|William Wright studied journalism and political science at the University of Kentucky. He served as Editor-in-Chief of UK’s independent student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, where he led a staff of 14 editors and more than a dozen photographers and writers. During his time at the newspaper, Wright received multiple national and statewide awards for his reporting. The Kernel won the prestigious Pacemaker award for the 2015-16 school year, when Wright was Editor-in-Chief. Previously, Wright served as managing editor and assistant news editor at the Kentucky Kernel.
His internships include the Sacramento Bee, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and Lexington Family Magazine. At the Lexington Herald-Leader, Wright covered local and state politics, crime and the environment. He also collaborated with other interns and employees to create visual packages for his stories, including videos and graphics. His duties at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting included reporting stories and writing articles for the KyCIR’s website and assisting the newsroom by filing open records requests and initiating appeals with the state attorney general’s office. Wright has experience in multi-media reporting and social media — in 2015, he won 1st and 2nd place in the Kentucky Press Association’s “Best Use of Social Media” award.
Wright is from Eighty Four, foothills of southwestern Pennsylvania. As a native Appalachian, Wright became more and more concerned with the pressing problems facing Appalachia, and eager to find a way to fix them. It is his belief that Appalachia needs public service journalism more than just about anywhere, and the fellowship opportunity is a ticket for him to give back to the region that gave him everything, and to deepen his understanding of this complex and sometimes difficult part of the country. Wright recently embarked on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in March 2017. The footpath stretches for more than 2,100 miles from its southern terminus in Georgia to its northern in Maine.