The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom based in Louisville, Ky. We produce investigative journalism that affects you, your neighborhood, your Commonwealth.
Our mission is to protect society’s most vulnerable citizens, expose wrongdoing in the public and private sectors, increase transparency in government and hold leaders accountable. We promise to dig for the truth without fear or favor, cut through red tape and spark public conversation.
KyCIR is focused on issues that are uncovered, areas that need a spotlight shone on them.
The initiative is the creation of Louisville Public Media, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that operates three public radio stations, including 89.3 WFPL News, a full-time NPR affiliate.
Louisville Public Media announced the formation of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in Spring 2013. The newsroom published its first investigation, which exposed a sexual harassment scandal involving a powerful, longtime state legislator, in Fall 2013. Our website launched in March 2014. We have continued to grow since then, adding award-winning, passionate reporters to our staff.
We are unique but not alone in this changing media landscape. Many newsrooms today are facing difficult choices. Some are shrinking staffs, cutting back on investigative, watchdog journalism, which takes precious time and resources. At KyCIR, we believe investigative reporting is not a luxury, but a necessity. We aim to produce these stories — deeply reported journalism that may change public policy, pique public interest or provide key context to a civic matter.
We are members of the community. Our work is funded and supported by the community.
Brendan McCarthy / KyCIR Managing Editor
Brendan McCarthy has run the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting newsroom since its inception.
McCarthy is a veteran newspaper and television investigative reporter. He has earned several accolades for his work, including a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist nod, a George Polk Award, the Mike Berger Award and a regional Emmy, among other honors.
He previously worked as an investigative reporter at WWL-TV (CBS) in New Orleans. In the six years prior, McCarthy was a criminal justice reporter for The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans. He was a member of a reporting team on a PBS Frontline documentary, “Law & Disorder,” which examined police misconduct in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
He worked as a Metro reporter for two years at the Chicago Tribune. He has also written for the Boston Globe and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
McCarthy appeared in an episode of HBO’s “Treme,” playing himself, a New Orleans crime reporter. He also appeared in Spike Lee’s documentary, “If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” and on an episode of “America’s Most Wanted.”
McCarthy, a Rhode Island native, graduated from Emerson College in Boston. He lives in Louisville.
R.G. Dunlop / KyCIR Reporter
R.G. Dunlop is an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has exposed government corruption and resulted in numerous reforms.
Dunlop is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was twice a member of teams that won George Polk Awards.
He worked 35 years at the Courier-Journal in a variety of positions, including Eastern Kentucky bureau chief, Legal Affairs reporter, City Editor, and State Enterprise Reporter.
He has extensively covered death penalty issues, coal-mining safety and health, criminal justice matters, and the corrupting influence of money in politics.
Dunlop is a graduate of Miami University and earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He lives in Louisville with his family.
Kate Howard / KyCIR Reporter
Kate Howard is a veteran investigative reporter specializing in higher education and government accountability.
Her work has highlighted the need for reforming “pill mills” in Florida that drew customers from as far away as Kentucky, and caused a community college to rein in administrative spending. In Nebraska, she exposed a series of no-bid contracts at the state university worth $690 million that were all tied to the university’s most generous donor.
She worked as a news reporter for nearly five years at The Tennessean, covering crime, courts and transportation. She also spent more than three years at the Florida Times-Union covering higher education, health and crime issues, and more than two years writing about higher education at the Omaha World-Herald.
Howard is originally from Rhode Island and graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.
Alexandra Kanik / KyCIR Data Reporter
Alexandra Kanik brings the numbers to life as data reporter for KyCIR and Louisville Public Media. She also serves on the Reader Advisory Board for MediaShift, where she worked as metrics section editor.
Alexandra grew up in Pittsburgh and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She began her career in journalism as interactive developer and metrics analyst with PublicSource, a non-profit news organization in Pittsburgh.
The University of Michigan recently named Alexandra a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, which honors the best journalism professionals under the age of 35.
KyCIR Alumni: James McNair, Kristina Goetz, Mark Schaver
Past KyCIR Fellows: Will Wright, Eleanor Hasken
Our newsroom is continuously looking for new reporters to join our team. Think you’d like to be part of it? E-mail us.
Collaboration & Partnerships
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting produces original investigative journalism. Our journalists work alongside WFPL’s newsroom of radio reporters and we often produce stories with them.
We also seek to collaborate with other news outlets, journalists, and civic watchdogs across the state and region. This is public service journalism and we want our reporting to reach as many people as possible.
To date, our stories have appeared on 89.3 FM WFPL, WKYU, WKMS, and in the News & Tribune, Lexington Herald-Leader, KyForward, Kentucky Standard, Paducah Sun, The Courier-Journal, Bowling Green Daily News, Cincinnati Enquirer, River City News, WCPO, Trimble Banner, Carrollton News-Democrat, WLEX-18, West Kentucky Star, Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
Our reporting has been cited or picked up by media organizations such as The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Politico, Gawker, Above the Law, Wonkette and more.
We are always courting other partnerships and possible collaborations.
Want to work with us? Contact the newsroom.
Oversight & Advisory Board
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting’s managing editor reports to the president of Louisville Public Media. As a nonprofit, LPM has its own Board of Directors, which meets bi-monthly and provides organizational and financial leadership.
KyCIR has a Journalism Advisory Board, which is comprised of veteran journalists and community stakeholders. This board advises KyCIR on its operations, assists in long-term planning and provides advice. Board members include:
Molly Bingham, Jason Falls, Bennie L. Ivory, Stanley K. Macdonald, Ed Manassah, Caroline Pieroni and Stacie Shain.
The next meeting is scheduled for noon on Nov. 15, 2016, at LPM’s office.
Interested in becoming an advisory board member? E-mail Brendan McCarthy.
Ethics & Newsroom Policies
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is independent, nonpartisan and reports without fear or favor. We are free from political influences and our donor policies underscore our efforts to be open and transparent.
Our staff follows the ethical guidelines laid out in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
Further, KyCIR publishes an annual report. It details our work over the course of the year and includes benchmarks and a list of donors.
From time to time, donors, board members or supporters may be quoted or mentioned in our reporting, or the subject of a story. In those cases, a disclaimer will be made in the story, highlighting a connection to KyCIR. Transparency in our reporting is paramount.
Funding & Policy on Financial Support
We aim to have a diverse set of financial backers and supporters, including community members, philanthropists and local and national foundations.
The newsroom has a firewall between its editorial operations and its sources of revenue.
Donors have no control over our newsroom, our work or our editorial decisions. We do not accept money from political parties, political action committees, politicians or others whose donation may affect our independence or public perception of our operations.
To sustain itself, KyCIR relies on a mixture of funding administered through its nonprofit fiscal sponsor, Louisville Public Media. Donors can write checks to LPM, earmarked for KyCIR.
Two substantial grants to LPM, earmarked for an investigative newsroom, helped establish KyCIR in mid-2013. Local businessman Ed Hart donated $250,000. Hart’s business group runs Kentucky Kingdom, an amusement park in Louisville.
The Louisville-based C.E. & S. Foundation provided a grant of $190,000. Officers of the C.E. & S. Foundation — a private, non-profit family foundation — are David Jones, the founder of healthcare giant Humana; David Jones Jr., chairman of venture capital firm Chrysalis Ventures and a Humana board member; and attorney Bryan K. Johnson.
In December 2013, the Fund for Investigative Journalism awarded KyCIR a $5,000 grant for a pending reporting project.
In October 2014, the University of Louisville, which for years made donations to Louisville Public Media, earmarked $10,000 to KyCIR as part of a larger LPM donation. Our newsroom has previously reported on the institution and will continue to report on it. Articles on U of L from this point on will contain a disclosure.
All of our donors and grant funders are listed here and noted in our annual report:
Ms. Eleanor B. Miller
Mr. Matt Beldon
Mr. and Mrs. William W. Struck
Roy and Joyce Vallance
Ms. Mary Kannapell and Mr. Mark Foster
Dr. Gordon Strauss & Dr. Catherine Newton
Ms. April Smith
Ms. Ann Stewart Anderson and Mr. Ronald Mikulak
Ms. Marlies B. Heiland
David and Jeri Scott
Jack and Patti Marcum
Mr. John French and Ms. Julie Robinson French
Tucker and Martha Thomas
Ms. Carla F. Wallace
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Bohn
Ms. Patricia Gagne
Phyllis and Dan Risch
Mr. Thomas Nord
Patrick and Emily Draus
David and Carole Williams
Mr. Donn Chatham M.D.
Dr. and Mrs. Tad Dryden
Emily and Mark Kirchdorfer
Martha and Peter Hasselbacher
Robert and Elaine Bordogna
Mr. Ward G. Wilson
Mr. Rick Freeman
Mr. Rhoden C. Streeter
Ms. Michelle Seifert
Laura and Kenneth Calhoun
C. E. and S. Foundation
David and Elizabeth Kaplan
Dee Anna and Kevin Payne
Ellen and Bud Morris
Ms. Fran Wagner
Dendra and Thomas Lambert
Ms. Jennifer A. McComas
John and Vicki Walczak
Dr. Muhammad Babar
Bryant Lewis and Michael Drury
Mr. Christopher T. McDavid and Mr. Craig Highly
Chris and Nicole Woodhouse
Matthew and Melissa Groenewold
Ms. Venetta Smith
Mrs. Cathi Roy-Sanders
Kenneth McCamish and Dani Melo
Kris and Darrell Schulenburg
Ms. Pam Kleier
Mr. Christopher Otts
Mr. David Buren
Mr. Robert W. Adams
Christa and Elliott Rounsavall
Ms. Kate Hanratty
Ms. Betsey L. Bell
Ms. Susan W. Smith
Aiden and Tracey Kelly
Ms. Teresa Baker
Mr. Brian Young
Ms. Julie E. Harper
Mr. Daniel Krebs
Ms. Phyllis Sorce
Scott and Laura Griggs
Mr. Jared Burton
Ms. Kaye Gallagher
Mr. David Dennison
Ms. Kristen M. Thomas
Ms. Eleanora Fridell
Mr. Thomas C. Newman
Ms. Robin A. Hicks and Mr. Tracy Campbell
Mr. Clay L. Morton
Mr. James Lawson
Mr. Jonathan Davis
Lynn and Joy Jamison
Joe Ann and Alan O’Hara
Fund for Investigative Journalism
Joe and Robin Maupin
Ms. Maria Catalano and Mr. Tim McCauley
Bryan Jackson and Sarah McCartt-Jackson
Elyse and Jason Allemang
Laura and Ed Ospital
Regina and Colin Blake
Center for Investigative Reporting
Michael and Anna Hartman
Telechbush Family Fund
Anthony Bonfiglio and Mona Abukhaled
Molly and Brad Rucks
Dr. Patricia Barnwell
Mr. Jason Fisher
Brenda Elam and Ryan Graeler
Kathy and Fraser Richards
Jacek and Joanna Jasinski
Dr. Sarah Fulks
Doreen and Daniel Josephs
Farrah Dicken and James Breslin
Teka and Ed Siebenaler
Camille Bathurst and Gregory Belzley
Loree Stark and Robert Bricken
*In October 2014, the University of Louisville, which has donated to Louisville Public Media for many years, earmarked $10,000 to KyCIR as part of a larger LPM donation. Our newsroom has previously reported on the institution and will continue to report on it. Articles on U of L from October 2014 forward contain a disclosure noting the donation. In 2015, U of L donated an additional $3,000.
In the News
Sometimes we are the news.
April 18, 2013 – Brendan McCarthy to serve as managing editor
April 29, 2013 – Reporter R.G. Dunlop hired
June 11, 2013 – WFPL’s ambitious investigative center funded (Insider Louisville)
Aug. 6, 2013 – Managing Editor Brendan McCarthy on KyCIR’s plans (Insider Louisville)
Dec. 7, 2013 – Cheers to KyCIR (News & Tribune)
Feb. 2014 – “News Boom on Fourth Street” (Louisville Magazine)
March 10, 2014 – KyCIR adds Jim McNair
March 29, 2014 – “Fact-based journalism” (Courier-Journal editorial)
For more, click here.
Corrections or issues with our reporting?
Find a factual error in a story? Let us know. We will correct it as soon as possible. Call or e-mail Managing Editor Brendan McCarthy at (502) 814.6541 or email@example.com.