“We won’t do what others do enough of.”
–stated mission of KYForward.
So Jim Newberry’s new digital media empire turns one month old today.
Or, it would have turned one month old today — it was originally slated to launch May 2nd — if it hadn’t run into some pre-launch bad press and some reported behind-the-scenes conflicts over editorial control and coal baron money. But whatever. It launched.
And in honor of this one month milestone (many people didn’t even think it would get here), we decided to do a little roundup of what this new addition to the local media landscape has given us.
Is Jim Newberry winning his grudge-match with the Herald-Leader?
Is King Coal still running the KYForward show?
Are they covering the stories no one else covers? Are they filling the news void?
Let’s start with advertising.
This is where you’re getting your news, right?
After word leaked that Newberry’s operation was a front group for the Coal Industry, he and his team were quick to stress that the site was actually funded by advertising. One month in, though, the advertising hasn’t changed — it’s still just a collection of interconnected non-profits, for the most part, that share board members with KYForward. So no one seems to be buying the ad-space. Which doesn’t bode well. So if it’s not funded by advertising, who’s paying the bills? The mystery continues, as King Coal Millionaire Funder remains anonymous (which is antithetical to their stated core values) and Newberry & Co. are now claiming they are funding it out of their own pockets.
So the moneybags remains a mystery. How about the content?
Well, they did add a Twitter and Facebook share button. And some RSS functionality.
And they’ve also been shooting a lot of video. Which is pretty cool, as a supplement to stories, and we’d share one with you except… the videos aren’t on YouTube, they are all hosted locally and thus can’t be embedded elsewhere or easily shared. Which maybe makes sense for a large media outlet trying to maintain full ownership of its own content, but, as a bit of friendly advice, doesn’t make any sense for a website no one’s ever heard of. If it can’t be shared, it won’t be seen.
But it’s not just their embeddable videos that make the site a little clunky. For some reason we’ve not been able to figure out, we can’t actually embed any links to the Newberry’s new media empire… they just don’t work. It’s very strange and we’ve never seen anything quite like it. But we have found a work around, so let’s start the review.
KYForward did a lovely story previewing the upcoming Henry Clay tribute featuring John Boner, and since the link doesn’t work, you can check out the coverage from the Herald-Leader, BizLex, here at B&P, or heck, the Greenfield Indiana Daily Reporter.
KYForward also previewed today’s CentrePointe meeting with Ms. Gang. Since the link won’t work, you can read Beverly Fortune’s article in the Herald-Leader or a different article written by Tom Eblen.
KYForward wrote up a nice reveiw of Kentucky Proud. Here’s a press release about that group at Ed Lane’s linkable media empire.
KYForward profiled UK’s new president’s wife. Most of the basic details can also be found at North of Center.
KYForward reviewed the results of the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center’s “Re-Imaging Appalachia” photo contest. Here’s the Associated Press’s excellent coverage.
They honored the “Broodmare of the Month” and ran a op-ed claiming that Beshear snubbing the Navy SEALs was actually proof that Kentucky’s economy is on the right track. We can’t find any comparable coverage elsewhere. A void is filled. (Although, there’s this.)
KYForward looked at the “garbage worker remarks investigation,” and so did the Herald-Leader.
KYForward highlighted Pop’s Resale… read all about it at Kentucky.com.
KYForward looked back at Toyota’s 25 years in the Bluegrass. Check it out here, here, and here.
KYForward attended and wrote about Alltech’s recent symposium. Can’t link it, but you can read about at the Herald-Leader and at BizLex.
They also covered a lot of UK softball and minor league baseball — and we can safely say that there is no better destination on the web for those stories than KYForward. And they also did an admirable job over this first month covering Kentucky’s horse industry, giving KEEP and others a strong voice.
And those weren’t the only bright spots. They also entered into cross-publishing partnerships with two local (and great) bloggers, the Kaintuckeean and Unusual Kentucky.
So that’s it. In case you are one of the only people in town who’s not getting your news at Mayor No Consequence’s new media empire, you are now caught up. We look forward to checking back in next month — and hopefully by then we’ll have figured out how to make the outbound links work. We especially look forward to reviewing their new slate of advertisers since that’s how it’s all being paid for and not at all by a millionaire anonymous coal baron.
Also, we forgot to mention that the saddest thing about all this is that a lot of their young writers seem talented and genuine in their journalistic endeavor. It’s too bad that what on the surface isn’t the worst idea for a website is being directed by a grudge against the great local paper and several other outlets and funded by people of unclear motivations.