December 6, 2022

A Frankfort-based nonprofit news service that will focus its reporting on Kentucky policy and politics is set to launch on Nov. 30. Its reporting and commentary will run free to readers with no paywall, subscription fee or advertising. 
The Kentucky Lantern “is part of the nonprofit States Newsroom, a network of free digital news operations in more than 30 states working to fill gaps in state government coverage caused by newspaper layoffs,” editor Jamie Lucke said Monday in a press release
Lucke, who grew up in Morehead, has more than 40 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter, where she covered education, government and politics before becoming an editorial writer. 
Lucke will lead three full-time reporters, including Liam Niemeyer, who most recently was assistant news director for WKMS, the public radio station at Murray State University. The station and Hoptown Chronicle have a content-sharing agreement, and several stories by Niemeyer have been published by Hoptown Chronicle. 
Joining Niemeyer at Kentucky Lantern are McKenna Horsley and Sarah Ladd.
Horsley is a former managing editor for the University of Kentucky student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. Most recently she was a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia.
Ladd was part of the Courier Journal newspaper team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for coverage of the killing of Breonna Taylor and systemic racism in Louisville. She graduated from the University of Kentucky and is completing a master of fine arts in writing at Spalding University. Ladd grew up on a farm in Western Kentucky.
“All of us who are putting out the Lantern really care about Kentucky,” Lucke said in the release. “We are committed to doing the kind of journalism that can help make Kentucky a fairer, better place for everyone. We want to give readers incisive journalism that holds those in power accountable to the people. There’s no shortage of stories to be told and questions to be asked and investigated. This is an exciting opportunity.”
As a nonprofit, Kentucky Lantern gets financial support from States Newsroom, foundations and individual donors.
Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.
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