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Mainstream In KY Ignored Major Pension Story

January 7th, 2013 · 5 Comments

On Friday we questioned whether or not any mainstream outlets in Kentucky would run the Associated Press piece – featuring content from Roger Alford – about the disaster that is Kentucky Retirement Systems.

Outside Kentucky, it appeared here, here and here.

You guessed it in Kentucky – it was basically ignored. Because our papers are either too silly to pick up a major AP piece featuring one of their own. Or (and this is the likely reality) they’re afraid to run too many articles that may piss Steve Beshear off in his final term.

This is why the Commonwealth of Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Tags: Corruption · Mainstream Mistake

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Cheves // Jan 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Hi, Jake.

    Two months ago, the Lexington Herald-Leader published a long, front-page story about pension bonds and their possible risks for the Kentucky Retirement Systems. In the same story, we also revealed that Kentucky had gotten into pension bonds in a big way, but in some of its other public retirement systems, not yet in KRS.

    I wrote the story.

    http://www.kentucky.com/2012/11/10/2403333/kentuckys-pensions-are-woefully.html

    I’m not the Herald-Leader employee who decides which wire stories to use. But if I had to guess, it’s likely we passed on the AP’s pension bonds story because we already did it ourselves, not because we’re afraid of the governor or anyone else.

    Over the last decade, I’ve written dozens of stories about Kentucky’s troubled public pension systems. Moments ago, I just filed my second such story in the last 24 hours. As a general rule, readers do not care. Pension stories are not well read. So be it. My editors never discourage me from writing the next one, and typically, they run the stories on the front page, correctly sensing that the stories matter.

    Lord knows we in the newspaper business could do better, especially as our revenue model falls apart and we’re constantly beset by layoffs and furloughs and other cuts.

    But as far as reporting on public pensions? My conscience is clear on that one.

  • 2 jake // Jan 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I quote:

    But as far as reporting on public pensions? My conscience is clear on that one.

    And you’re the only mainstreamer in the state who has bothered. For years. No one doubts your coverage, effort or ability.

    Can’t say the same for colleagues at other papers (who haven’t moved to other cities or different lines of work).

  • 3 Chris Tobe // Jan 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    John you are the only one doing the job in Kentucky. For example your excellent article on Pensions involving the Mayor was pick up by the Miami Herald yesterday http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/07/3171604/lexington-kentucky-mayor-says.html
    The problem is the other 30 papers in Kentucky who could not even bother to pick up an AP story was not only relevant but addressed a key issue in state

  • 4 UKeye // Jan 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    @ J Cheeves: What Jake and Tobe said.

  • 5 UKeye // Jan 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Quote: “I’m not the Herald-Leader employee who decides which wire stories to use. But if I had to guess…”

    I think, instead of guessing, an even better thing would be to ask the H-L decider(s) and disclose it here (if it’s not too confidential). But you’re doing a good job anyway…