Get ready for a surprise. I have good things to say about both the Lawrence Journal-World and the Topeka Capital-Journal.
The Lawrence Journal-World isn't as balanced as I'd like it to be, but in my judgment they do a much better job than the Wichita Eagle or the KC Star. Even though I know they selectively pick some letters to the editor, they also report some stories that other publications won't touch. For that reason, I have to give them a pat on the back.
Further, the Journal-World does some of the best local reporting around. They certainly blow the big city papers out of the water in this regard. Even though I think sometimes they can have a bias, they actually do in depth stories that their local populous want to read. That should be commended.
There's certainly room for improvement. A more balanced local editorial section would be great, but overall, the Journal-World does a pretty good job.
The Cap-Journal does even better. I've noticed a considerable change in the tone of the newspaper over the past three or four years. I don't know if there has been a management change or what, but the editorial page has certainly changed. This weekend's defense of state employee pay cuts is a prime example. The comments are just grueling. I'd love to know how many of them are employed by the state! Other editorials just like it can be found here, here, here and here.
I've noticed more and more local and state stories in the Cap-Journal that I won't find anywhere else. As always, there's room for improvement. But the Cap-Journal has already made tons of strides toward a more balanced publication over the past few years and they should be commended for it.