The Indiana Local News Initiative, a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $10 million to ensure all residents of Indiana have access to the news and information they need, has hired Bro Krift as its founding Chief Executive Officer after a competitive national search.
Krift is a seasoned leader with a passion for local news and a track record of helming ambitious journalism. He joins the Initiative from his role as executive editor at the Indianapolis Star, which he joined in 2021. In that role, Krift quickly established himself as a sharp and empathetic leader, building strong relationships in the journalism community and across the city. While Krift was at the Star, reporters were recognized for their examination of Indiana’s red flag laws after a mass shooting in Indianapolis, a series that was honored as a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and the staff’s tenacious coverage of changing abortion laws.
Prior to joining the Star, Krift led the Montgomery Advertiser, where the staff earned critical acclaim in 2018 for its unflinching examination of and apology for the role the newspaper played in proliferating white supremacy during the South’s lynching era.
“Being a part of community and caring for it — that’s at the heart of local journalism,” Krift said. “With the strong local coalition behind this initiative, we have an opportunity to work together to strengthen our local media and build a better future for our state, by telling more stories that solve our communities’ conflicts, rather than merely pointing them out. I’m elated for the opportunity to grow it here in Indiana and Indianapolis.”
While in Alabama he also held the role of state editor, collaborating with 12 newsrooms across Alabama and Louisiana. He has been an editor or reporter in three newsrooms in Texas, including managing editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and worked in Utah and Pennsylvania.
"Bro has just the right skills, experiences, and passion to lead the Indiana Local News Initiative as CEO," said Karen Ferguson Fuson, board chair of the Indiana Local News Initiative and member of the initiative’s CEO search committee. "He deeply understands the role local journalism plays in protecting democracy and positively impacting communities. He is committed to working with our funders, partners and team to ensure the Initiative is successful in our endeavor to bring more local news to more people in Indiana."
“Bro has a demonstrated track record of being in tune with how we can better serve communities with local news, including his desire to start the African American advisory council at the Star,” said Oseye Boyd, the initiative’s Indianapolis editor in chief. “He’s earned respect from those who’ve worked with him and is in a unique position to bring everyone together around the common goal of strengthening journalism in the state.”
As CEO, Krift will launch a network of community-centered nonprofit newsrooms around the state, beginning with a robust newsroom in Indianapolis. He will also play a key role in strengthening the local news ecosystem and rallying philanthropic support for partner organizations to bolster their work and impact. As one of the largest local coalitions to come together to address the local news crisis, the Initiative believes that investing in partnerships will prioritize service of underserved audiences, help preserve democracy, and make Indiana a better place to live for everyone.
Krift was selected by the Initiative’s board of directors following an extensive open search by a committee that included Ferguson Fuson, board member Michael Ouimette, chief investment officer at the American Journalism Project, and Irving Washington, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, who is from Indianapolis and was previously CEO of the Online NewsAssociation, one of the world’s largest membership organizations for digital journalists, and a leader at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
Krift will join a talented and growing team of journalists, including Indianapolis Editor in Chief Oseye Boyd, who will launch a 20-person newsroom in the city later this year following the launch in August of the Indy Documenters program, which trains and pays Indianapolis residents to document public meetings. The initiative is currently hiring for more than a dozen newsroom roles, and with Krift on board will soon be posting more business and operations roles at localnewsforindiana.org/jobs.
About the Indiana Local News Initiative
The Indiana Local News Initiative is a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, fiscally sponsored by the American Journalism Project and supported by its startups studio. 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 amplify local journalism for all Hoosiers, especially underserved communities.
Indiana Local News Initiative receives support from a broad coalition of philanthropies including the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Myrta Pulliam, Lumina Foundation, John Mutz, Michael Arnolt, the Robert R. and Gayle T. Meyer Family Fund, Joyce Foundation and the Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the American Journalism Project. The initiative will continue fundraising and making investments to fulfill its mission of ensuring information gaps are filled for all of Indiana’s communities.
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