Check out the rest of our V-Day pins here: https://t.co/220mjWDPLo pic.twitter.com/nVuef8Es5V
Not all my illustration work appears on the cover. In fact, some of my best work is making quick illustrations for online or print articles. Here are my five favorites from the past year and a couple of honorable mentions.
And a couple of honorable mentions:
Notice anything missing from our site?
Pittsburgh City Paper is happy to announce that we’ve removed ads from within the content of our stories, with the goal of providing a better experience for readers, creating more valuable opportunities for advertisers, and avoiding any conflicts of interest between the two departments.
While ads can still be purchased to appear next to stories or as banners across the top of City Paper’s website, ads will no longer appear within any stories written by our editorial department.
CP Ad Director Rachel Winner says the revenue from Google ads, which used to run repeatedly throughout stories, is not worth it if they take away from the company’s strong editorial product.
“Advertisers can still reach our wide audience by placing ads elsewhere on our site,” according to Winner, “and we’re hoping that audience will be more appreciative knowing that our company has a clear editorial and advertising separation.”
Clients interested in advertising their services can also look forward to new opportunities to be unveiled in the near future, including the ability to place more targeted banner ads within sections, and a new "buy local" feature coming soon.
Editor in Chief Lisa Cunningham says she’s grateful for Winner continuing to work with their editorial team on making City Paper's products the best they can be for their audience.
“In addition to making our site easier to read, without the distraction from ads within our stories, it also eliminates a frustration we’ve had with some ads appearing in our stories that are the antithesis to our editorial mission,” says Cunningham.
She gives the example of a recent offensive right-wing Google ad that was automatically published within a story, even though City Paper had set up a filter to eliminate such political ads from appearing.
The change has been made effective immediately, and includes all current and previously published stories.
Here are the facts: From the nominees in the first round to the top 10 finalists in the voting round to the top three winners you’ll find in this issue, everyone in this year’s Best of Pittsburgh was decided by Pittsburgh City Paper readers.
What sets City Paper’s poll apart from others? Besides the obnoxiously large number of categories (yeah, we know — we keep trying to edit them down, but every year, we hear from readers who tell us we’ve missed some important ones), the Best of Pittsburgh is 100% determined by reader input. We use SecondStreet, an online voting platform, which automatically tabulates the results. No, City Paper staff members aren’t allowed to vote. And no, despite rumors which have existed since the poll first launched 30 years ago, no one can win a category by buying an ad. (But yes, winners are notified before this issue hits the stands and our sales team does sell them ads, which help support our local journalism throughout the rest of the year.)
What we do, though, is fact-check your noms. And we don’t just check them for spelling errors or to make sure you actually nominated Pittsburgh folks. We spend months checking each entry and eliminate any nomination we find to have posted anything racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, transphobic, or harmful to others. We also listen to your feedback and adjust the categories before the poll starts every year based on your recommendations. Did we miss a category you’d like to see next year? Spot one you’d rather we delete? Reach out and let us know. This is your poll, after all, and we aim to have each year’s poll better than the last.Why the space theme? Well, besides making this issue look cool as hell, there are space-themed events happening all over the city this year. For one, Pittsburgh is home to the Allegheny Observatory in Riverview Park and a planetarium at the Carnegie Science Center, where yinzers can dream of life in another galaxy. The Science Center also just launched a new exhibit, Sun, Earth Universe, focusing on the solar system, the universe, and “the big questions NASA is trying to answer about each.” In November, the Center will also debut its Mars: The Next Giant Leap exhibit, which explores the possibilities of traveling to and living on the Red Planet. But mostly, we were inspired by the Moonshot Museum, Pennsylvania’s first-ever space museum, opening soon in the North Side. We can’t wait to see if it ends up on next year’s winners' list.