UK, Asbury Students Study in Frankfort

Contact: Whitney Hale

Photo of Jeff Fichner, Ryan Commings, Stephen Burnett, Brittany Johnson, Noelle Kelly, Lance Granger, Dick Wilson, and Hillary Canada
Left to right, front row - Jeff Fichner, Ryan Commings, and Stephen Burnett; back row - Brittany Johnson, Noelle Kelly, Lance Granger, Dick Wilson (Instructor), and Hillary Canada

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Students are required to choose an area of coverage, such as education, transportation or health, and then produce stories on these areas for publication in The State Journal and other media outlets. Three of the four stories required during the semester must be published for students to complete the course.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 14, 2005) -- Seven advanced journalism students from two Kentucky colleges are spending some time in Frankfort this semester learning the basics on media coverage of state government.

In fact they’re not just learning about it. They’re doing it.

The five University of Kentucky students and two others from Asbury College are part of a unique partnership between the UK’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications and The State Journal, Frankfort’s daily newspaper. The new class, underwritten by the Scripps Howard Foundation, is being taught by Richard Wilson, a retired Louisville Courier-Journal reporter and bureau chief.

“This is truly a collaborative effort,” said Beth E. Barnes, the UK school’s director. “Ultimately, if the experiment goes well, we plan to operate a news bureau out of Frankfort that will help serve smaller papers around the state that can’t afford to keep a reporter at the capital,” Barnes added.

The class, officially titled Journalism 499: Covering the Capital, meets weekly for a 90-minute seminar at The State Journal. The newspaper’s editors and reporters are available to discuss assignments and provide reporting tips and full-time Frankfort correspondents are also invited to meet with students.

Students are required to choose an area of coverage, such as education, transportation or health, and then produce stories on these areas for publication in The State Journal and other media outlets. Three of the four stories required during the semester must be published for students to complete the course.

“This is a great opportunity for some already-experienced students to hone their reporting and writing skills in an important area of coverage for The State Journal,” said

Carl West, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief. “Besides, we welcome the additional staffing,” West added.

UK students taking part in the Journalism 499 class are: Stephen Burnett of Versailles; Hillary Canada of Dallas, Texas; Ryan Commings of Owensboro; Jeff Fichner of Florence; and Brittany Johnson of Russell Springs. The two students from Asbury College are Lance Granger of Columbus, Ohio, and Noelle Kelly of Roanoke, Va.


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