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WISH-TV joins $10M effort to preserve access to local news

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Preserving access to local news is the goal of a group of Hoosiers who’ve raised $10 million.

Indiana Local News Initiative on Wednesday morning announced plans to launch a 25-person news organization to “produce accountability reporting” and start “innovative community journalism programs” in central Indiana. In addition, the group hopes to launch a newsroom in Gary, and provide support to these existing Indiana news services: Franklin College’s, The Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, and Public News Service bureau’s Indiana News Service.

“It is very exciting. It’s important and it couldn’t be more important than it is now,” the board chair of the Indiana Local News Initiative, Karen Ferguson Fuson, said.

After listening to more than 1,000 Hoosiers through interviews and surveys, Fuson said, “We developed some ideas about how we could come into the nonprofit space using that research and develop this organization, but that the key was collaboration.”

“None of us are delivering to every audience in the state of Indiana, so it makes sense that it’s kind of the Hoosier way to come together and collaborate and figure out how we can work together, how we can fill gaps, not be redundant, and really make sure we serve the people of Indiana,” Fuson said.

She says they hope to start producing local news before the end of the year.

“The more we can engage, the more we can be community-based and engaged partners, the more successful we’re going to be and that makes our state more successful.”

Job openings for the initiative were to be posted Wednesday on the group’s website,

WISH-TV will be a newsroom partner in the project.