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Why the KC Star shines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by The_Plan, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Hard hitting? Well the Star was one of the first newspapers I remember getting a big league player to go on record about using steroids. The paper also wrote about baseball's amphetimine problem a few years ago, long before Jason Grimsley became a household name. Jason King and Jason Whitlock won APSE for investigative reporting this year after the JR Giddens stabbing and even though Whitlock's columns on the subject were ridiculous the leg work done by both guys was outstanding. That's what I can think of off the top of my head.

    DeArmond got his ass kicked on all the controversy at Mizzou, but he's far from the best on that staff.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I will preface this by saying that I never see hard copy of the KC Star, I read some stuff online on an irregular basis and I am NOT knocking the quality of its writing .. although I think Whitlock writes stuff just to stir shit and Poz, as good as he is, can be a little too happy face too often.

    Why does the KC Star shine?
    -- It has only two professional sports franchises to cover...the worst team in baseball and a mediocre football team
    -- It's only other "beats" are colleges
    --it appears to have a reasonably large staff for having so few real beats to cover
    --It has a seeming abundance of space for so few major beats
    --it doesn't ever have to worry about the NBA or NHL or the cost of travelling with those beats, so it has people and money to spend on things like a Latin American baseball series
    --it is in a small market and has no real competition
    --I doubt it gives the readers what they want. It gives the readers what it wants to give them because the readers have no alternative

    None of this means it isn't a good paper. But you can do a lot of things with those resources in that market that papers in cities with 5, 6, 8 pro franchises can't do, especially when you're the only game in town.

    Every bit of this also applies to Orlando...except there's only 1 (mediocre) pro franchise there.
  3. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Some good points, but I don't agree with all of it.

    -- How does the Royals and Chiefs not winning titles make them any easier to cover? It doesn't mean Kansas Citians are any less interested or demanding in the coverage.

    --I don't know why college beats require quotation marks. There are three big-time programs in their coverage area and KC is insanely interested in college sports, especially basketball.

    -- I don't agree with your definition of "real beats" but you're right that having an adequate sized staff and lots of space helps make it a great section. Other papers would do well to copy that.

    -- Do you think that if and when a winter team moves into the new Sprint Center it will hurt the overall section? I don't know. It could because they would certainly have to devote resources to it. They might not be sending a writer to Pennsylvania in the future to do a feature on a horse if they also have to send writer(s) to Calgary for a hockey game. At the same time though papers in bigger cities with four or five pro teams probably have more revenue coming in because of higher circulation and ad sales. Does that provide for the travel budget?

    -- What makes a small market? If a city of 2 million is small market then what is Rocky Mount, N.C.?

    -- There isn't really much competition on the Chiefs and Royals, but the KU, K-State and Mizzou beats are highly competitive. Shouldn't competition make the paper better?

    -- I'd say it gives readers what they want. Intense coverage of the Chiefs and Royals. The paper holds David Glass and Carl Peterson accountable for their idiocy, which is something the readers want. The readers also want lots of college coverage, even if you don't think it's a real beat. Just because St. Johns or Seton Hall hoops only demands a few inches in the New York times it doesn't mean KU basketball doesn't require 20 inches a day in the KC Star.
  4. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Oh, come on, covering losing teams is way more interesting and lends itself to more investigation and calling out than a winning team would. And as for holding David Glass and Carl Peterson accountable? Please. Whitlock's columns are the only evidence of that. Where was the investigation of Glass' original purchase of the Royals? When Wal-Mart was getting crucified for illegal labor practices, where were was the Star? I don't know if there was a baseball story to do on that subject, but we'll never know since the Star didn't lift a finger.

    Fair point on the Giddens stuff, though. That was good.

    And the ongoing Arena/Stadium coverage? News side provided the most insight.

    I fully agree the Star's staff, virtually from A to Z, can write the hell out of even an egg drop story. Their reporting? Average. And what is this steroids story the Star had before anyone else? Just an honest question because it's quite possible I did forget. If you're talking about Segui, they weren't the first to report that.
  5. The_Plan

    The_Plan Member

    This is what he's referring to: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-03-13-giambi-brother-steroids_x.htm

    Jeremy Giambi admitted to using steroids.

    Also, this year -- Mike Sweeney admitted that players used steroids on the '99 team, as he told the Star and radio.

  6. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    Ah yes, Jeremy Giambi. That bat master. That was just this year and well after Balco implicated his bro and provided the footprint. ... I was thinking more along the lines of Caminiti's admission.

    I may be wrong, but wasn't that a little more of the Star being in the right place at the right time? Of course, that's how most big breaks happen. Not saying there's anything wrong with that. Caminiti's situation might have been roughly the same circumstances, I suppose.
  7. estreetband75

    estreetband75 Member

    Agreed, many papers wouldn't pool the resources to take on an ambitious project as the Big 12 at 10. ... My expectations for that series were too high, I guess.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Um, Jim Bouton wrote about baseball's amphetamine problem. In 1970.
  9. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    I like the KC Star a lot, but I would agree that hard-hitting investigative stuff hasn't been their bag lately.

    When I think of the KC Star the past few years, I think of Wright Thompson pontificating on the wonders of small-town high school football or Jeff Passan writing detailed descriptions about what Carlos Beltran ate for breakfast his first day after getting traded to Houston.

    That's all good, but I'd love to see the Star hire a big-time investigative guy. I think it would do wonders for the quality of their section.
  10. 85bears

    85bears Member

    It's just like anything else. Young reporters will start aspiring to be investigative journalists when newspapers make it a lucrative proposition. Right now, newspapers pay the big bucks to shriekers to opine, so that's what kids try to get on the track to. Who can blame them? Who wants to make $27K cutting his/her teeth investigating the local D-II university at some suburban when he can make $40K covering a daily beat at a metro and positioning himself for the big payoff: a columnist gig, a seat on "Around the Horn," possible talk radio show, etc., etc.

    When newspapers show that they are dedicated to investigative journalism - and I mean with their pocketbooks - young journalists will be lining up to do it.
  11. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    There are lots of guys out there who do it well. Just scan the APSE award winners for the last three or four years. I've read some really good, hard-hitting investigative pieces coming from papers of all sizes.
  12. The KC Star is an excellent paper and has been one for a long time. It might be the best section in the Midwest.

    Maybe KC is a small market compared to Mexico City or Tokyo ... remember, it is the largest city in Missouri.
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