Citizen Kentucky Project is about changing the relationships
between the university, the press, citizens and civic
life. As a professor, I am trying to engage citizens
through the power of the press. All the while, I am
working closely with my students to help them learn
more about the relationship between journalism and
creator of the Citizen Kentucky Project
8, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- A community
forum will be held as part of the Citizen Kentucky
Project from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at
Kentucky Educational Television's Visitors Center,
600 Cooper Drive. The forum will address concerns
and thoughts from Lexington's citizens on how Lexington
can become America's most livable city by 2020.
The Citizen Kentucky Project, created by Buck Ryan,
executive director of the University of Kentucky's
First Amendment Center and former director of UK's
School of Journalism and Telecommunications, began
with an April 2001 community forum at UK's William
T. Young Library focusing on civic life in Kentucky,
which was produced into a national award-winning KET
program, "Citizen Kentucky: Democracy and the
"The Citizen Kentucky Project is about changing
the relationships between the university, the press,
citizens and civic life," Ryan said. "As
a professor, I am trying to engage citizens through
the power of the press. All the while, I am working
closely with my students to help them learn more about
the relationship between journalism and democracy."
As part of the project, Lexington mayoral candidates
Teresa Isaac and Scott Crosbie wrote their vision
of how Lexington will be in 2020, which was published
in the Lexington Herald-Leader. In addition, Ryan,
himself, has provided commentaries for the Herald-Leader
for the project.
"Two of those citizens (involved in Citizen
Kentucky) are the candidates for mayor," Ryan
said, "and I am working as a liaison between
them and the press, as
their ideas get expressed in print through the Citizen
Kentucky project. This is a win-win-win-win situation,
for the university, for the students, for the candidates
and for journalism."
The forum is being held as part of Ryan's Freshman
Discovery Seminar course at UK, "Citizen Kentucky:
Journalism and Democracy." FDS courses, open
only to first-term students, provides intimate experiences
inside and outside of class with some UK's most famous
professors, while also providing detailed exploration
of a problem at the core of one of 12 fields of knowledge.
The forum is open to the public and media, with everyone
encouraged to attend.
"The First Amendment deals with the power of
assembly," Ryan said, "and that's the magic
that can happen when citizens can come together to
talk about their community's future. We're just trying
to do some good for Lexington."