Eric Adler is one of the finest writers at the Kansas City Star. Over the years he has won numerous journalistic awards.Since Adler's name is attached to the story I wouldn't be so quick to let Adler off the hook. But Bottom Line Communications has found another example of how the quality at the KC Star has slipped.
However, his long, controversial front-page story (1/18) about Greg Baker, newly named Executive Director of Kansas City's Negro Leagues Museum, may have left readers feeling the story lacked some basic details one normally would expect from an Adler profile.
It may have been the kind of article that subtly highlights what happens when key behind-the-scenes Star staffers like copy editors are let go. They are the ones who ask writers to fill in the information gaps in stories readers might want to know.
Baker was profiled in a lengthy story of more than 2,500 words. However, readers probably would have been interested in such details as:
* Where did Baker go to school in Kansas City?
* Did he go to college?
* What qualifications did he have for any of his previous positions?
* His wife is simply labeled as a "consultant." What kind? Where?
* Where does he live? KC or suburbs?
* Does it bother him that Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock has trashed his appointment?
* Does it bother him that Star sports columnist Joe Posnanski (who was a close friend of O'Neil's and wrote a superb book profiling him) has said that he will no longer step inside (LINK) the Museum because of the naming of Baker?
Adler is a superb journalist. This might simply be another example of where cutbacks at KC's largest newspaper have diminished the product delivered to subscribers.