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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.