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Kentucky newspapers and Kentucky newspaper list

Introduction to Kentucky News Media

Kentucky is a state in the Southern United States bordered by Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to the north, West Virginia and Virginia to the east, Tennessee to the south, and Missouri to the west. Kentucky was once a part of the state of Virginia until it was admitted to the union as the 15th state in 1792. Owing to which Kentucky & Virginia have a lot of shared history.

With a population of 4,467,673 (as of 2019), Kentucky is the 26th most populous state in the country. Due to its large population, Kentucky has been a fertile ground for newspapers & news websites.

 As of 2020, there are more than 310 newspapers & news websites in the state. In this article, we will have a look at the top newspapers & news websites in Kentucky.

Let’s begin by discussing the history of the press & the early newspapers in Kentucky.

History of Newspapers in Kentucky

The history of press & newspapers of a region is a lamp that throws light into a region’s socio-political & economic history. The same is the case with Kentucky as the history of press & newspapers in Kentucky is the story of its political, societal & economic uprising and the paths the state traversed.           

The history of press & newspapers in Kentucky dates back to 1787 when John Bradford established the first press in the region. John Bradford was a man who didn’t have any previous printing experience. He set foot into the world of publishing business by setting up a press in Lexington, Kentucky. It is important to note that Kentucky was a part of Virginia in 1787 and would not become a state for five years.

First Newspaper in Kentucky

As said earlier, Kentucky was officially annexed into the union as a state only in 1792. But the first newspaper to be published in the region was The Kentucke Gazette that was launched in 1787, almost five years before Kentucky was officially declared a state. Initially, it was circulated as a two paged weekly, but it quickly gained popularity and became a four paged weekly within a few years.

The paper was published in the town of Lexington that had a population of 500 citizens. Though it was a small town, there was a high demand for newspapers and other printed materials. By 1788 John Bradford published two books from the press. The same year John Bradford also published a pamphlet named The Kentucky Almanac, which was the first of its kind in the region.

Other Early Newspapers in Kentucky

The success of The Kentucke Gazette & The Kentucky Almanac made it clear to publishers that Kentucky was a fertile ground for newspapers. The following years witnessed many new newspapers entering circulation. 

The Kentucky Journal was one such newspaper that was launched in 1795. It was a weekly newspaper that was published in Frankfurt, Kentucky.  This paper is widely considered to be the first newspaper to be published in Kentucky following its statehood.

The other prominent newspapers in Kentucky during the late 18th and early 19th century were The Guardian of Freedom (1798), The Kentucke Gazette (1787 to 1789), The Kentucky Gazette (1789), and Kentucky Herald (1795).

Now that we’ve discussed in brief the history of press & early newspapers in Kentucky, let’s look at the top newspapers & news websites that are currently published in Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal 

Kentucky Newspapers 01 Courier Journal

The Courier-Journal is a daily newspaper in Kentucky owned by Gannet. The newspaper was established in the year 1868 by Walter N. Haldeman. It is one of the oldest newspapers in the region, and it caters to readers in Kentucky, Louisville & Southern Indiana.

Apart from being a prominent regional newspaper in the country, The Courier-Journal is known for its liberal & Democratic editorial outlook.

History of The Courier-Journal

It is interesting to note that The Courier-Journal was launched in 1868 by the merger of many erstwhile newspapers in 19th century Kentucky. Among these papers, the oldest one was The Focus of Politics, Commerce, and Literature that was founded in 1826. In a way, it can be said that the roots of The Courier-Journal date back to 1826.

Before merging to form The Courier-Journal, most of these erstwhile newspapers had already combined to form the Louisville Courier and the Louisville Journal. Henry Watterson, a part-time editor of Louisville Journal & Walter N. Haldeman, who was the owner of Louisville Courier, decided to merge the papers to form the Courier-Journal.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Walter N. Haldeman owned the newspapers until he died in 1902. Following his demise, his sons William Watterson and Henry Watterson owned the paper. In 1918, Robert Worth Bingham bought the newspaper’s significant share, and by 1920 he purchased the total shares.

Under the ownership of the Bingham family the paper began pushing for improved public education and rights of African-Americans. The newspaper remained in the Bingham family until Gannet acquired the paper in 1986 for $300 million.

What do they publish?

The newspaper’s printed edition covers all facets of news & updates from Kentucky, Louisville, and southern Indiana. As per the readership survey of 2015, The Courier-Journal was estimated to have a circulation of 492,000 copies.

Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an online edition and an e-edition. The online website covers regional, national & important international news, sports, opinion, obituaries, and so on. Paid subscribers can access the e-edition of the newspaper from the paper’s official website.

Kentucky Newspapers 01 Courier Journal website

The Courier-Journal Online

The Courier-Journal ePaper

The Courier-Journal Android App

The Courier-Journal iOS App

Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky Newspapers 02 Lexington Herald Leader

Lexington Herald-Leader is a daily newspaper in Kentucky, serving the state’s central and eastern regions. The newspaper was founded in 1983 by the merger of the two erstwhile newspapers Lexington Herald and the Lexington Leader. The paper is extensively known among its readers for its editorial policy leaning towards the Democratic party.

It is interesting to note that though Lexington Herald-Leader was founded in 1983, its roots can be traced back to 1870. In the following section, we will have a look at the history of the newspaper.

History of Lexington Herald-Leader

As said earlier, Lexington Herald-Leader was founded in 1983 by the merger of the two erstwhile newspapers Lexington Herald and the Lexington Leader. Lexington Herald was a daily newspaper that was launched in 1870 as the Lexington Weekly Press. Whereas Lexington Leader was a weekly newspaper that was founded in 1888 as the Kentucky Leader.

In a way the roots of Lexington Herald-Leader can be traced back to 1870.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Over the years, Lexington Herald & Lexington Leader underwent a series of mergers & acquisitions until the owner of the Lexington Leader, John Stoll, purchased the Herald. Knight Newspapers bought these two newspapers in 1970 and eventually merged to form the Lexington Herald-Leader in 1983.

The paper remained under the ownership of Knight Newspapers until the McClatchy Company purchased the Knight Ridder media company in 2006.

What do they publish?

As said earlier, the newspaper primarily serves the state’s central and eastern regions. The paper covers all facets of regional, state & national news apart from classifies & updates. As per the readership survey of 2013, Lexington Herald-Leader has a daily circulation of 55,883 copies and 63,458 copies on Sundays.

Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, they also publish an online news website and an e-edition. The news website covers in-depth news (regional, state & national), sports, business, politics, arts, entertainment, and more.

While most contents on the website are free, only paid subscribers can access the paper’s e-edition.

Kentucky Newspapers 02 Lexington Herald Leader website

Lexington Herald-Leader Online

Lexington Herald-Leader ePaper

Lexington Herald-Leader Android App

Lexington Herald-Leader iOS App

The Bowling Green Daily News

Kentucky Newspapers 03 The Bowling Green Daily News

The Bowling Green Daily News is a daily newspaper in Kentucky serving the Bowling Green city. The paper is the primary source for all local news, sports, features, opinions, and obituaries in the town being a local daily. The history of the newspaper can be traced back to the newspaper Bowling Green Democrat, that was founded in 1854.

Bowling Green Democrat merged with the Park City Daily News in 1882 to form The Bowling Green Daily News. As of 2013, the paper has a daily circulation of 19,566 copies and 23 347 copies on Sundays.

Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, it also publishes an online news website and an e-edition. There are dedicated sections on the website for local news, sports, obituaries, and classifieds.

Kentucky Newspapers 03 The Bowling Green Daily News website

The Bowling Green Daily News Online

The Bowling Green Daily News ePaper

Northern Kentucky Tribune

Kentucky Newspapers 04 Northern Kentucky Tribune website

The Northern Kentucky Tribune is an online newspaper that exclusively covers Northern Kentucky. This online newspaper is published by the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism. Being an independent newspaper, it is primarily focused on impartial & informative journalism in-depth. The paper mainly covers local news, news & updates on businesses from the region, and so on.

Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism is a non-profit organization, and the entire content on the website is available for free to readers. There are dedicated sections on the website for business, education, government, health, regional & state news, sports & obituaries.

Northern Kentucky Tribune Online

Northern Kentucky Tribune Android App

The News Enterprise

Kentucky Newspapers 05 News Enterprise website

The News Enterprise is a daily newspaper in Kentucky serving the Elizabeth town. It is the primary source of local news, sports, updates on events, and other important information. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also own an online news website. There are sections on the website for news, sports, opinion, life, obituaries, and so on. The News Enterprise also publishes an e-edition of the paper, that can only be accessed by paid subscribers.

News-Enterprise Online

News-Enterprise ePaper

The State Journal

Kentucky Newspapers 06 The State Journal

The State Journal is a daily newspaper in Kentucky serving the capital city of Frankfort. The paper was first launched in 1900 by merging the erstwhile newspapers The Kentucky State Journal and Frankfort News. Apart from the printed edition of the paper, The State Journal also publishes an e-edition of the newspaper. Paid subscribers can access the e-edition from the official website of the newspaper.

Kentucky Newspapers 06 The State Journal website

The State Journal Online

The State Journal ePaper

The State Journal Android App

The State Journal iOS App

Messenger Inquirer

Kentucky Newspapers 07 Messenger Inquirer

Messenger Inquirer is a local daily newspaper in Kentucky, serving the city of Owensboro. The history of the newspaper can be traced back to 1875 when it was first launched as The Examiner. Over the years, the paper has grown to become a prominent local newspaper in the region. Other than the printed edition of the paper, they also publish an online website.

Kentucky Newspapers 07 Messenger Inquirer website

Messenger Inquirer Online

Messenger Inquirer ePaper

The River City News

Kentucky Newspapers 08 River City News website

The River City News is a daily newspaper in Kentucky, serving the northern parts of the state. The paper was first launched in 2011 and has since been covering breaking and in-depth news from the Northern Kentucky region, including Kenton, Boone, and Campbell counties. Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, The River City News also publishes an online news website.

River City News Online

Jackson Times-Voice

Kentucky Newspapers 09 Jackson Times Voice website

The Jackson Times-Voice is a Weekly newspaper in Kentucky, serving the Jackson and Breathitt county. The paper primary covers local news, spots, community & business news. Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, they also publish an online edition and a news website. The e-edition of the paper can be accessed from its official website.

Jackson Times-Voice Online

Jackson Times-Voice ePaper

Manchester Enterprise

Kentucky Newspapers 10 Manchester Enterprise website

Manchester Enterprise is a weekly newspaper in Kentucky, serving the Manchester & Clay county. The newspaper was first launched in 1890 and has since been a primary source of local news, sports, and community news for Manchester and Clay County. Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, they also publish an e-edition of the newspaper that can be accessed from their official website.

Manchester Enterprise Online

Manchester Enterprise ePaper

Mountain Advocate

Kentucky Newspapers 11 Mountain Advocate website

Mountain Advocate is a weekly newspaper in Kentucky serving the Knox county. The paper was established in the year 1904 and has since been covering all facets of news & updates from Knox county. Apart from the newspaper’s printed edition, they also publish an e-edition of the newspaper that can be accessed by paid subscribers from their official website.

Mountain Advocate Online

Mountain Advocate ePaper

Richmond Register 

Kentucky Newspapers 12 Richmond Register website

Richmond Register is a newspaper in Kentucky, that is published on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. As the name suggests, the paper is published out of Richmond and covers the entire Madison county. The newspaper was founded in 1917 and has since remained a prominent newspaper. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an online website and an e-edition.

Richmond Register Online

Richmond Register ePaper

Richmond Register iOS App

The Paducah Sun

Kentucky Newspapers 13 The Paducah Sun website

The Paducah Sun is a daily newspaper in Kentucky that was first launched in 1896. The newspaper & its news website primarily serves the Jackson Purchase and Pennyrile regions of western Kentucky and five counties in southern Illinois. As of 2020, the newspaper is owned by the Paxton Media Group.

The Paducah Sun Online

The Paducah Sun ePaper

The Voice Tribune

Kentucky Newspapers 14 TheThe Voice Tribune website

The Voice Tribune is a Weekly newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. The paper is primarily focused on covering local news, society & sports. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an online news website. The website covers in depth local news & updates, business news, and other entertainment news.

The Voice-Tribune Online

The Kentucky Standard

Kentucky Newspapers 15 The Kentucky Standard

The Kentucky Standard is a local newspaper in Kentucky published three days a week. Kentucky Standards being a local newspaper, mainly covers news and updates from the Bardstown region. Jack Wilson founded the newspaper in 1900 and has since been a prominent newspaper in the town. Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also own an online website.

Kentucky Newspapers 15 The Kentucky Standard website

The Kentucky Standard Online

Kentucky New Era

Kentucky Newspapers 16 Kentucky New Era website

Kentucky New Era is a prominent newspaper in Kentucky, that was founded in 1869. It was initially launched as a weekly newspaper named the Weekly Kentucky New Era. As of 2020, it is the only newspaper to be published in Hopkinsville. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an e-edition of the newspaper.

Kentucky New Era Online

Kentucky New Era ePaper

The Cadiz Record

Kentucky Newspapers 17 The Cadiz Record website

The Cadiz Record is a weekly newspaper in Kentucky, covering news, sports, community activities, and more in Trigg County. The paper was first launched in 1880 as the Kentucky Telephone. Other than the newspaper’s printed edition, they also publish an online news website and an e-edition.

The Cadiz Record Online

The Louisville Eccentric Observer

Kentucky Newspapers 18 Louisville Eccentric Observer website

The Louisville Eccentric Observer is an alternative weekly newspaper circulated throughout the Louisville, Kentucky, metropolitan area, including areas of southern Indiana. The paper was founded in the year 1990 by John Yarmuth, Robert Schulman, and Denny Crum. Within a few years after entering the market, it gained popularity. As per the media audit report of 2012, the paper has a weekly readership of 88,807 and a monthly readership of 136,478.

Louisville Eccentric Observer Online

 College Heights Herald

Kentucky Newspapers 19 College Heights Herald website

As the name suggests, College Heights Herald is a weekly student newspaper run by the students of Western Kentucky University. The newspaper was founded in 1925 and has since been circulated for free inside the university campus. Being a student newspaper, it mainly focuses on reporting news & information from the campus, and it is published during the fall and spring semesters.

College Heights Herald Online

Commonwealth Journal 

Kentucky Newspapers 20 Commonwealth Journal website

Commonwealth Journal is a daily newspaper in Somerset, Kentucky, that is published six days a week. The Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. owns the paper, and it caters to the readers in Pulaski County.            Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an e-edition. The e-edition of the paper can be accessed by subscribers from the official website of the paper.

Commonwealth Journal Online

Commonwealth Journal ePaper

Commonwealth Journal Android App

Commonwealth Journal iOS App

KyForward

Kentucky Newspapers 21 kyforward website

KyForward is an online newspaper run by the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism. The website covers all facets of news and updates on local, state, and important national news. There are dedicated sections on the website for business, education, health, living, news, sports, and others.

KyForward Online

The Daily Independent

Kentucky Newspapers 22 Ashland Independent website

As the name suggests, The daily independent is a daily newspaper in Kentucky, published five days a week. The paper primarily covers news and updates from the city of Ashland and the surrounding areas of Boyd County. Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper, they also publish an e-edition. The e-edition of the paper can be accessed by paid subscribers from the paper’s official website.

Ashland Independent Online

Ashland Independent ePaper

Ashland Independent Android App

Ashland Independent iOS App

Henderson Gleaner

Kentucky Newspapers 23 The Gleaner website

Henderson Gleaner is a daily newspaper in Kentucky owned by Gannet. The newspaper was founded in 1883 and had since been covering news and information from Henderson. As per the readership survey of 2013, the paper had a daily circulation of 8,612 copies and 9,692 copies on Sundays. Apart from the paper’s printed edition, they also publish an e-edition that can be accessed from their official website.

The Gleaner Online

The Gleaner ePaper

The Gleaner iOS App

Ledger Independent

Kentucky Newspapers 24 Ledger Independent website

Ledger Independent is a local newspaper in Kentucky and the primary source of local news in Bracken, Mason, Fleming, Lewis, and Robertson counties in Kentucky. The paper is published in both printed and e-edition. They also publish an online website that is regularly updated with the latest news and information.

Ledger-Independent Online

Ledger-Independent ePaper

Ledger-Independent Android App

Ledger-Independent iOS App

Murray Ledger & Times 

Kentucky Newspapers 25 Murray Ledger Times website

Murray Ledger & Times is a daily newspaper in Kentucky catering to its readers in Murray. The paper was first launched in 1973 and has, over the years, become a prominent local newspaper. Being a local newspaper, Murray Ledger & Times is focused on reporting the local news and updates. Apart from the printed edition. They also publish an online website and an e-edition.

Murray Ledger & Times Online

Murray Ledger & Times ePaper

West Kentucky Star 

Kentucky Newspapers 26 West Kentucky Star website

West Kentucky Star is a local newspaper in Kentucky, serving local information and updates for Paducah, western Kentucky, and southern Illinois. Other than the printed edition, the paper also publishes an online website with dedicated sections for news, sports, traffic, weather, obituaries, classifieds, and more.

West Kentucky Star Online

West Kentucky Star Android App

West Kentucky Star iOS App

Advocate Messenger 

Kentucky Newspapers 27 Advocate Messenger scaled

Advocate Messenger is a bi-weekly newspaper in Kentucky published on Tuesdays & Fridays. The paper primarily serves the Boyle, Lincoln, Casey, Mercer, and Garrard counties in Kentucky. As of 2013, the paper has an afternoon circulation of 9,121 copies and 9,093 copies on Sundays. Apart from the printed edition, they also publish an e-edition that can be accessed from the paper’s official website.

Kentucky Newspapers 27 Advocate Messenger website

Advocate Messenger Online

Advocate Messenger ePaper

The Times-Tribune

Kentucky Newspapers 28 The Times Tribune website

The Times-Tribune is a daily newspaper in Kentucky owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. The paper was first launched in 1882 as a weekly and has, over the years, become a prominent newspaper serving Knox, Laurel, and Whitley counties in Kentucky.

The Times-Tribune Online

The Times-Tribune ePaper

The Times-Tribune Android App

The Times-Tribune iOS App

Smiley Pete Publishing

Kentucky Newspapers 29 Lexington Business website

Smiley Pete publishing, as the name suggests, is a publishing company in Kentucky. They publish the prominent magazines’ Chevy Chaser and Southsider Magazines and Business Lexington in Kentucky. They also publish an online website with dedicated sections for community, business, arts & culture, food & drinks, calendar, etc.

Lexington Business Online

Conclusion

Newspapers have been a critical part of Kentucky’s media landscape for a long time until more and more Americans began consuming news digitally. Since the beginning of the 21st century and the advent of digital news mediums, newspapers’ financial fortune has been on the decline. This is not just happening in Kentucky or the US; instead, it’s a global phenomenon.

As per the data published by the Newspaper Association of America, there has been an 8% decline in daily circulation of newspapers from 2017 to 2018 and 12% from 2018 to 2019. This decline in circulation has directly impacted newspapers’ circulation revenue and indirectly impacted their revenue from advertisements.

The already limping newspaper industry in Kentucky took another serious blow when the COVID 19 pandemic hit America. Most newspapers, such as the Daily Times, had to reduce their publication schedule to thrice a week from being a daily newspaper. While some newspaper reduced their publication schedule, others were either forced to shut down or merge with other newspapers.

While the Media industry knows no bounds, we at MediaBuzz are working hard to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the news sources in America. We are a team of professional writers with a close eye for the updates happening in the world of journalism.

We can do a lot more with your support!

Can you spare a few minutes to help us find the answers?

  • What are the top three newspapers in Kentucky?
  • How do you think the local newspapers are doing in Kentucky?
  • Did we miss any deserving newspaper or news website?
  • Which is the best newspaper in Kentucky for business, entertainment, and sports news?
  • Which newspaper do you read from the above list?
  • Which is the best community newspaper in Kentucky?
  • Do you have any other information for us related to newspapers in Kentucky?
  • Is there any particular newspaper that caught your attention?

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