Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kentucky Politics: Ryan Alessi Helps Launch CN/2 Politics

Ryan Alessi became a household name in Kentucky by bringing to light the scandals at KACO and KLC as a political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Now Alessi has accepted a new challenge as Director of Public Affairs for Insight Communications. The Commonwealth Network on Channel 2 (CN-2) will launch their public affairs programming next Tuesday to provide coverage of the Kentucky primary elections.

CN-2 has a political website aptly named CN/2 Politics to compliment their the public affairs programming. Insight Communications will also unveil a weather and sports channel. I spoke with Ryan Alessi about his new role and he said,"I'm excited about the opportunity to help build a new organization from the ground up." The website states they will provide "news and analysis about campaigns, elections, state and local government and the commonwealth federal delegation."

Alessi stated that the public affairs programming would compliment Comment on Kentucky which airs on KET. In the coming weeks CN/2 will be hiring new reporters to cover the issues across Kentucky. As always I voiced my concerns about the state wide media coverage (or lack of) of Western and Rural Kentucky. Ryan assured me that public affairs issues and politics would be covered in an even handed manner and reporters from Rural Kentucky would be included.

I give a thumbs up to the political website. It's laid out well and should probably move into the "top dog" spot of political websites in Kentucky. There is usually a good political story in Kentucky if you have the time and energy to seek it out. I for one welcome some good hard political news. Nothing wrong with a little political gossip or an occasion rant, God knows I'm guilty of a good rant every now then. In my conversation with Ryan I believe the thing I liked best was the desire to provide some balanced state wide coverage. As I cried for Western Kentucky, Ryan was quick to take me to task about coverage being a two way street and he was right. I don't like reading the Courier Journal or the Lexington Herald-Leader only to rarely read about Western Kentucky unless it's something negative. If we are going to bridge the obvious social, political, and cultural divide in this state then the Rural Media has a responsibility to provide balanced coverage even if we don't always agree. It was correct and bold of Ryan to call me on this issue which was pretty gutsy considering he ain't real big.

I enjoyed talking about the primary and the political climate around the state and nation. We talked about football and the important role athletics can play in helping students improve their lives. Insight Communications made a good decision by providing Ryan Alessi the opportunity to build their News & Public Affairs Programming. Alessi's enthusiasm combined with his knowledge and desire should provide CN/2 the tools they will need to be successful. I appreciate Ryan spending some time with me and wish him the best of luck in this new endeavor.

CN/2 Politics

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