Day old news, anyone?
It’s taken awhile, but I think I’ve finally figured out why daily newspapers like the Kansas City Star make readers pay for national and international news filler in an era where the exact same information – albeit on a more timely basis – is readily available online or cable news networks radio – you name it – the day before.
Think of it as more is less.
It’d be one thing if somehow that day-old information was rejiggered and presented in a more thoughtful, insightful manner.
Mostly however it’s not.
Generally speaking it’s just the same news most everybody who cares digested the day or evening before, repackaged in printed form and unveiled as if it were breaking news / cutting edge information.
Case in point:
The above the fold headline in today’s Star reads:
“Trump chooses McMaster as national security advisor.”
The only thing missing are the tongue-in-cheek words, “this just in.”
Seriously, it’s so last Monday!
The rationale for running the day before’s Trump news can be explained in part by today’s secondary front page story about the Kansas City Library and Kansas City Museum teaming to develop a children’s museum at the old Red Bridge Shopping Center in southeast Kansas City.
Here’s the deal…
It’s not that the Red Bridge story’s unworthy, but with the groundbreaking 18 months out, it hardly passes for cutting edge news. And sans the Trump tale, it would have had to have served as the lead news story of the day.
Get my point?
With well over 1,000 staff cuts the past 10 or so years, the Star is hard put to offer up compelling local and area news on a daily basis.
And therein lies the problem.
Instead the newspaper substitutes easy-to-get, cheap-to-buy national news filler to make up for what it no longer can provide. That being, cutting edge local information that readers are willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks a year to get their hands on.
Given that younger readers – we’re talking under the age of 50 or so – are already well acquainted with the Star’s day old info, what’s left is a core readership of oldsters wedded to their well worn ways of stumbling out to their driveways each morning to catch up to news most people have already long since digested.
Were the Star to rock exclusively with original local content provided by what few news staffers remain, readers would have probably be treated to stories like the one today about the teenage cousins who died in a grisly wreck outside Ward Parkway Shopping Center.
Come to think of it, why wasn’t that story on the front page?
It likely would have been in the Platte County Landmark or Lawrence Journal World, two area news organizations that recognize their place in their localities and don’t bore readers with stale national news.
Or plain Jane filler stories like the one about an ArtsKC awards event ( Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) and a “brunch cafe” opening in the former Board of Trade building just off the Plaza.
The only other local news of any note were short stories about a former Wichita mayor kicking off his campaign for Kansas governor, a KC councilwoman “craving” an ice cream parlor along the streetcar line and a review of a folk singer who played a ballroom in Crown Center.
Put another way, the Star’s beleaguered news staff is mailing it in instead of delivering comprehensive coverage of local news, personalities and goings on.