Indiana Local News Initiative launches CEO search, hires director
INDIANPOLIS — The nonprofit news organization Indiana Local News Initiative announced Friday that they have hired its first Community Journalism Director and have formed a CEO search committee.
The organization is dedicated to filling information gaps across Indiana, facilitating investment in local journalism, and fostering collaboration among Indiana media outlets.
The group is launching a 25-person news organization in Central Indiana later this year. According to a press release, they have hired Ariana Beedie as Central Indiana Community Journalism Director.
Beedie joins the group from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, where she was Director of Neighborhood Engagement.
Beedie started in Indiana journalism in Evansville, Ind. and co-founded FAF Collective, an online publication highlighting stories of black, brown and marginalized people in Indianapolis.
She has also worked for WFYI and has been published in AFROPUNK and Sixty Inches from Center.
“It’s very exciting to be able to work with my two passions: journalism and community,” Beedie said. “Indianapolis is an incredible city. This publication will highlight, elevate and truly engage residents around what’s happening in our neighborhoods. It will work for and with neighbors to ensure the stories are accurate, and truly serve and reflect Central Indiana communities.”
Bringing a wide breadth of journalism, media, business, and nonprofit experience in Indiana to the organization, founding board members include Carolene Mays, former State Representative & president of the Indianapolis Recorder; Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp.; Michael Ouimette, Chief Investment Officer of the American Journalism Project; Melissa Proffitt, Partner at Ice Miller; Myrta Pulliam, journalist and community leader; and Nichole Wilson, Vice President of Community Health Operations at Indiana University Health. Karen Ferguson Fuson, former publisher of the Indianapolis Star and president of Gannett West Group, is board chair.
“This initiative will help bring to light all of the many untold stories that make up the fabric of our community—the individuals, neighbors and the contributions they make, the stories they’ve lived and persevered through,” Wilson said. “We will be sharing impactful stories of the people doing real work in our neighborhoods and our cities on a more consistent, authentic basis.”
“The success of this project will strengthen our democracy by better informing Hoosiers about topics important to them,” Miles said. “This initiative is vital for the future of our state and I’m proud to be supporting it as a founding board member.”
Ferguson Fuson, Mays, and Ouimette are serving on the initiative’s CEO search committee along with Irving Washington, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, who is from Indianapolis and was previously CEO of the Online News Association, one of the world’s largest membership organizations for digital journalists, and a leader at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). The initiative is looking for a CEO that is passionate about the future of the entire state and the role that public journalism has to play in strengthening local democracy and our communities; who can deliver on the initiative’s mission to fill gaps, facilitate investments, and foster collaboration; and who can build and lead an ambitious civic institution that is equitable, inclusive, and representative of the diversity of the state. The incoming CEO has the opportunity to blaze a trail. The board and search committee welcome applications from people of all professional backgrounds and from all sectors. More information can be found at https://www.localnewsforindiana.org/jobs/ceo.
The initiative’s search for a Central Indiana Editor in Chief is ongoing, and more open roles will follow. The latest information about openings is available at http://localnewsforindiana.org/jobs.
“This initiative started with community input and grew into a broad coalition that is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The addition of these dedicated community leaders in our state is our first step in building an organization that can fill critical gaps in local news and information and enable our neighborhoods and communities to thrive,” Ferguson Fuson said. “We are grateful for the input and support we’ve received from community members throughout this process and hope to continue working in partnership to realize this ambitious mission.”
WISH-TV and Circle City Broadcasting are proud to partner with the Indiana Local News Initiative.