Of course there are plenty of stories that qualify as news that nobody would want to keep in the dark, but its also true that many people want reporters and photographers to tell their stories in the interest of self promotion.
The Stars corrections policy is clear: Right wrongs. But are some of them silly? Whether to run a correction or not usually comes down to one bottom-line question: Did the mistake fundamentally impede or change the readers comprehension of what was published?
Sometimes when two journalists take dictation, there are two slightly different versions of what was said. Readers notice these details, and they can sometimes matter. Multiple readers contacted me on March 5 to point out a minor discrepancy between two different versions of the same quote in that days Sports Daily.
Journalists should weigh an ideas political viability and import before giving it big play, regardless of whether the notion has gained traction in the popular imagination. Its a big and tricky job, and readers always tell me when they think something has gone off the tracks.
Journalists should document the real-life consequences when science is misapplied or not applied at all. Matters of serious public policy hinge on science. Its the lynchpin of medicine, agriculture, transportation, energy and other industries that drive the world economy. It deserves vigilant news coverage.
Derek Donovan writes: There is one thing that many people who have contacted me in recent months can agree about: The Stars typesetting system isnt always very smart when it comes to hyphenating words that are too long to fit on a single line
Its clear and obvious that reporters working on features should check out their subjects pasts for any evidence of criminal or other questionable activity. A recent feature about McCormick Distilling Co. in Weston omitted one key detail to my emailers mind: a smuggling scandal from over a decade ago.
A caller last week was confused by something he was looking at on KansasCity.com, accompanying a story about a group looking to force a public vote over whether to construct a new single-terminal Kansas City International Airport. I understand my callers confusion but he was really putting the cart before the horse.
One of my key roles as public editor is to be the readers voice inside The Star. That feedback is often a useful gauge. But its also my job to give a public airing to what I hear from the readership, and that requires me to weigh several factors. In other words, it takes editing.
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.
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.