We always like it when readers help us find solutions.
Today, as we unveil new approaches to The Kansas City Star’s print and digital editions, we have you in mind.
Over the last year, we’ve been intensely focused on how readers get their news and information. We talked to subscribers and non-subscribers, avid smartphone users, app lovers, print loyalists, desktop-at-work professionals, tablet junkies and die-hard social media followers.
The lessons from those conversations are clear: You want your news the way you want it. You want credible stories and insight. And you want different kinds of storytelling across all these platforms.
You simply want us to be there for you when you need us, however you need us.
And we are.
Today, we’re rolling out a series of improvements aimed at addressing ever-changing reading habits:
▪ We’ve redesigned our products to emphasize the distinct advantages of each platform, with more of a focus on the latest breaking news, photos and videos in our digital offerings and deeper, more analytical stories and commentary in our print editions.
▪ We’re debuting a new section this morning, both in the newspaper and online. In Depth will appear as a four-page, pullout section Tuesday through Friday in print and daily online. You’ll also find our Opinion pages inside the pullout, still packed with editorials, letters from readers and columns.
▪ We’ve reorganized our award-winning staff to emphasize watchdog journalism. We now have more reporters assigned to investigative beats than at any time in recent history. We’ll also continue to aggressively cover breaking news and intensify coverage of the beats you’ve identified as most critical: government, education, business, health and public safety.
▪ In a nod to our mobile users, who represent the majority of our digital readership, we will produce more videos. Our initial goal is to have video with about half of all our stories.
▪ In print, we’re moving news columnists (such as Mary Sanchez and Charles Gusewelle) to Page 2A. Local and business news will continue to publish in the main news section.
▪ We’re revamping Sunday A+E, beginning with the Oct. 4 Arts+Culture edition. The section will broaden the scope of our arts, entertainment and lifestyle coverage, with more commentary, profiles and conversational topics from our community.
▪ And finally, it wouldn’t be a newspaper redesign if I didn’t mention that the body type in print is larger. Just in case you were wondering.
Here’s what hasn’t changed: our commitment to the work.
It’s been a good year for journalism at The Star. We’ve taken on powerful institutions, prompted the resignations of scandal-ridden officials, and changed state and local policies. We wrote extensively about the country’s domestic terror threat before the Charleston church shootings.
We have around a million readers per week, and they have made us by a long, long, long shot the biggest news organization in town. With it comes responsibility, and we think about and honor that every day.
That’s why it’s so important for us to continue growing in new directions. The Star just celebrated its 135th birthday earlier this month, and there will be many more to come. We’ll keep listening to you, and you keep telling us how you want your news.
We welcome your thoughts on these changes. Please provide feedback in this form.
And thank you, sincerely, for reading The Kansas City Star.