Laurel Wilson

Western Kentucky University
Ashland Daily Independent 

At the Ashland Independent, I found a place where community journalism is alive and well.

From my first day, most everyone I’ve met has been friendly and welcomed me and my coverage of their event or meeting. And their conversations go beyond just professional courtesy; they’re genuinely interested in getting to know me.

People here really see the newspaper as part of the community and rely on it to keep them informed about Eastern Kentucky’s happenings.  Residents call in all the time to tell us about breaking news or give us tips for stories, and people get excited to be in the paper.

More than any other newspaper I’ve worked at, readers have called or e-mailed to comment on my stories, just to say they enjoyed it or to get more information on something I wrote about. They really read and respond to the newspaper and it matters in their lives.

To me, that’s what journalism is all about: engaging the community. And it’s right here in Ashland, Ky.

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