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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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Changing of the guard for a community newsroom

20-year-old Kendall Staton navigates challenges and expectations as she sets an example for a new generation of journalists

Kendall Staton cannot legally check into a hotel room or have a glass of wine, yet she runs three newspapers less than a year after graduating college.

In the rural town of Cynthiana, Kentucky, 20-year-old Staton navigates the landscape of journalistic integrity that unfolds with editorship while challenging older generations in a time of shrinking jobs and dying newsrooms. 

As one of the youngest newspaper editors in the country, Staton is also the regional editor for Paxton Media Group, where she oversees three newspapers: the Cynthiana Democrat, Grant County News and the Owenton News Herald.

Staton’s presence at the Democrat elevates her into a position of prominence within the community. From the interactions with people of power in school board meetings, like the mayor, to encounters with local figures like a retired fire chief, Staton’s commitment to precision and fairness is shown in her every action.

Beyond the spotlight, Staton’s morals are evident. By opting out of participation in public prayers or pledges during official gatherings, she maintains a steady adherence to impartiality, a cornerstone of her profession.

Recognized for her exemplary use of public records in reporting, Staton recently received the Jon Fleischaker Freedom of Information Award at the Kentucky Press Association Awards. She won this award less than a year after completing her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

In the streets of Cynthiana, Staton’s journey serves as a reminder that as the industry continues to evolve, her story urges the new generation to uphold the values of print journalism.

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Abbey Cutrer, Managing/Photo Editor

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    Bev RayFeb 6, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    Very impressive!