Local reporting matters.
Investigative reporters and public interest journalism keep our elected leaders accountable. Feature writers and sports journalists, with their regular updates on happenings around town and the ups-and-downs of hometown teams, forge a sense of community. And, as 2020 has proven many times over, reporters put massive, world-changing events (a global pandemic, an economic crisis, nationwide protests, a presidential election) into a local context and explain how distant or abstract issues play out in residents’ lives.
Yet local journalism is under threat. The business model of ad-supported print media has collapsed. News is consolidating, journalists are getting laid off, and reporters are being asked to do more with less. No one knows a community like the local reporters, yet there are fewer of them every day.
How do you get your news? How often do you seek out—and pay for—local reporting? What kind of stories are or aren’t told when we lose local journalists? What’s the connection between thriving local media and a healthy, engaged community? How do journalists make decisions about where to put to their focus, and what do they really think of the comments section?
Indiana Humanities, in partnership with the Hoosier State Press Association, is excited to dig into these and other questions during Chew On This: Why Does Local Reporting Matter?, a statewide virtual dinner party on Sept. 22. Sign up for one of these fun yet in-depth conversations facilitated by Indiana journalists:
Group 1: Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, and Ryan Martin, The Indianapolis Star
Group 2: Adam Wren, Importantville/Politico/Indianapolis Monthly, and Ebony Chappel, Open Lines and What’s Good with Ebony Chappel (Indianapolis)
Group 3: Terry Anker, Current in Carmel, and Nate Feltman, Indianapolis Business Journal
Group 4: Don Hurd, Hoosier Media Group, and Ray Cooney, The Commercial Review (Portland)
Group 5: Richarh Tyson, Channel 27 (Marion), and Jeff Kovaleski, Kokomo Tribune
Group 6: Scott Agness, Fieldhouse Files (Indianapolis), and James Boyd, The Times of Northwest Indiana
Group 7: Michael Puente, WBEZ Chicago/Northwest Indiana and Indiana Pro SPJ President, and Michael Wanbaugh, South Bend Tribune
Group 8: Scott Underwood, The Herald Bulletin (Anderson), and Katrice Hardy, The Indianapolis Star
Group 9: Kathy Tretter, The Ferdinand News and Spencer County Leader, and Max Jones, Tribune-Star (Terre Haute)
This program is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” initiative, made possible thanks to the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes.