The State Journal welcomed a new face in the newsroom at the beginning of the week, adding another friendly personality to the staff locals have come to know.
Emily Perkins, a native of Harlan County, moved to Scott County over the weekend with her family. Perkins joins The State Journal after almost three years of reporting for The Harlan Enterprise, her hometown’s newspaper that prints weekly each Wednesday.
Chanda Veno, editor of The State Journal, said she is excited to have Perkins join her team.
“Emily is a promising, young journalist who honed her craft with our affiliate newspaper in Harlan for a few years,” she said. “We are excited and fortunate to have her as part of our team as we continue to serve Frankfort and Franklin County.”
Perkins said although she misses Harlan County and the many people who shaped her as a journalist there, she is ready for this next chapter of her life.
“The mountains in southeastern Kentucky will always be home, but I am ready to fully dedicate and plant myself in Frankfort and Franklin County. I am thankful everyone has been so welcoming and ready to work with me on showcasing this community,” Perkins said.
At the 2019 Kentucky Press Association Winter Convention, Perkins, who was 19 at the time, received her first award, bringing home first place in Best On-Going Story for her coverage of Blackjewel’s bankruptcy and the strikes that followed.
In 2020, Perkins was awarded with more KPA awards in the multi-weekly division for the Enterprise, including third place in Best Feature Story, third place in Best Sports Story, first place in Best Use of Social Media/Multimedia, third place in Best Video, second place in Best Special Section/Sports Special Section and third place in Best Graphic.
Perkins also joined the Harlan County Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of 2021 as secretary.
KPA Executive Director David Thompson wrote on Perkins’ new role as secretary in a story posted to the On Second Thought website.
“We don’t know that any records exist to dispute this, but it’s possible at age 20, Emily (Perkins) is the youngest, but certainly one of the youngest, people to serve as a member of a local chamber’s executive committee,” Thompson wrote.
Before becoming secretary of her hometown chamber of commerce, Perkins was awarded and presented with the Lawson Hoskins Dedication Award in 2020.
The Chamber shared this honor on its Facebook page with the following message:
“The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce’s Lawson-Hoskins Award is not an award that is given every single year. This award is one that comes when an individual, organization, or business shows exceptional dedication to Harlan County.
“In an unprecedented year where news is more important than ever, Emily has consistently shown up to cover all of the important stories in Harlan County and delivered them to our community in a timely fashion. Her commitment to Harlan County and the pride that she feels for Harlan County is evident in all of the stories she writes about our beautiful Appalachian community.
“It has been a tumultuous time for Harlan County among such things as labor strikes, a changing economic climate, a national pandemic, and so much more but you can rely on Emily [Perkins] to show up and deliver the news for Harlan County.”
Perkins can be reached via email at email@example.com or 502-209-6298.