UK student journalists to cover gubernatorial race for State Journal

UK student journalists covering the 2019 gubernatorial race for the State Journal are, from left, Emily Laytham, Noah Oldham and Bailey Vandiver.

From the Frankfort State Journal

(The State-Journal is offering stories by students to all KPA member newspapers. See contact information at the end.)

The State Journal is partnering this fall with the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky to provide in-depth coverage of Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.

UK journalism majors Emily Laytham, Noah Oldham and Bailey Vandiver will work in The State Journal newsroom and provide regular coverage of candidates Andy Beshear and Matt Bevin and their positions on issues of interest to voters. The State Journal will offer the coverage free to all other Kentucky newspapers.

“We are excited about this partnership and see it as win-win-win for our newspaper, for the student journalists and for Kentucky citizens, who are increasingly underserved by coverage of state government,” said State Journal Publisher Steve Stewart. “We hope to see the partnership continue and flourish in the future with coverage not just of political races but of General Assembly sessions.”

Scoobie Ryan, interim director of the UK School of Journalism and Media, said the students “will be able to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations. We’re especially eager to see the stories students will generate as they cover the election for governor.”

“We hope this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership that will benefit students as well as the readers of The State Journal,” Ryan said.

The student journalists will work under the direction of Managing Editor Chanda Veno.

Laytham, a Tennessee native, has been a Kentucky resident for the past 13 years, graduating from Lexington’s Lafayette High School in 2016. She is a double major in political science and journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. She has written for the Kentucky Kernel, UK’s student newspaper, for the past year and is serving as an assistant news editor there for the 2019-20 school year.

Oldham, a broadcast journalism major, is a 2017 graduate of Lafayette High School. He is double minoring in political science and Spanish. He is news director of UK’s student-run radio station, WRFL Lexington, for which he produces the news program “Campus Voices” with the School of Journalism and Media. He oversees all news programming on the station and manages WRFL’s blog. Oldham is also a staff writer for the Kentucky Kernel and interned this summer at the News-Graphic in Georgetown. He plans to pursue a career in political reporting.

Vandiver, a Bowling Green native and UK senior, is a journalism and English double major with a minor in political science. Last year, she served as editor-in-chief of the Kernel.

The State Journal is willing to share the gubernatorial race stories by the UK journalists either through the Kentucky Press News Service or by request. To make sure you receive all the stories, if you want to use them, contact State Journal publisher Steve Stewart at

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