It doesn’t make sense…
That the lowly Lawrence Journal World continues to choke out 30 percent more content than the once-mighty Kansas City Star.
Yet here we go again today, with a flimsy, 20 page, two-section Monday Star versus a three-section, 26 page Journal World.
As for news content – with the exception of the Journal World‘s excellent USA Today section – neither newspaper’s knocking ’em dead.
Both lead, front page reports on the Kansas House delaying its vote on a proposed budget. However, where the Journal World follows with a giant photo and story about a female KU entomologist on a “quest to identify insects of Peru,” the Star gets down and dirty with a piece about truckers being trained “to help rescue sex slaves on the road.”
I’ll take sex slaves and truckers over insects and Peru any day of the week!
Trouble with the Star’s trucker-sex slave story is there’s no there there.
It’s basically a sexy headline atop a boring story with no actual news smoking gun.
It’s a national story that’s been covered by USA Today and other media, that’s been tarted up with a sprinkling of generic comments by a trucker or three and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
The Star’s front page sex slave story was designed to trick readers into thinking it was an investigative piece with lurid details of sex at area truck stops, when in fact it was little more than a dull rehash of a several years old national story.
To paraphrase Mr. T, I pity the fool who shelled out a buck at Quick Trip thinking they were in for a spicy read.
The balance of the Star’s A Section content is equally benign:
There’s a tidbit about Ringling Brothers ending its elephant act (versus a huge colorful, front page photo and extensive story in the Journal World‘s USA Today insert; plus a filler piece about Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders pinning their hopes on the upcoming conventions (duh); an R. Kelly review (seriously?) and not much more.
The Star’s six-page sports section is respectable but nothing to write home about.
Ditto for the Journal World’s five-page sports section, in which editor Tom Keegan’s writes a”timely” column suggesting that “barring a major upset, KU will earn at least a share of the Big 12 basketball title” a 13th straight year.
Talk about slow sports news days!
And that five ex-Jayhawks landed NFL free-agent deals (yawn); and a future KU basketball forward “erupted” for 32 points in an all-star game in California.
The lone, true bright spot among the two newspapers: the USA Today section.
Today’s edition includes well-crafted stories about the Ringling Brothers elephants – a 145 year-old act – that the Star story doesn’t even mention; Iraq erupting in protests over corruption; China refusing to allow a US aircraft carrier a port visit; Puerto Rico‘s financial crisis pressuring congress; a column suggesting gender neutral restrooms; a May Day riot in Hong Kong; Bernie Sanders going after Hillary Clinton’s super delegates; China experimenting with female-only busses to combat sexual harassment; a list of the 9 lowest paid CEOs; a Chinese business travel boom and travelers as easy targets for guilt tipping.
The bottom line: Thanks to USA Today, once again Lawrence’s newspaper noses out KC’s as the superior value.