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.

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 memberships, and Bruce Maples continues to put money in as needed to pay our contributors. We are slowly adding advertising as well, but at this point that is not a significant source of income.

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

Level 1 Follow us on social media (see below), which is free.
Level 2 Sign 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/Join
Level 3 Become a Supporting Member. This costs $25 a year, or $9 a quarter, and gives you access to all our content. Go to ForwardKY.com/Join
Level 4 Become a Sustaining Member. This costs $50 a year, or $15 a quarter, and gives you access to all our content, as well as free or discounted prices to other activities and events. 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.)
  • iTunes / Libsyn – 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.
  • 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.
  • Apple News – We post many of our main news stories to Apple News.
  • Vimeo – We only have a few videos up on Vimeo, but are going to be adding more.