Richard Essex and Michaela Springer WISH TV
This week marked the beginning of an extraordinary venture in journalism in central Indiana. Mirror Indy, the first newsroom launched in the state by Free Press Indiana, was created to be a reflection of Indianapolis, nodding to the past with an eye toward the future. WISH-TV and its parent company, Circle City Broadcasting, are documenting partners with Mirror Indy.
Oseye Boyd, Mirror Indy editor-in-chief, told I-Team 8, “The focal point is community, community-based news, community-based news accountability based news, we are all about the community.” Mirror Indy’s pale green and white website has nothing flashy and currently no advertisers. They are a not-for-profit news organization independent of advertiser money. Donations pay the staff of reporters and editors. They have raised close to $10 million to launch the project.
Boyd, a Muncie native and Ball State University graduate with several years of experience with the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Recorder, says the name Mirror Indy is more than just a catchy name.
“We choose that name because we are a reflection of Indianapolis, we love our city, we work in our city, we live in our city and we are a part of our city. We want to tell those stories that our community tells us they want to hear, so it is not a top-down approach to news, but a very bottom-up, grassroots approach. We are out in the community getting stories, so it is really all about the community.” Mirror Indy is a virtual newsroom with plans to have a brick-and-mortar location. The backbone of its operation is a team of seven reporters, and nine neighborhood “documentors.” The “documentors” are paid citizen journalists who do what the name implies.
Boyd said, “Getting regular everyday folk in local meetings is just an awesome way to help us. We are envisioning that you will see something ‘documentors’ did and then you will think, 'Oh that’s a good news story.' Any journalist can see what the ‘documentors’ are doing and use that as a basis of a news story -- that’s the hope.”
To learn more about Mirror Indy and to sign up for the daily newsletter, visit www.https://mirrorindy.org/