Investigation: Murray State University Skip to content

Investigation: Murray State University

The conclusion of a three-part series covering the conflict and lawsuit between WPSD and Murray State.

Next week, Circuit Court Judge John L. Atkins is expected to rule on WPSD-TV’s motion seeking payment of fees and penalties in its ongoing litigation with Murray State University. This most recent development comes more than a month after a February ruling where Atkins said the university willfully violated Kentucky’s Open Records law. He called Murray State’s actions a scheme “at odds with existing law.”

The ruling came after WPSD started an investigation in October of 2022 into Murray State University administrators and the university’s public radio station, WKMS.

Documents obtained by WPSD portray an award-winning public radio news department struggling with administrators, particularly Murray State University President Robert “Bob” Jackson, about investigative reporting involving state lawmakers and other public figures and institutions. Jackson served in the Kentucky State Senate from 1997 to 2004.

The pressure came after complaints from Kentucky state senators, other public officials and at least one member of the University Board of Regents. WPSD’s reporting highlighted the obstacles WKMS journalists faced as they worked to gather facts and other information to report newsworthy stories in the local community.

WPSD amassed hundreds of pages of email correspondence, contracts, reports and other paperwork through multiple open records requests. Those documents reveal Murray State’s top brass discussing punitive funding cuts for award-winning radio station WKMS. Reporting revealed how Jackson actively rejected a distinguished grant to fund a reporter position with WKMS Radio.

The Sun is publishing WPSD’s special reporting that ultimately led to the lawsuit. This is the third and final installment of those special reports.

Read the rest at The Paducah Sun.

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