Democracy & The Informed Citizen

Thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation of State Humanities Councils, we are spending another year on the road around Kentucky examining the essential role that journalism and the humanities play in creating an informed citizenry.

Join us in between March 2020 and February 2021 as our Democracy & the Informed Citizen program travels to seven Kentucky cities:

  • September 23, 2020 — Transylvania University, Lexington - Virtual Event. See below.
  • Cancelled  —Jody Richards Hall at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
  • October 7, 2021 - 7:00 pm - Young Auditorium at University of Kentucky, Lexington
  • September 14, 2021 - 6:00 pm - A virtual event, Columnist Tony Messenger, with Jennifer Brown, Drew Seib, Chad Lampe, and Dana Thompson discuss the intersection of transparency and news literacy. 
    You may watch the event here.
  • Reschdeuling - Auditorium at Owensboro Community and Technical College, Owensboro
  • Rescheduling - University of Louisville, Louisville
  • Rescheduling - Hazard Community and Technical College, Hazard
  • February 8, 2022 - University of Pikeville - David Brooks presentation

More information coming soon. We are still working out the details of all the events.




September 23, 2020 - 7:00 pm EDT -

Prominent photographers to discuss campaign photography in a digital world at Transylvania, Kentucky Humanities event


Four photographers who spent years in and around the White House and national political campaigns will come together for a virtual discussion on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. hosted by Transylvania University and Kentucky Humanities. 


“Through the Lens: Campaign Photography in a Digital World” will examine the role visuals play in campaigns and whether digital imagery serves as a reliable source of information. The discussion includes award-winning photographers Sharon Farmer, Ryan Morris, Paul Morse and Chris Usher and will be moderated by local journalist and Transy Rambler adviser Jennifer Palumbo. 


“Kentucky Humanities’ Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative looks at the ‘shifting media landscape and how it affects our ability to access information, assess its credibility, and analyze its significance.’ This discussion will challenge audience members to understand the role visuals play in campaigns and whether digital imagery serves as a reliable source of information,” said Megan Moloney, Transylvania’s vice president for marketing and communications. 


Bill Goodman, executive director of Kentucky Humanities, said, "As an adjunct journalism professor at Transylvania, I try to demonstrate to my class why journalism matters and how American journalism has historically responded to periods of political upheaval and social change. Journalism has always been there in a developing democracy to report the truth and base the truth on facts. This is what Democracy and the Informed Citizen is all about.”


The photographers participating in “Through the Lens” are also part “Fact/itious,” the first exhibition of the year in Transylvania’s Morlan Gallery. The exhibition will be hosted online from Sept. 8 to Oct. 9. They will also connect with Transylvania students and faculty virtually to discuss their careers and photography.


The 7 p.m. virtual event, which will be hosted on Transylvania’s website and YouTube channel, kicks off the university’s New Frontiers event series for 2020


Democracy and the Informed Citizen is administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism and an informed citizenry. The series, including “Through the Lens,” is also funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 


Kentucky Humanities is a nonprofit affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. For information about Kentucky Humanities’ programs and services, visit


For more information on this event, visit