LkldNow is growing. Kimberly C. Moore, a skilled and experienced reporter with deep Lakeland roots, is joining our staff as a full-time reporter. During the last four years, Kimberly has covered Lakeland city government and then education for The Ledger, and local readers have witnessed the curiosity and passion for her hometown that drives her reporting.
With a background in print, broadcast and multimedia journalism, Kimberly exhibits a community-driven reporting style and probing intellect that will mesh well with the hyperlocal journalism that LkldNow has provided since its founding as a non-profit news organization in 2015.
My first contact with Kimberly was in the 1980s when she was a senior at Kathleen High School and I spoke to her journalism class, talking about my job at the time as city editor at the local daily newspaper. Even then she was asking interesting questions.
We reconnected after her college years, when she kept me updated on her experiences as a young broadcast reporter in the Mideast. After she returned stateside in 1991, she worked for States News Service in Washington, D.C. A big part of her job was covering Washington news for several Florida newspapers, including The Ledger, and I was one of her editors.
In subsequent years, Kimberly and I stayed in touch and we got together when she visited Lakeland. Over the years, she worked at Florida TV stations and Habitat for Humanity, spent seven years as a multimedia reporter for Florida Today in Melbourne, and took on various writing and editing roles in Gainesville.
When she returned to Lakeland, we were friendly competitors for awhile. She covered city government for The Ledger, and City Hall is a big part of the coverage I do for LkldNow. I realized that we were drawn to the same kinds of stories — ones that attempt to connect readers with their community by explaining important issues and introducing readers to people who make things happen.
Some of Kimberly’s in-depth projects for The Ledger have focused on the “sad state” of Florida’s mental health system, problems with Polk County Public Schools’ special education program, Polk County’s Black history, Lakeland’s Confederate history, and the ongoing issue of attempts to remove books from Polk school libraries.
Kimberly is a published author. Her first book, published in 1999, was “The Legend of He-Coon,” a children’s introduction to the life of Lawton Chiles, the Lakeland-born former Florida governor and U.S. senator.
In 2020, the University Press of Florida published Kimberly’s well-researched book, “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak.”
Kimberly was 2 years old when her family moved to Lakeland. She attended, in this order: Miss Janet’s Preschool in the Cleveland Heights area, Medulla Elementary, Lakeland Highlands Junior High, Kathleen High School, Polk Community College, and Florida State University.
She begins her position with LkldNow on June 6.
Kimberly’s hiring represents a new stage in the growth of LkldNow. In addition to me, our staff includes Trinity Laurino, our community engagement director, and we anticipate hiring another full-time journalist during the next year.
As LkldNow continues growing, we want to maintain a pipeline for journalists who embed in the community to preserve sources of in-depth community knowledge.
LkldNow has no pay wall. Our news is free to view for everyone so that there is no economic barrier to being informed. But we count on support from members of the community who value what we do and want to make sure it continues.
You can support us by joining our new membership program or making a donation. We also get support from local organizations who become sponsors and whose messages are displayed on our website; contact Trinity Laurino if interested. And we are also supported by grants from organizations such as the Google News Initiative, The Miami Foundation and the GiveWell Community Foundation.
We value all of our supporters and especially the members of their community who donate to keep our newsroom going.