What is Free Press Indiana?
Free Press Indiana is a new effort by a coalition of locally-based philanthropies, news organizations, and the American Journalism Project. The group has raised almost $10 million to fill information gaps across the state through launching new community-centered newsrooms, starting with Mirror Indy in Indianapolis, facilitating investments in other local media outlets, and fostering collaboration among partners in the Indiana media ecosystem.
How does Free Press Indiana work with other Indiana news outlets?
Free Press Indiana has one mission to ensure every resident of Indiana has the local news they need, and three strategies to achieve that mission: filling gaps through launching new, community-centered newsrooms where needed; facilitating investment for other media outlets to strengthen their news and impact; and foster collaboration among partners to close coverage gaps, share content and make more local journalism available to more people.
All of our current partners can be found on the About Us page.
What makes the newsrooms of Free Press Indiana community-focused?
Free Press Indiana’s first newsroom, Mirror Indy, will enable the production of enough independent, nonpartisan local news to make an impact on the lives of residents, and to ensure that news is directly responsive to what local communities need. Its content will be informed by a comprehensive, statewide research study conducted by the American Journalism Project that included input from over 1,000 Hoosiers.
The newsroom will continue that community engagement, including through a community reporting program, through which the newsroom will train, pay, and work directly with community members to lift the voices of their neighbors and help set priorities for the newsroom. It will also endeavor to produce information in accessible formats.
Who is supporting Free Press Indiana?
A broad coalition of philanthropies has raised almost $10 million to support the mission. It includes both local and national philanthropies, and grants to organizations including Capital B, a nonprofit news organization that will soon launch a newsroom in Gary, the Indianapolis Recorder, The Statehouse File, Public News Service, and the Indiana Citizen.
Partners of the initiative include all of the aforementioned outlets, as well as the Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism at Indiana University, Chalkbeat Indiana, Hoosier State Press Association, Indiana Capital Chronicle, The Indianapolis Star, and WFYI.
Partners will work together to serve all audiences of the state and close coverage gaps; have access to republish news and information produced by Free Press Indiana for the benefit of their audiences; and have access to resources and programs created or funded by the effort.
How did Free Press Indiana get started?
In 2021, a steering committee of local journalism, community and business leaders including Tamara Winfrey-Harris, president of the Women's Fund of Central Indiana; Mark Miles, chief executive officer of Penske Entertainment Corp.; Rafael Sanchez, chief impact officer at Old National Bank; Myrta Pulliam, journalist and community leader; Kevin Corcoran, veteran Indiana journalist and strategy director at Lumina Foundation; and Karen Ferguson Fuson, former publisher of the Indianapolis Star, came together to lead a comprehensive statewide research study in partnership with the American Journalism Project.
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.
As a result of the study, a coalition of Indiana organizations and philanthropists have raised almost $10 million to launch Free Press Indiana, dedicated to making quality, independent local news and information freely accessible to all residents of Indiana.
How can I get involved in Free Press Indiana?
There are already many ways to get involved! You can share your perspective on what you’d like to see covered, by taking this survey. You can also help by spreading the word, and getting talented nonprofit and journalism leaders to apply for open roles. We’ll be sharing updates along the way, so share your e-mail with us if you’d like to hear about the initiative occasionally. And if you feel your region of Indiana is ready to join the network and build a movement for local news as well, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.