Public Editor

June 13, 2014

Confusion among publication days, dates

The Kansas City Star publishes online and in print on very different schedules sometimes. That can lead to extreme mix-ups when it comes to days and dates.

An emailer today pointed to a story, which he complimented, about a new off-leash dog park and boat ramp that will soon open in Platte Landing Park in Parkville.

However, it said the park would be opening this weekend. That means Saturday, June 14. However, the actual opening date is next Saturday, the 21st.

I go into The Star’s computer system to make fixes such as this one online. When I located the story, I found out why the error had occurred.

As of right now, this item is scheduled to be printed in the Wednesday, June 16 edition of the 816 North news magazine. So there, “this weekend” would refer to June 21.

However, it was sent to this week. That isn’t a problem — but the date reference should have been changed.

This is something that publishers with roots in print have had to adjust to in the electronic publishing age. Some time ago, The Star’s official style dropped references to “today,” for example. That’s because a story that lives in print on a certain day has a much longer life online. That requires exact dates instead.

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