Judith and Gene Clabes, a wife-husband team who are long-time newspaper executives, will discuss KyForward, an online newspaper they operate in Lexington, Ky., at a program sponsored by the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park.
The Clabes promote KyForward as providing Kentucky with a comprehensive, multi-media news website with a strong public service component. It was established in 2011 and can be viewed at www.kyforward.com.
The program is being offered at a time when local media is downsizing yet we have students at the university being trained to be journalists and experienced journalists in the community who have something to offer in gathering and reporting news. So here is an alternative that appears to have a future to it. “The Clabes’ online newspaper is the epitome of entrepreneurial journalism in the ever-changing world of news gathering and delivery,” Mike Martinez, president of ETSPJ, said.
Judith Clabes spent 37 years with The E.W. Scripps Co., serving as Scripps’ first woman editor with the Sunday Courier & Press in Evansville, Ind., and then with The Kentucky Post in Covington. She was president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation in Cincinnati in 1996 until her retirement in 2008. After retiring, she and her family moved to the Bluegrass region of Kentucky in Paris, where the family has a horse-farming operation, and she founded the Kentucky Philanthrophy Initiative and a consulting business.
Gene Clabes, whose expertise is in community journalism, serves as a senior adviser to KyForward’s reporting, editing and marketing staff. He is an award-winning reporter and former owner/publisher of a group of award winning community weeklies in northern Kentucky. A thoroughbred owner, trainer and breeder, he was equine director for the Kentucky Equine Education Project for five years. He has also been a college-level teacher of journalism and served as president of the Kentucky Press Association.
The couple is helping to establish the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism (The Center/KCPSJ), a nonprofit with 501-c-3 status pending, which will be a nonpartisan, independent news organization in Lexington aimed at producing in depth, informative and explanatory journalism in the public interest.
The ETSPJ program begins with a networking reception at 6 p.m. The program will run 6:30-7:30 p.m. with a question and answer period to follow. It is open to the public. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are recommended to assure a seat.