Upon the discontinuation of the local newspaper in 2021, a group of local community members recognized their duty to reinstate a means of connecting with the community and delivering up-to-date information. Thus, the Owen News Project was born. These members developed a comprehensive strategy and actively sought the support of the Owen County Community Foundation to facilitate its execution.
Owen News was named one of the two recipients for the OCCF’s 2022 Large Impact Grant, and was awarded a planning grant of $10,000. This grant has allowed the Project to research other non-profit news organizations; pursue possible partnerships with DePauw University and Indiana University; and establish the Journalism Advisory Board. With the help of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce’s new Business Buildout Program, they have developed a website, which can be accessed here: https://www.theowennews.org/.
The project has also received a $2,500 grant from the Lilly Lead Forward Community Grants program to begin a spark club that will teach media literacy to Owen County youth who aspire to become local news writers. This club “will include interviews with community leaders and ‘celebrities’, a presentation from Public Access Counselor Luke Britt and a fake news game show. [Students] will have the chance to provide coverage…and to provide a vital missing piece of news coverage to the community.”
Great strides have already been made with an anticipated publication date in early Fall. Content will be provided free based on donations and ad sales. If you would like to make a contribution, please visit the Owen News website or contact the Owen County Community Foundation at 812-829-1725 or email@example.com.