Firesale on Journalism Quality
Posted on December 9, 2016
The Kansas City Star had a long tradition of intensive investigative projects of national importance. Their current stories on risky fire fighting practices are an unexpected return to form–sort of.
However the stories are presented in the Star’s more recent extra-long-winded style, with pages of anecdotal examples and human interest stories. This style has several advantages for the bottom line. First, anecdotes are much cheaper to produce than data. Second, you get to save money twice–much less editing effort, and much higher share of a reporter’s output admitted into print. Third, these padded stories help conceal the ongoing decline in the total number of stories running in each edition of the paper.