Inside LINK: Starting year two

Lacy Starling
Lacy Starling
Lacy is the president and CEO of LINK nky. Email her at [email protected]

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Inside LINK is a weekly column from our CEO, Lacy Starling. If you have questions you’d like Lacy to answer, email her at [email protected].

Far be it for me to hurry along 2022 any more — how is it already almost Thanksgiving? — but at LINK, we are already looking forward to 2023.

We’ve finished our first full year in business, come through election season in one piece, and have assessed what we’ve given the community in the past 12 months, as well as what we think the community needs from us.

To that end, we gathered as a team last week to discuss how we can continue to improve in our second full year in business. Now that we’ve had 12 months to gel as a team, and we’ve been able to add so much staff, we needed to realign our coverage, take stock of how we want to report on the NKY Metro, and figure out a plan of attack for 2023.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • We are realigning staff with beats. Starting this week, Haley Parnell is now our official Campbell County Reporter, Grace Tierney is covering Boone County, and Alecia Ricker will be covering Kenton County. They’ll be working closely with our contributors to make sure regular meetings are covered, but also working hard to ensure that larger, county-wide issues are covered and reported in a way that brings together all the organizations in each county – schools, fiscal courts, city governments, county governments, and non-governmental entities.
  • Our Kenton Hornbeck will be moving to a newly-created business beat, covering the issues affecting business owners, entrepreneurs, and workers all over the NKY Metro. Kenton’s finance minor and love of business in general make him a great fit for this new beat, and we’re looking forward to how he covers issues like unemployment, workforce development, infrastructure, taxes, and everything else that affects the business environment of our community.
  • We’ve hired a full-time Sports Editor. The official announcement will come in a few days, but we’re very excited to have a full-time staff member dedicated solely to directing our sports coverage and bringing our readers more of the game stories and sports features you love.
  • We’re developing our core coverage areas. This is where we’ll be seeking your input, dear readers. We know there are critical issues facing our community that will require expert, in-depth coverage. We want to identify those core issues, and work to put reporters in place who can specialize in covering them. We already have business and politics and government, but what are the others? Education? Healthcare? Infrastructure? Homelessness? We’ll be offering ways for you to give your opinion on what you think is most important. Once we’ve identified these core areas, we’ll be looking at all our coverage through these filters, to make sure we’re truly having the deeper conversations our community needs.
  • And finally, we’re going to work hard to find our voice. Who are we, as an organization, and how do we speak to you, our readers/listeners/viewers? The best news organizations are easily identified because there is consistency in their coverage. We need to bring our team together in a consistent way, so anyone who interacts with our coverage knows immediately that it was created by LINK. This is the part of our second year that I’m most excited about – creating a cohesive voice for the news of Northern Kentucky.
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As usual, we’ve laid out a very ambitious path for ourselves. We’re a year old now, and it is time for us to mature as an organization, and to continue to build and earn trust in the community we love.

And, as always, if you’d like to support our work, please subscribe to our print edition or donate to the NKY Community Journalism Fund. Every dollar helps us bring you the news you deserve.

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