Eastern Kentucky Reporter

News Lexington, KY


The Lexington Herald-Leader, located in the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass, is seeking a versatile, audience-focused Eastern Kentucky reporter who can break news, provide accountability journalism and tell great stories about topics of high interest in a large geographic area to the east of Lexington, including communities throughout Appalachian Kentucky. This reporter will generate audience-driven daily and longer-term stories to inform, explain and expose. Put simply, we want this enterprising reporter to find and tell the very best news, watchdog and feature stories in a large geographic area, from the environment and coal mining to education, poverty, local politics and the unique culture of the region. Past examples of great work from the region include investigations into the lack of safe, reliable drinking water in Martin County, and coverage of the economic decline of coal and the challenges that has posed for communities in the region.

This reporter should be highly self-reliant and a self-starter and must be capable of being both a team player and working independently in a geographic area that is hours away from the main newsroom in Lexington. Must be able to spot, report and tell the best stories of broad interest within and outside the Eastern Kentucky region. This reporter should be able to demonstrate speed and competitiveness to reach readers first, leverage social media, SEO, aggregating and storytelling tools and techniques and cultivate varied sources for tips and leads. This reporter should work well as part of a team of journalists based in Lexington, Frankfort and Somerset, Ky. This position is a hybrid role, working from home and in the office. The reporter's city of residence is flexible, but must be located in Central or Eastern Kentucky.


  • Find and tell the most interesting breaking news and enterprise/investigative stories about the broad region of Eastern Kentucky in ways that reach audiences inside and outside the region.

  • Develop daily, mid- and long-term enterprise stories, including those that reveal trends on key issues in the region, that lead to subscriptions and subscriber page views. 

  • Be the Herald-Leader’s main point person in covering key Eastern Kentucky counties and issues, including breaking news in the region.

  • Use all available resources — Crowdtangle, Google trends, sources, residents, other types of media — to generate ongoing story ideas that appeal to the widest possible audience.

  • Focus on diversity and fairness in sourcing, story ideas, interviews. 

  • Routinely use social media to disseminate news and information and to cultivate audience on Twitter or other accounts.

  • Be comprehensive, contextual and complete when reporting. Prepare follow-up stories to do so when necessary.

  • Keep an evolving deep bench of sources.

  • Understand, use and request court and public documents and data to develop ideas, report and write.

  • Demonstrate interest in growing digital skills and trying new tools, including data visualizations and interactives.

  • Think visually when covering a story of any type. Submit visuals requests, shoot video or photos and work with the visuals team as necessary.

  • Must be a team player, able to collaborate across departments and roles.

  • Must have reliable transportation. Must have valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required (at least minimum insurance required for the state in which the employee works).


  • College degree.

  • 1-3 years of reporting experience.

  • Must have reliable transportation and valid driver’s license

  • Strong writing skills, excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers.

  • Commitment to ethics.

  • Ability to build source networks and bring a constant flow of story ideas.

  • Ability to work collaboratively to aggressively tackle stories.

  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving.

  • Facility with data, public records and business reports.


WHEN APPLYING:  Please include a link to your online portfolio or samples of your work.


McClatchy is committed to providing equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all applicants and employees. McClatchy considers all candidates without regard to basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, medical condition, family care status, pregnancy or physical disability (except where physical fitness is a valid occupational qualification), or any other basis protected by state and federal laws.