Breaking the News: KC’s Changing Mediascape

Representatives of the Kansas City area’s journalism community examine a local media landscape buffeted by dwindling revenues, cost-saving cuts in staff and resources, and increasingly splintered audiences, assessing what lies ahead for journalism in the region. KMBZ Radio’s Dana Wright moderates the discussion.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
6:30 pm
Event Audio
How do you get news about your community? Do you turn on the radio, scroll through phone apps or online feeds, flip on the TV, or pick up a hard copy of the daily paper?

Representatives of the Kansas City area’s journalism community examine a local media landscape buffeted by dwindling revenues, cost-saving cuts in staff and resources, and increasingly splintered audiences. They assess what lies ahead for journalism in our region, gauging the consequences of diminished community coverage.

KMBZ Radio’s Dana Wright moderates the discussion. Joining her: University of Kansas associate journalism professor Carol Holstead, KCTV5 executive producer Amanda Palumbo, Kansas City Star editorial board member and reporter Toriano Porter, KCUR 89.3 reporter Lisa Rodriguez, and Star reporter Steve Vockrodt.

Co-presented by KCUR 89.3, Generation Listen KC, and the Young Friends of the Library.


Suggested Reading and Viewing

Want to dive deeper into the press pool? Check out these reading and viewing options to help you understand how the Fourth Estate functions.

View the full list in the Library catalog


About the Panel:

Dana Wright
KMBZ Radio
Co-host, Dana & Parks
Twitter:  @RadioDana


Carol Holstead
University of Kansas
Associate journalism professor
Twitter: @carolholstead

Carol is an associate professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. With undergraduate and master's degrees in theater from Kansas State University, she aspired to become a theater critic.That aspiration changed once she discovered the world of magazine publishing. For seven years, Holstead found an outlet for her journalism skills through magazine editing and design, creating a new magazine, Floral Retailing.  She then joined the J-School at KU, teaching courses in magazine design, production, editing and writing.

Her list of former students who have advanced into magazine professions continues to grow. Many of her students have gone on to work at prestigious magazines such as Teen People, Redbook, Working Woman, People, Southern Living, and Gear.

Amanda Palumbo

Senior Executive Producer of News & Investigations
Twitter: @AmandaPalumbo

“My job is to create and manage editorial content for all dayparts. I oversee a team of executive producers, producers, reporters and our investigative unit.”

Favorite Book: The Disaster Artist (I have a slight obsession with The Room)

Podcasts: Serial, The Daily

Toriano Porter
Kansas City Star
Columnist and editorial board member
Twitter: @torianoporter

Born and raised in south St. Louis by a pair of high school dropouts, Toriano Porter discovered a love for reading and writing at an early age. Feeling left out of the loop by his more advanced-reading middle school classmates, Toriano developed a daily habit of reading whatever he could get his hands on. Now, more than 30 years later, Toriano is an author, journalist, and speaker. He has cultivated his love for the written word into a profession filled with passion to help others. Toriano is currently a columnist and a member of the Kansas City Star's editorial board.

Lisa Rodriguez
KCUR 89.3

Reporter & afternoon newscaster
Twitter: @larodrig

Lisa researches and compiles the day’s news in Kansas City and then writes and delivers short, local newscasts at the top of the hour during NPR’s All Things Considered. Lisa also covers KCMO City Hall for the station, like the new KCI terminal, the streetcar and local elections.

Local news picks:

“In my job I’m scanning the news all the time. Aside from regularly checking in on The [Kansas City] Star and all of our local TV stations, I also try to check in on smaller local papers.The Independence Examiner was covering the Jackson County Legislature before anyone and covers a part of our metro that doesn’t get a lot of media attention – eastern Jackson County. Northeast News is a great source and does a super job covering the city council. The Riverfront Times in St. Louis is also doing really good, insightful reporting.”


Podcast recommendations:

“I’ve been super into Ear Hustle lately, which brings you stories from inside San Quentin State Prison in California. Also, I listened to all of The Habitat, which is about a Mars simulation that took place in Hawaii, over 2 days.”

Steve Vockrodt

Kansas City Star
Investigative reporter
Twitter: @st_vockrodt

Favorite local news sources: KCUR, Shawnee Mission Post, The Pitch, Kansas City Business Journal.
Favorite podcast: The New Yorker Radio Hour (David Remnick is the best interviewer I've ever heard)
Favorite book:


Suggested podcasts/radio:

KCUR Statehouse Blend:




“Thank God you’re not in newspapers”: Local TV is doing way better than you’d think, a new report suggests (


Report for America Supports Journalism Where Cutbacks Hit Hard (New York Times)


Why the “golden age” of newspapers was the exception, not the rule (


Private equity owners endanger Daily Camera’s future (Boulder Free Press)


The crisis in local journalism has become a crisis of democracy (Washington Post)


Reacting to plunging revenues, Salt Lake Tribune lays off a third of its newsroom, cuts back print offerings (Salt Lake Tribune)


Responding to Our Oral Culture (