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Kentucky Public Radio to add journalists to statehouse team

Frankfort, Kentucky - State Capitol Building
Henryk Sadura
Frankfort, Kentucky - State Capitol Building

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded Louisville Public Media a two-year, $294,727 grant to increase coverage of state government in Kentucky.

The funding will support an expansion of the statehouse news team of Kentucky Public Radio, a partnership between Louisville Public Media, WEKU in Richmond, WKYU in Bowling Green, and WKMS in Murray, which reaches all 120 Kentucky counties. It is part of a $2.25 million investment by CPB to strengthen public media state government reporting in seven states.

As a result of this investment, Kentucky Public Radio will have four journalists covering what goes on in Frankfort, the state capital. LPM is now hiring an enterprise statehouse reporter whose mission is to surface and explain relevant issues to everyday Kentuckians, hold public officials and institutions accountable, and take a longer view of policy impacts.

“With this investment from CPB, we'll grow our team of journalists covering the Kentucky statehouse to four — just in time for the governor's race,” LPM President and CEO Stephen George said. “And we'll provide more free, accessible, in-depth coverage of the General Assembly — across all 120 counties — than ever before. I’m proud to work with our Kentucky Public Radio partners to bring more fact-based, high-quality news to Kentucky.”

Amid an industry drop in the overall number of full-time statehouse reporters across the country, CPB funds will support Louisville Public Media, along with public media stations serving Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas as they add statehouse reporting capacity. The coverage will be shared with public media stations across the state, as well as other media organizations. CPB funds will also support NPR’s ability to provide editorial and training support for station-based reporters covering state government.

“The American people look to public media to provide high quality journalism in the form of factual, trusted news and information,” said Patricia Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “A strong civil society and democracy requires its citizens be informed with the facts. This is especially important when it comes to state government reporting. Unfortunately, today there are far fewer full-time journalists covering our nation’s statehouses than just a decade ago. These CPB grants will address an urgent need as we increase the number of journalists at public media stations reporting statehouse news and policy decisions. Their coverage will be made available to all citizens in those seven states.”

The grant recipients were selected from 20 proposals submitted from public media organizations in 19 states. Many will fill gaps identified in the State Government Coverage in Public Media survey commissioned by CPB and published in 2022. The survey found that while public media stations in all 50 states provide original state government reporting at least weekly when their legislatures are in session, five states lacked a full-time state government beat reporter based at a public media station.

About CPB   The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.

Kirsten is the Director of Marketing at LPM. Email Kirsten at kpfalzgraf@lpm.org.

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