Is hard to imagine that the vaunted Kansas City Star would be upstaged by a neighboring, small town daily, but it’s happening.
Just yesterday the lowly Lawrence Journal World choked out 26 pages of news and information to the Star’s meager 18 puny pages. That’s an incredible 44 percent more content.
Which by practically any measure imaginable is unthinkable.
Seriously, it’s not like the Star is alone among daily newspapers losing the battle to sustain profitability. Not at all. The Journal World is just as far up you-know-what creek as the gang at 18th and Grand…if not worse off.
However page count aside, what sets the Journal World apart is two fold. First, the ability to get a better handle on local news and second, its kick butt 8-page USA Today section.
That’s right, the Star continues to cling to an outdated notion that it needs to report national and international news, while all but doing away recently with its local arts and entertainment section and coverage.
The Journal World did practically the opposite, throwing in the towel on pretending to cover national and international news while bolstering its local coverage, including FYI Section style topics.
Net result: USA Today’s insert totally kicks butt, freeing reporters and writers to do a better job covering local news and arts.
In fairness to the Star, it’s a heckuva lot easier to cover the goings on in a town of less than 100,000 people than a city of nearly 2 million people. The flip side of that being the Star has more than enough resources – even after all its many cuts – to do a far better job than it does.
Face it, sad as it is, it’s just a poorly run news organization in need of a top-to-bottom makeover – shake up, realignment – call it what you will.
The folks running the news show in KC obviously have little to no concept of thinking inside the box, let alone outside it.
Maybe somewhere down the line Jeff Bezos o0r some other equally unlikely outsider will ride to the rescue and clean house. In the meantime a long, sad death march continues with no end in sight.