The Jessamine Journal’s newest reporter is the latest in a pipeline of Eastern Kentucky University graduates at the paper.
Kelly McKinney, 34, graduated from EKU in 2007 and has worked at two newspapers in the region since then. She joins fellow Eastern graduates Jonathan Kleppinger and Jonathan Stark in the newsroom; eight of the last 12 news employees hired at The Journal have been Colonels.
McKinney grew up in Lexington and didn’t have a career path picked out yet when she started college.
“When I first started at EKU, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I decided on journalism because it’s a field where you get to learn about a lot of different things,” McKinney said. “I really enjoy getting to meet so many different people; you never know who you’re going to meet or what you’re going to be writing about.”
McKinney worked at EKU’s student newspaper, The Eastern Progress, as a staff writer, section editor, managing editor and copy editor. Since graduation, she has worked at Danville’s Advocate-Messenger as a page designer and copy editor, and at The Richmond Register as a reporter.
“I'm pleased Kelly accepted the position,” Journal managing editor Mike Moore said. “I think Kelly brings a lot to the table. Most importantly, she’s a polished veteran, having worked in the real world outside of a college newspaper newsroom.”
McKinney’s primary beat is government, as she will be covering the Wilmore City Council, the Jessamine County Fiscal Court, Nicholasville Planning and Zoning and the Jessamine County-City of Wilmore Joint Planning Commission in addition to general news assignments.
A resident of Jessamine County as a child, McKinney is becoming reacquainted with the community. She started work at The Journal on Jan. 2.
“I actually lived here with my family when I was a little girl, but I don’t remember much of it,” she said. “So far, it seems like a pretty close-knit community — everybody knows everybody, and everybody’s been really nice and helpful to me so far.”
McKinney has an 18-year-old son, Chad; and a 17-year-old daughter, Chelsea. She lives in Richmond.
McKinney takes the place of Benjamin S. Rossi, who remains at The Journal as an account executive.
McKinney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-885-5381, ext. 242.