On Springfield

Nice Guys Publish First

'Wherever you live, make Springfield a city you care about,” Nancy Urbschat writes in the inaugural issue of Speaking of Springfield, a new, free, online publication celebrating the city that all too often gets dumped on.

Urbschat, the owner of the marketing firm TSM Design, and her colleagues launched the publication to offer an unapologetically Pollyannaish view of the city, as she told me in an interview last month. “By [their] very nature, cities are messy,” she said. “So traditional media has to cover that messiness, and it often leaves out that other side of what the character and life in cities is all about.”

Speaking of Springfield’s first issue, which came out last week, is anchored by a feature article by former Springfield Republican reporter Ronni Gordon about Sci-Tech band director Gary Bernice, under whose direction the program has exploded, and its young musicians thrived. There are also pieces about “Go Fresh,” a mobile farmers’ market that tours the city each week; a review of Borinquen & Quisqueya, a Latin-American restaurant in McKnight; and a story about the weekly, volunteer-led Riverwalk tours, among other articles.

And—no surprise, given that it’s produced at a design firm—Speaking of Springfield is a handsome site, with a fresh, clean design and terrific photos.

Speaking of Springfield is published by a non-profit formed by Urbschat and others from TSM. They hope to publish the magazine weekly and to have a subscriber base of 100,000 in five years—but to get there, they need to raise money from corporate underwriters and other donors.

For a free subscription, sign up at Speaking of Springfield’s home page.

© 2014 The Valley Advocate