The Indiana Local News Initiative is a 501(c)3-pending nonprofit organization, announced in February 2023. With $10 million raised so far, it is on a mission to ensure all residents of Indiana have the local news and information they want and need, and is filling information gaps with the launch of a robust newsroom in Central Indiana, facilitating investments in journalism outlets around the state, and fostering collaboration among Indiana outlets to close coverage gaps, share content and make more local journalism available to all Hoosiers who need it. The initiative receives support from a broad coalition of philanthropies.
The announcement follows a comprehensive statewide research study led by a steering committee of local journalism, community and business leaders, working together with a team of 27 community ambassadors representing a wide range of experiences and backgrounds across the state, and through text messaging and online surveys, interviews and focus groups, researchers heard from over 1,000 Hoosiers across 79 counties who said they needed more unbiased, fact-based information about their communities.
The initiative will form a newsroom in Central Indiana and employ innovative community journalism programs that engage residents in setting coverage priorities. Outcomes of facilitated investments include the announcement of a new newsroom serving Gary by American Journalism Project grantee, Capital B, and additional capacity for existing outlets including the Indianapolis Recorder, Indiana News Service, a bureau of Public News Service, and Franklin College’s TheStatehouseFile.com.
“With these initial investments, we are adding some 30 local news jobs and hope to add many more. We’ll be working together with partners to amplify existing coverage, close coverage gaps and drastically increase the amount of unbiased original reporting in Indiana. Community and collaboration are the core of this initiative.”