Small town papers

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

By Sarah Keller

Last May term I had the opportunity to shadow at the Overland Park Sun. I am sure you have never heard of it, that is because it is a small local newspaper from my home town in Kansas.

From my shadowing experience I was able to get a hands on experience with the reporters and hear what they had to say behind the scenes. One of the things the reporters told me was that they were trying to utilize the internet more, since that is what people are reading off of now. Unfortunatly if you go on to the Overland Park Sun's website, there is not a whole lot to look at. It is really boring, the best thing I have to say about their website is that they have a few pictures, and publish some of their articles online. If they really want readers to appriciate their website they should make it look better, and get more interactive with it. I could not even find the authors of the articles name anywhere in site.

Another thing that I was able to pick up from the reporters was that they felt as though no one took them seriously. They told me that their biggest competetion was The Kansas City Star, and if you know anything about the Kansas City star, you would know that you would not want to be up against them. The reporters from the Sun told me that they had to write far more articles than the reporters from The Star because they had less staff. They believed that The Star had far more time to make their articles sound better than the Sun. Unfortunatly the fact of the matter is that the public does not care how much time you have to write something, they care how it sounds. The public does not want to take the time to read an article that is poorly written.

When I looked at an article from The Suns website, about one of the high schools in my districts dance team I was bored. I wanted to hear something that would draw me in, but I could not seem to get interested. Even though I was against this dance team at several dance competitions in high shchool I still could not seem to care. The lead was poorly written, and there was nothing interesting in the story, and then on the same page with out any title they started a new article, it was confusing and not well prepared.

So though I loved the people at The Sun I do believe that they need to get caught up with the times, became more computer Savvy, and spend more time writing well sounding articles.


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