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.
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 Interim Managing Editor
Kate Howard is an investigative reporter specializing in higher education and government accountability.
Howard’s work has been the recipient of a national Investigative Reporters and Editors award and numerous state and regional awards.
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. She is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY).
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.
Kanik 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 Kanik a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, which honors the best journalism professionals under the age of 35.
Eleanor Klibanoff / KyCIR Reporter
Eleanor Klibanoff joined the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in June 2017.
She previously worked at Keystone Crossroads, a public radio project covering urban decline and recovery in the Rust Belt. She was a Kroc Fellow at NPR and a recipient of a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grant to cover maternal healthcare in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Originally from Atlanta, Klibanoff graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in Political Communication. She lives in Louisville with her cat, Grover Cleveland.
Jacob Ryan / KyCIR Reporter
Jacob Ryan joined the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in December 2017.
For three years prior, he worked as a WFPL News reporter and covered issues ranging from City Hall to transportation, public safety to housing. He is a recipient of a national Investigative Reporters and Editors award, a Sidney Award from the Sidney Hillman Foundation and numerous regional and local awards.
Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. He’s a graduate of Western Kentucky University.
KyCIR Alumni: Brendan McCarthy, James McNair, Kristina Goetz, Mark Schaver
Past KyCIR Fellows: June Leffler, Will Wright, Eleanor Hasken
Our newsroom is continuously looking to work with new reporters. Think you’d like to be part of our team? 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 Washington Post, the L.A. Times, Huffington Post, Politico, 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, Bennie L. Ivory, Stanley K. Macdonald, Caroline Pieroni and Stacie Shain.
Interested in becoming an advisory board member? E-mail Stephen George.
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 contain a disclosure.
All of our 2017 grant funders and donors of any amount are listed here and will be noted in our annual report:
Telechbush Family Fund
Epiphany Catholic Church
Acme-Lupine and Co.
C. E. and S. Foundation
Institute for Nonprofit News
Ms. Ann Adams
Andy and Michelle Arnold
Jessica and John Arspingstall
Ms. Connie L. Back
George Bailey and Porter Watkins
Eric and Amanda Baldwin
Dr. Mary G. Barry
Karen and Gina Bertocci
Mrs. Edith S. Bingham
Mary and Steven Bingham
Ms. Aline F. Blizard
Kim Boland and Conor O’Driscoll
Edward and Cornelia Bonnie
Mrs. Vaughn Bowen and R Brayton
Dr. Sean P. Brady
Carolyn Brooks and Peter Morrin
Sharon and William David Brown
Ms. Christina L. Brown
Michael and Susan Buehner
Benjamin Burton and Esther Volmer
Stephen Campbell and Heather McHold
Cheryl and John Carl
Mrs. Suzanne W. Casey
Mr. Keith Caye
Karen Chandler and David Anderson
Stuart and Anna Coats
George Cogan and Fannie Allen
Elena Cohen and Steve Ritz
Linda and Fred Cowan
Ms. Kay Coyte
Inez and Jim Crepps
Sarah Lynn Cunningham
Lisa and Clay Dalton
Debbe and Tom Dedman
Ms. Elizabeth Deknatel
Susan and Brian Durham
Ms. Melea East and Mr. Boyce F. Martin, III
Crystal Emberton and Nathan Hardy
Jane and Bert Emke
Mr. Justin Eslinger
Jerry and Ellie Fitzgerald
Holly Freeland and Michelle Davis
Thomas and Alexa French
Jason and Melissa Fuller
Claire Napier Galofaro
Mrs. Thelma Gault
Ms. Cindy Geisen
Deborah and Roger Givens
Mr. Roger B. Gossage
Benjamin and Molly Gowen
Ms. Michelle Grant
John and Mary Moss Greenebaum
Jim and Pat Greer
Thomas Gronke and Natasia Chan
Jay Gulick and Mary Oliver Humke
Bill and Judy Haliday
Andy and Dee Hall
Ms. Ann Hardman
Ms. Jane Hardy and Mr. Dave Schmidt
Martha and Peter Hasselbacher
Mr. John V. Hayes
Randall and Angelita Head
F Richard Heath
Ms. Ruth Hendrickson
Ms. Robin Hicks and Mr. Tracy Alan Campbell
Jayne and Gary Hines
Ms. K. Hinkle
Sara and Brian Holland
Ms. Dawn Howard
Charlene and Paul Howard
Gail and Paul Janensch
Amy and Kevin Jones
Mr. Kirk Kandle
Katie and Casey Kelty
Mr. and Mrs. William Kight
Dr. Bill Holt and Dr. Heidi Koenig
Andrea and Steven Koven
Mr. Alan Krome
Melinda and Richard Kurtzo
Mr. Greg Langdon
Ms. Ruth Leitner
Laurie Leonard and Hank Klibanoff
Alison and Richard Lewine
Mr. Adam Lieberg
Steven and Judy Lippmann
Mary Margaret Lowe and Eugene Lacefield
Dr. Keith B. Lyle
Sally and Stanley Macdonald
Adam Maksl and Renee Petrina
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Maples
Lisa Markowitz and David Ruccio
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin D. McDowell
Mr. and Mrs. James E. McGhee III
Roy and Lynn Meckler
Katherine Miller and Michael Pfaff
Fred Nett and Rose Grenough-Nett
Mark and Michelle Nunley
Keiron and Paula O’Connell
Thomas and Melissa Olges
Christine and Daryl Owens
Rodger and Christine Payne
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Peck
Anne Marie Pleau
Ms. Libby Pollett
John and Eugenia Potter
Mr. George W. Rapp Jr. and Ms. Lynne Meena Rapp
Stephen Reily and Emily Bingham Fund
Ms. Natalie S. Reteneller
Douglas and Anne Rich
Marsha and Harvey Roberts
Ms. Tamara Rogers
Kay and Mark Rountree
Ronald and Nancy Rubbico
Ms. Robin Russo
Mary Ann Sack
Ms. Vivian Ruth Sawyer and Mr. Thomas Noland
Dennis and Susan Schroeder
Dr. Sheila O’Donnell-Schuster
Ms. Julie Segal
Ms. Eleanor Self
John Shealy and Jordan Dye
Mr. Matt Simpson
Ms. Karen Smith
Tim and Brittany Smith
Ms. Marilyn S. Sommer
Dave and Peggy Stengel
Ms. Margaret Stewart
Ms. Susan G. Stopher
Dr. Gordon Strauss
Ms. Susan Marie Streible
Mr. Jess Terrell
Christopher and Lisa Tobe
Robert and Erika Toon
Mr. John Trawick and Ms. Patricia Clare
Mr. Douglas E. Trent III
Nicholas Turner and Abigail Hartge
Linda and Christopher Valentine
Mr. Bret A. Walker
Ragan and Margaret Watts
Wayne and Lucretia Weiner
Susan and Beau Weston
Kenneth and Shelly Zegart
Steve and Gail Zeh
Susan Zepeda and Fred Seifer
KyCIR also received grants in 2017 from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to support specific projects.
*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.
Dec. 2017 – “‘Any journalist’s nightmare’: The Pope’s Long Con unraveled a web of lies, with tragic consequences” (Columbia Journalism Review)
Dec. 2017 – “Report on Kentucky legislator spotlights nonprofits’ role” (Associated Press)
Dec. 2016 – “U of L Foundation Settles Records Lawsuit With KyCIR”
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? We want to know. We will correct it as soon as possible. Call Kate Howard at (502) 814.6546 or send an email to email@example.com.