About Forward Kentucky

What is Forward Kentucky?

Forward Kentucky is a progressive media operation based in Kentucky and focused on Kentucky politics, politicians, and policies, with the goal of helping our state move forward and be all that it can be.

What do you mean by a “media operation”?

We are a combination of a news outlet, an editorial page, and a think tank. Imagine an MSNBC for Kentucky, with the addition of progressive commentary, the Vox explainers, and policy articles.

A slightly longer explanation is this bullet list:

  • Journalism that’s objective
  • Policy that’s effective
  • Commentary that’s progressive

So you are trying to do both straight-up journalism and push progressive issues? How does that work?

Well, it’s not easy. Many people already have a negative opinion of reporters and journalists, and think that most reporting is “fake news.” Our goal is to build a reputation for fairness and accuracy in our reporting, while at the same time building a strong voice for progressive policies and principles. And, calling out bad government, no matter who does it (Dem or Rep or other). We already label our articles as News or Commentary or Policy or Activism. Over time, we hope both elected officials and everyday citizens will come to trust our journalism work, even if they disagree with our progressive values. We shall see.

Kentucky Press AssociationOne development we are proud of is being accepted as a member of the Kentucky Press Association, the professional organization for journalism outlets. Our regular contributors carry media passes from KPA, so they can identify themselves as part of an established news outlet.

Who is behind this?

Forward Kentucky was founded by Bruce Maples, who has been active in Democratic politics in Louisville for over a decade, including being on the local Executive Committee, being heavily involved in the Metro Democratic Club, and running for Metro Council in 2014. (He lost; it wasn’t a good night for the Blue team. <g>)

Are you a non-profit?

No, we are a for-profit company (Maples Media LLC). We did this intentionally, in order to be able to endorse candidates if we choose to, like your local news outlets can do. We can put up Act Blue pages for candidates, which we have done in the past, but as a corporation, the one thing we cannot do is donate to candidates.

How, then, do you support yourself?

We did a crowdfunding drive in 2016 to get started, but that was a one-time thing. We receive some income through subscriptions, and Bruce Maples continues to put money in as needed to pay our contributors. We also get some money from sponsors, who get some recognition and advertising in return..

How can I get involved, and what are the “levels” of involvement?

Level 1Follow us on social media (see below), which is free.
Level 2Sign up for our email list, which is free. You can also subscribe to the Forward Five (a short list of “five things you need to know today” delivered M-F), and to Action Alerts (in-the-moment emails with an action you need to take, usually around legislation, like calling about Trumpcare). Go to ForwardKY.com/Email.
Level 3Become a Subscriber. There are three levels of monthly commitment: $3, $6, and $9. Each level gets more and more perks. To become a Subscriber, go to ForwardKY.com/Join


Where can I find Forward Kentucky content? What are your media channels?

Our website is ForwardKY.com. This is the home base, and a place you should check regularly for new stories.

Our other channels are:

  • Facebook – Go like our page on Facebook.
  • Twitter (Main) – Follow @ForwardKY. This is the site’s main feed.
  • Twitter (Bruce) – And, for a more eclectic mix of comments, you can follow our publisher’s feed. (RTs could mean anything.)
  • Podcasts – Our Moving Kentucky Forward podcast is available through iTunes. Each episode is also posted on our site under Media. And, if you choose, you can listen to them on the podcast web page at Libsyn, our hosting partner. You can also find them on Spotify, Soundcloud, and other podcast aggregators.
  • Videos – We have a YouTube channel that we post videos and podcasts to. We are also on Vimeo.
  • Medium – We post some of our longer and long-lasting stories on Medium, especially ones that will age well and that fit that reader-friendly format.
  • Pinterest – We have a small number of pins on our Pinterest site, but we are working on expanding that, especially with the use of infographics.
  • Instagram – We are just barely getting into Instagram, but will be expanding soon.