Hearne: One Way Street Alert; Star Reader Rep Rips Former Reporter

It’s tangled web time…

A dustup between former Kansas City Star reporter Jim Fitzpatrick and the newspaper’s readers rep (ombudsman) Derek Donovan raises a couple questions.

For starters, how can the Star usher forth into Kansas City, reporting on and at times calling into question the words and deeds of others, while declining to answer to individuals and/or other media when it’s own words and deeds are called into question?

Fitzpatrick, a seasoned journalist, emailed questions to Donovan about a column the readers rep had written regarding the newspaper’s corrections and the fact that they no longer regularly run on Page 2.

“…When the paper devalues the corrections,

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17 Responses to Hearne: One Way Street Alert; Star Reader Rep Rips Former Reporter

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ah,another lets bash the Star story by Hearne. Boring…


    HC: And your anonymous, one dimsensional, detail-less pot shot isn’t?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Grain o’ salt
    While Fitzpatrick’s blog may claim he retired, it’s pretty much not the case. People complained so much about him inserting errors and stuff he heard on television into stories that he was not-so-graciously shown the door. It’s a fact.

    So take Fitz’s mumblings with a grain of salt that’s the size of a city block.

    Derek, on the other hand, is one of the most outstanding people you’d want to know.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Whoa, there, Grain o’ Salt. (Just love these anonymous slash-and-run artists.) I not only retired with full-dress honors in 2006 but got probably the last company-paid-for pizza and sheet-cake party. After that, when the layoffs began in ’07 or ’08, it was meetings with grim-faced executioners and handshakes — if you wanted them.

    P.S. I’ve got thick skin. If you’ve got something negative to say about me, just come ahead and say it and put your name behind it. All it takes is courage and conviction.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This behavior by The Star is not unique. News companies that are tasked with bring transparency and information to the public seem to be the least interested in being transparent when the light is turned on THEM.

    Read this excellent article for an example

  5. Anonymous says:

    “I learned the hard way that interacting with anti-Star bloggers is a losing game for me.”

    Since it’s fair to assume that the majority of questions posed to ombudsmen reflect a position that is somehow negative about a newspaper’s writing — typically ombudsmen respond to complaints — this is a strange attitude. I think what Donovan wants is to be able to write ombudsmen articles — couched in his own terms — while attempting to tamp down the critical analysis of others.

    That Donovan is also a reporter/columnist is a conflict of interest to his role as ombudsmen. Who at the Star is supposed to serve as an objective in-house critic when readers complain about a story or columb he wrote? Besides, if defending the company — even if by the omission of denial of responses to “anti-Star bloggers” — why should the Star even bother with an ombudsmen; let the paper’s editors play defense.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    I think McCrash has a good point. As readers’ representative, Donovan often is positioned as a buffer between the public and the editors. I can tell you from expereience that the last thing many editors want is to have to answer to the public. As a result, Donovan has excellent job security — even if he picks and chooses whom he responds to.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ve noticed a change in the tone of readers’ rep columns. They don’t seem to appear as often and are more tempered in criticism of the Star. Also, the article commenting has for months been arbitrarily restricted on the Star Web site. Wouldn’t a Web moderator like stltoday.com has be better than shutting off dialogue entirely for fear of ignorant or racist comments? An online moderator seems to work fine to keep people on topic.
    This is not an attempt to bash Donovan but rather my observations about the changing attitude at The Star toward reader feedback.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Harold Smith
    I think Mr. Donovan is doing a difficult job, in a very difficult situation, the best he can.

    Earlier this month I posted a comment to his Ad Astrum blog about some of the same concerns noted in this piece. My comments may be found here:


    I find The Star and The McClatchy Company much more deserving of criticism than Mr. Donovan. He has always been extremely courteous and responsive whenever I have had dealings with him.

    I have no professional ax to grind with The Star. I read The Star and Times daily for decades. When The Star became less readable and kept touting its online content, which pretty much sucks compared to many others offerings, I bailed. They have neither the management nor the staff to publish a decent newspaper. And so it goes…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Local hacks interview each other in another KCConfidential circle jerk. Shocking.


    HC: Anonymous poser, errr, poster spits out yet another hollow defensive comment. What will they think of next?

  10. Anonymous says:

    best items per level
    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Johnny Utah
    Donovan needs to change his title to something that more accurately reflects his duties: Publisher’s Representative.

    I’ve found him to be condescending, rude, defensive, and about anything BUT a “reader’s” representative.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    Reader feedback? Has any one read a blog on KC crime scene lately? There is no intellect. Those fuck wads are talking about bullshit. None of them display any brains. If they aren’t running to the aide of baby rapers, they are complaining or ragging about how kids should be “free ranged” and made amble supply for rapers, after all the kids are nothing but liers. The crap they spew about having to crawl out of bed is enough to make you puke. The people of KC need to realize that most of those assholes aren’t from the city of KC and no one here gives a shit about what they think. If the Star actually cares about their future, they will find away to get rid of any bloggers that don’t live inside KC. They make this city look bad and turn people off to the Star. The people of KC want a newspaper in this town, but we don’t want stupid asses representing our town.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Jim Fitzpatrick
    Kia, please….watch your language; this is a family blog.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Harold Smith
    The comment feature of blogs and online news site is both important and irritating. Anonymous trolls are their bane, but until someone comes up with an easy to verify a commenter’s identity we’ll have to put up with them.

    But we don’t have to like them. Grain o’ salt, Ross – BITE ME.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kia Zi
    Here’s to that Fitzpatrick guy…I’m sorry for the vulgar fucking language but the majority of people in KC are absolutely fed up with all the outsiders coming into KC and dishing us, trying to make everything we do look or sound stupid. We want to do the right thing for this city because it is where we come from, the place our children call hometown. If we want to look like fools or call names we can do that to eachother without outside influence. Things don’t always work out the way we think they will but unless you live in this mind fuck of a city you can’t possibly understand what it’s like to worry about your neighbors safety, whether their kids are safe and did the guy over there who just banked his last dollar on a dream make it. We want to talk about it until we figure it out, even if some people go over the edge with their words. This city belongs to everyone that was born here, lives here and says I’m going home to KC. If you shit on us or over step your boundries, we are waiting for you. This city is a great city, with aclaim to history from way back. We know who the Black Hand Mafia is, they helped put us on the map. We know that Jessie James was not all there but he helped give us a name. No matter what people say about us, we don’t give a shit, never did. We want people who don’t respect or love this city to fuck off. KC is part of American history and people can throw stones all they want, we will keep making history with or with out them. This city knows how to carve their name in stone. The History channel can’t stop talking about just how great and fucked up we are, but what matters to us is that we get up, and go do our duty, whether people are robbing banks or sweating on the factory line, we are KC and if somebody doesn’t like it, then fuck off and climb back into your soft,stupid, I’m so well educated and so better than the rest of KC that I am going to make fun of peoples stupid ass boring dull life. Cause while you guys are making coffee so you can shit this morning, the rest of us are blazing history!

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