Public Editor

The Star’s website design doesn’t differentiate between opinion, news well enough

I got email today from a reader who objected strongly to a page he had read on KansasCity.com under the headline, “SCOTUS saves Obamacare.” (It’s since been updated to “The Supreme Court spared America a cataclysm,” which is a common occurrence on the site.)

“Unfortunately I just wasted my time reading the most biased article possible,” wrote emailer. “Rather than reporting you are expressing a very one sided opinion.”

I can’t disagree with him at all. This isn’t a news story. Rather, it’s a commentary by Mary Sanchez, and that’s her role at The Star.

However, the presentation of columns on KansasCity.com suffers from a major flaw: They don’t have the word “commentary” or “opinion” in an overline or other prominent location.

“If this was to be an opinion article, then it should clearly state the fact on the web page in bold letters, OPINION,” wrote the reader, and I agree.

The reason the labels aren’t there, as they used to be, is technical and too arcane to go into here. They weren’t removed on purpose, but they can’t be restored right now. It’s high on the Web editors’ list of issues to address.

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