‘Rewarding:’ Kentucky Lantern staff honored with 6 regional awards

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


The Kentucky Lantern’s three full time reporters took home six awards Thursday from the Society of Professional Journalism’s (SPJ) Louisville chapter. 

Politics reporter McKenna Horsley won two second place awards — one in the education category and one in politics. The winning stories included her coverage of what Kentucky schools can teach students about sex and gender; the state’s ongoing teacher shortage; how trans youth in the commonwealth are stuck in the middle of politics; and the failure of lawmakers to pre-file bills in a transparent way

“These awards highlight some of Kentucky’s best journalists, and it’s exciting that the Lantern is recognized among them,” Horsley said, thanking her sources for their reliability in “a hectic election year.” 

“While Kentucky found itself in the national spotlight,” she said, “it was important for me to showcase voices within our commonwealth.”  

Energy and Environment reporter Liam Niemeyer won two third place awards — one in the continuing coverage category for coverage of tornado donations and one in the enterprise reporting for his coverage of crypto mines

“One of the things I’m grateful for about the Lantern is the chance to do meaningful journalism across the state,” Niemeyer said. “I’m glad to see my work recognized with stories from West Kentucky to Eastern Kentucky, and at the end of the day, Lantern readers make that work possible.”

Health and Policy reporter Sarah Ladd won first place in the feature writing category for her conversation with poet laureate Silas House, a profile on Kentuckians who answer 988 and story about Kentucky’s key sign language interpreters. Ladd also won second place in Health reporting for her COVID-19 retrospective, coverage of a treatment trial for Alzheimer’s disease, and a story on how the pandemic interrupted nursing students’ education. 

“It’s not lost on me that nobody owes me their story or time,” Ladd said. “I’m so humbled by and grateful for everyone who spoke to me for these award-winning pieces.”  

“The Lantern got off to a great start because of our reporters,” said Jamie Lucke, the Lantern’s editor. “It’s rewarding to see their hard work and commitment to both journalism and Kentucky recognized in this way.”

Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kentucky Lantern maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jamie Lucke for questions: info@kentuckylantern.com. Follow Kentucky Lantern on Facebook and Twitter. Kentucky Lantern stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

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