Former Kentucky Kernel Editor-in-Chief Ranks in Top 5 for National Collegiate Hearst Journalism Awards

Bryan Greene, 25, and Lakell Gates, 11, play basketball on the court in Duncan Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.
Bryan Greene, 25, and Lakell Gates, 11, play basketball on the court in Duncan Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. Photo by Arden Barnes, courtesy of Kentucky Kernel.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2021) — May 2020 journalism graduate and former Kentucky Kernel editor-in-chief Bailey Vandiver placed fourth in the Explanatory Reporting Competition of the 2020-2021 Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program. In addition to being recognized among top journalists in the nation, Vandiver has received a $1,000 scholarship.

Vandiver’s story, titled “Lexington’s East End: A changing neighborhood,” encompasses the lives of the citizens of Lexington’s East End and how they envision the future of their home. Vandiver specifically wanted to collect the stories from the historically Black neighborhood to open a discussion on the effects of revitalization and gentrification to the neighborhood.

“Lexington’s East End: A changing neighborhood” also features photos from 2020-2021 Hearst Award winner and Vandiver’s peer, Arden Barnes. The complete story and photography can be found in the Kentucky Kernel:

Recognized among national scholarship winners, Vandiver was thrilled to see her work and the East End earn traction. “It’s hard to describe the story because it’s hard to describe the East End — which is really the point of the story,” Vandiver said. “My job was just to listen and put several of their experiences together in one story.”

While Vandiver was excited to receive a Hearst Award, she was initially shocked;

Instead of entering her own work into the awards program, Kentucky Kernel and Student Media Advisor Ryan Craig took the liberty of entering Vandiver’s piece.

“Bailey, with this story and just like when she was editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Kernel, is a very gifted journalist and I feel was one of the best collegiate journalists in the nation the last couple of years,” Craig said when asked what compelled him to enter Vandiver’s story for consideration. “In each paragraph, I felt the emotion of those who live in Lexington's East End regardless of which side of the issue they happened to be on.”

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded as a way to support and assist journalism education at the collegiate level. The program awards scholarships to students with outstanding performance in divisions including writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia competitions. To enter any competition hosted by the Hearst Awards, students must be involved in campus media and must have published articles, photographs or newscasts that can be submitted.

The School of Journalism and Media is part of the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information. The Kentucky Kernel and Student Media are also housed in the College of Communication and Information.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.