Appropriately, it being the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Kentucky Press Association, Neil Kasiak, oral historian from Eastern Kentucky University, set up shop around the Trade Show to make members aware of the Oral History Project at EKU, especially the history involving newspapers and to schedule additional interviews for recording Kentucky’s history.
Those interviews, now totaling about 150 and covering almost every Kentucky county, are part of the William H. Berge Oral History Center. While there may be earlier interviews, many were done back in the 1979-1980s and include editors, publishers and owners as part of the project. For the current generation of newspaper folks, there’s a wealth of experience covered by the ones interviewed. Many I know or knew, several I had forgotten about their role in newspapers and still some I’ve never heard of.
Browse the list of names here — https://oralhistory.eku.edu/collections/show/17 — and chances are you’ll find someone from your newspaper or your county who has been interviewed. The list does not include recent interviews, such as those completed at or since the January 2019 150th Anniversary Convention. But those interviews and others are being added in the near future according to Kasiak.
If you’re interested in being interviewed for the project, contact Neil Kasiak at EKU and see about setting up an interview. As indicated at the convention, the center is hoping to add many more voices to the history project so he’s welcoming those who want to participate.
Neil can be contacted by phone at 859-622-2820 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This project was done in conjunction with two others: Kentucky County Judges and Kentucky School Superintendents. The purpose of the three projects was to document Kentucky politics by interviewing politically astute members of the local power structure (judges and school superintendents) and observers of local politics (newspaper editors and owners).
Journalists discuss politics in their counties, their roles and influence in the history of their counties, and their personal histories and careers. Almost all Kentucky counties are represented.