Donna Vestal | KCUR

Donna Vestal

Director of Content Strategy

Donna is a print refugee; she spent 18 years as a business editor at The Kansas City Star before coming to KCUR in 2010 to take the helm at Harvest Public Media. Donna is the author of a history of TWA flight attendants. And she's won numerous journalism awards, mostly as part of behind-the-scenes work with reporters. Donna and her husband love to travel, with Denver (daughter's house) and New York City (son's apartment) being particular favorites. Despite or because of a career built on word-smithing, Donna turns to number puzzles for relaxation. 

Ways to Connect

We’re heading into a national election season. In these divisive times, public media understands it has a tremendous responsibility to fully share the stories and concerns of all Americans.

First, and most importantly, we must listen.

Toward that end, KCUR is taking the lead on an ambitious initiative intended to strengthen public media’s ability to incorporate community and citizen perspectives in local, regional and national coverage related to the election.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

KCUR is hiring journalists this spring. These opportunities don’t come around very often, so we want to call your attention to our plans. 


It’s clearly time for a civil national conversation about our country’s future in the wake of a divisive election. And public radio is the best place for this conversation.

Luke Martin / KCUR 89.3

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting phone conversation with a KCUR listener. “Stop bashing Trump,” she told me. “Give him a chance.” We went back and forth a bit — she voiced her concerns about the country’s current direction and media bias; I talked about the urgent need for credible news organizations such as NPR and KCUR to do their job objectively and thoroughly.

“We are not a divided country,” she said, arguing that this is a narrative manufactured by the media.

CC--Wikipedia w/modification

KCUR comes to you with good news this morning. We’re proud to announce that the KHI News Service, a pioneering not-for-profit journalism startup, is now part of our organization. And it is the cornerstone of a new reporting collaboration called the Kansas News Service.

Republican Donald Trump won the electoral vote in both Kansas and Missouri. Rural counties showed the greatest support for Trump.

Here's a look at the vote percentages for the leading candidates for president in the 14 counties that make up the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). An MSA is a geographic region with an urban core and close economic ties throughout the area, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.


Source: Politico

Two days after the primary vote in Missouri, Sen. Bernie Sanders has conceded defeat to Hillary Clinton.

The Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon that Sanders says he will not seek a recount of results in the state's Democratic primary. Clinton has a narrow lead of 1,531 votes.

In an interview with the AP, Sanders said it's unlikely the results will affect the awarding of delegates in the state and he would "prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money."

Cody Newill/KCUR

Our Tell KCUR question was straightforward: What question would you like us to answer in 2016?  Your responses were insightful, challenging and sometimes surprising.

But bottom line, KCUR 89.3 has a lot of work to do.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Garage, yard and estate sales may not be unique to Kansas City, but we do have our peculiarities.

For example, thriving flea markets – particularly in the West Bottoms – affect what we’re finding in garage sales. And if someone insists they are having an estate sale in their driveway, you might want to lower your expectations.

Why Is Downtown Kansas City South Of The River?

Jul 10, 2015
Vincent Parsons / Flickr--CC

There’s something pretty obvious about how the Missouri River divides Kansas City: All the tall buildings are on one side of the river. It seems downtown Kansas City is firmly entrenched on the south side of the river. But … why?

Here’s the thing about the Kansas-Missouri border:

Bill Fischer

Enough with the pity!

For Kansas City Royals fans who live outside the region, it’s a brand new world.

“The last lot of years, I have gotten a lot of pity looks and sympathy whenever I wear my gear or say I'm a Royals fan,” says Tara reid-O’Brien, who lives in Las Vegas. “And I have just told people ‘just you wait.’”

My Farm Roots: Wings

Jul 3, 2013
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Kelly Hagler, 25, is among the millions of young people who have left rural communities for the bright lights of the city, in this case Chicago.

But Hagler has not left completely.

Here’s what she told us last year when we asked people to share their “My Farm Roots” stories through the Harvest Network:

Workers trim beef at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City, Neb. The plant employs about 4,000 people.
Keith Myers / The Kansas City Star

What should you know about the beef on your table? The Kansas City Star answered that question with a three-part series on the beef industry.

Ripe For The Night

Aug 26, 2012
Donna Vestal / KCUR

The merchandise doesn’t linger for long at Liberty Fruit Co. Inc., on Argentine Blvd. in Kansas City, Kan.

Just Taking Notes

Jul 24, 2012
Donna Vestal / Harvest Public Media

Sometimes farm roots don’t blossom into a farm life. But those memories can still have a huge influence, perhaps even determining a career choice.