Readers dont always have the same opinions as critics. and theres nothing wrong with healthy disagreement. Part of the reason that a bad review of something weve enjoyed stings is that the critics negative take feels like personal criticism. Thats an impulse we should all resist.
Journalists have a particular responsibility to be careful when reporting about children. Even seemingly innocuous details may cause concern to parents, teachers and others charged with kids well-being.
Sometimes people have important information about a story, but they dont want to speak to a reporter on the record. That poses serious problems to telling the story fully.
Readers were chagrined to see three photos in the paper from a Chiefs game showing fans wearing approximations of traditional American Indian headdresses and face paint. I find readers objections to these types of images reasonable. The Star should avoid publishing these types of photos casually.
Journalists referring to the D.C. showdown over military death benefits have mostly missed out on a crucial distinction that affects millions of people. The payments apply only to those who die while in service.
Digital news delivery has opened up vast choices that didnt exist 20 years ago. But print continues to offer unique strengths and its readers deserve special consideration.
The No. 1 complaint for years about KansasCity.com has been the anonymous comments. Today, anonymous comments are no more. KansasCity.com has switched to a new system that uses Facebook accounts. I know readers will appreciate the extra layer of accountability. Its a step long overdue.
Social media users often criticize mainstream news outlets for running viral tidbits non-news. But there are many considerations for a general-audience media company. Its a gross mischaracterization to paint KansasCity.com as nothing but gossip and trash, though.
People First Language urges us to say child with autism instead of autistic child, or deaf people instead of the deaf. The problem, though, is that not everyone who may fall into any one group will ever agree on these matters.
The Kansas City Star followed along with most of the rest of the U.S. news media in giving huge play to the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. For three consecutive days, it dominated Page A1. That was too much for many readers.
Sometimes even accurate numbers can give an unclear picture of what is being counted. Journalists should include relevant information for the bigger picture.
Readers want to see coverage of arts and entertainment that draw big audiences. But there are other considerations as well in choosing how to cover them as news.
Recent stories about ugly, racially-tinged social media uproars have gotten people talking. But some people also say the media should play an active role — by ignoring the topic.
Readers appreciated front-page coverage in print of the NSA/FBI Prism intelligence program, but they questioned its play relative to the days lead news story choice.
In the digital age, there are many ways to get the news: computers, televisions, phones, tablets, and of course in print. But the variety of delivery methods for The Kansas City Stars content can be bewildering to readers.
Can a story be both interesting and repellent at the same time? Absolutely, according to readers who have contacted me about how The Kansas City Star has covered the news lately. Its understandable that some readers have felt the overload.
The usually negative hive mind of the Internet has been bashing print media as hopelessly backward for so long now that the snark has become passé. But readers often remind me that some information will forever be better in print.
Theres usually no gray area in questions about medical or scientific terminology. But when the topic turns to organ donation, there are subjective considerations.
If something is published on open social media, its reasonable to assume the author intends for others to view it, and I see no reason in general for journalists to look at it differently.
Its undeniable that journalists, like everyone in the media world, are first and foremost in the business of communication. Readers judge them sometimes harshly on the mechanics as well as the content of their words.
Im not predicting the demise of print any time soon, but its an undeniable truth that the business model that has sustained newspapers and magazines for generations has changed permanently.
Theres no question that many people objecting to the cartoon on the death of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle misunderstood Lee Judges point. But many understood and just plain disagreed. The big shame is that civility was the victim here.
Many opinion pieces in The Star are extremely pointed and provocative by design. But when a column may use facts that are inaccurate or interpreted questionably in the service of a thesis, it falls to me to check out readers concerns.
I can count on readers to surprise me with a wealth of knowledge and intense interest in a huge variety of topics, from energy policy to quilting. And when the news is overtaken by a hot-button issue such as gun control, I always know people will be scrutinizing The Kansas City Stars reporting carefully.
When public officials are acting in good faith, even when that means they take action that may be wildly unpopular on one side of the aisle, journalists should strive for balance by asking direct and probing questions while maintaining a professional relationship with the source.
Journalists should listen when their readers point out that things have gotten too heavy. The paper should of course always remain serious and address the issues of the day head on. But there should also be room for good news, which is also all around us.
The Kansas City Star first reported that Kansas City park board member Frances Semler is a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps on June 12. Since then I’ve heard a consistent stream of reader comment about the controversy.