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Eastern Ky. Residents Respond To New York Times Article

Eastern Kentucky residents are launching an effort to answer a June New York Times headline that asked “What’s the Matter with Eastern Kentucky?”

The effort is meant to counter the overwhelmingly negative picture painted in the article by profiling entrepreneurs in six Eastern Kentucky counties. One of the success stories, former Rep. Hal Rogers staffer and political consultant Grayson Smith, told cn|2 Pure Politics negatives statistics don’t tell the whole story.

"How do you measure quality of life? Is it a subjective idea or is there a specific analytical numbers that you measure it from?" Smith asked. "I would counter that you have to actually go there, spend some time, and see what the community is about before you can actually say this is not a good place to live. I would argue that it's a great place to live."

While the Times piece focused on the region’s low income numbers, high unemployment, and alarming health stats, Johnathan Gay, the director of Morehead State University’s Kentucky Innovation Network, said it’s important to highlight stories of hope and progress in the area as well.

The plan is to use the profiles as a springboard for a more comprehensive initiative to reshape the region’s narrative.

Find the profiles and more information on the Eastern Kentucky Helping Ourselves initiative here.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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