Star Search: The Issue of News Judgment, Future of Sports & Color Comics

It’s back to work for what currently constitutes the full Kansas City Star newsroom…

Tuesday is the first fully staffed paper of the week, following the Star’s skeletal weekend staffing.

Let’s see what they got!

Okay, time out. Looking at today’s front page reminds me of how difficult it is to come up with truly poignant news stories and features. I won’t pretend that if I ruled the world, things would be any easier.

The problem is twofold…

For starters, we live in a town where short of television news sensationalism, we don’t have that many significant/wildly interesting things going on to spellbind the masses. So to some extent, the Star gets a pass because they can’t just make interesting stuff up, right?

On the other hand, there is such a thing as news judgment and clearly a case can be made that were it keener, better, and more interesting and/or compelling stories could be told. Even with the Star’s diminished resources.

Back to the front page…

There’s a syndicated story about political parties losing power to organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s written by a gent named Hamburger from the Chicago Tribune. Interesting but not locally spawned. And yet another trip to the plate re the KCMO school closings which may come to a vote tomorrow. And did you know they’re getting high speed Internet out in the sticks? Or that god-fearing fag-hater Fred Phelps has a date with the U.S. Supreme Court. Will it top the nude streaking scene that went down in Topeka in the movie Bruno last year? Stay tuned.

Local: Slow news day, anyone? Hard to believe they made the local section centerpiece a three-column by nine inch deep, color photo feature on 97 year-old former Chiefs bandleader Tony DiPardo giving a thousand bucks to a local high school. That’s right, one-thousand dollars.

Which brings us back to news judgment…

Reporter Matt Campbell has a very interesting story about KC Mayor Mark Funkhouser bagging on Aggie Stackhouse for deploying “corrupt” measures in her ridiculously fervent effort to kill off a dog park in Waldo’s Sunnyside Park.

Why did Campbell’s significant story sink to the bottom, under a measly $1,000 charity contribution?

Alvin Brooks is joining the KC Police Board? Didn’t Tony write about that last week?

Remembrances: Wow two pages devoted to people that have checked out. Lots of big obituary ads, call it a good day for death…and for the Star. Didn’t recognize anybody.

Sports: Man, new sports columnist Sam Mellinger is turning out to be prolific. As well he should. Given that the ruse about former Star sports scribe Joe Posnanski writing for the paper on a weekly basis has long been up. Posnanski departed for greener pastures at
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6 Responses to Star Search: The Issue of News Judgment, Future of Sports & Color Comics

  1. Anonymous says:

    Since you’ve got time on your hands why not compare the Star’s content and quality of reportage to the papers of record in Omaha, Des Moines and St. Louis. Then you’ll really see how far the fall has been.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Copy Desk
    1.You need to have better judgment about your spelling.
    2. The centerpiece on the metro front has to have a large photo. The paper locked into that format 20 years ago, and ever since, weaker stories with a prominent (and easily obtained) photo that can be run large get the centerpiece over more important, better reported stories without a good graphic element.
    3. You really think that in this era of layoffs and shrinking newsholes the Star should be spending money on color comics instead of black and white? This is the kind of criticism that makes people think you’re just bitter and bitchy about being let go.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I-PAD…breaks this month….then I’m sure Mr.Softie will copy cat it…New information delivery system coming fast!…CSCO has game changing announcement at Noon today..hmmmm.
    Just need to know if you can eat chicken wings and surf the IPAD at the same time. I’ll bet I can.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hearne didn’t recognize anyone in the death section? How did he miss the ex-GM of Channel 4 and channel 41 Bob Wormington whose family obviously didn’t buy a long-form obit? One of K.C.’s broadcast greats!
    Too much speed Hearne to make it down to the W’s????????

  5. Anonymous says:

    Christ Hearne, it’s been how long since Mike Fannin became the Star’s news editor? Nearly two years and you’re still bitching about it?

    And I thought the nude scene from “Bruno” went down at the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City instead of Topeka—or are these two separate scenes?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Agree about Wormington. Maybe you just never knew about him. Not your era, has you have claimed about local TV history in the past.

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