INDIANAPOLIS — Aug. 15, 2023 — After a competitive six-month search, the Indiana Local News Initiative, a new nonprofit organization that has raised more than $10 million so far to ensure all residents of Indiana have access to the news and information they need, has hired Oseye Boyd as its Indianapolis Editor in Chief.
Boyd, an accomplished journalist with deep ties to Indianapolis, will leverage her experience in leading newsrooms, developing journalism talent, and reporting locally in Indiana to launch the newsroom for Indianapolis. Her strong track record of award-winning coverage and creative community engagement make her uniquely suited to lead this groundbreaking effort. Currently, she is the public engagement editor at the Indianapolis Star, where she spearheaded innovative efforts to center community perspectives in the newsroom. Since joining the Star in 2022, Boyd launched the Black Community Advisory Council for Black residents and leaders to provide regular feedback on the Star’s coverage. She also created the podcast Voices of the Community, which highlights those working behind-the-scenes to make the city and state a better place.
Boyd was formerly the editor in chief of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and Indiana Minority Business Magazine, where she led a team of reporters to produce several award-winning packages on issues impacting the city’s Black community. She has also worked as a reporter and editor at the Star Press in Muncie, and teaches journalism at the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism and Creative Media at Butler University.
“I’m honored to serve my community by increasing local news coverage in Indianapolis,” Boyd said. “My goal as editor in chief is not only to deliver the news by making it accessible and relevant to our residents but also to create strong relationships with our community members so we become their trusted go-to source for news and information that empowers them in their daily lives.”
Boyd was hired after an extensive search led by a committee of local and industry experts. As part of the process, a panel of residents interviewed Boyd and other candidates on how they would serve local communities, then made recommendations to the search committee.
“Oseye brings an unparalleled level of talent and passion to the role—she has impeccable news judgment, an empathetic leadership style, and a commitment to making meaningful journalism accessible to all Hoosiers,” said Karen Ferguson Fuson, board chair of the Indiana Local News Initiative and member of the initiative’s Editor in Chief search committee.
“It’s meaningful that this rigorous search and a highly competitive process resulted in the hiring of an editor in chief who is from Indianapolis and who has spent her career serving our communities,” said Tamara Winfrey-Harris, President, Women's Fund of Central Indiana and member of the search committee. “We will all be excited to see how Oseye leverages her background and experience to do more innovative, community-centered local journalism for our city.”
With its founding Indianapolis Editor in Chief in place, the Indiana Local News Initiative will begin hiring other key members of the newsroom team, including a managing editor, an audience development director, a Documenters assignment editor, and various reporting positions. The managing editor will play a vital role in shaping the newsroom, recruiting and managing a team of beat reporters to produce a steady stream of hard-hitting, contextual accountability stories and actionable service journalism.
The audience development director will drive the newsroom’s strategy in reaching as many Indianapolis residents as possible while developing a strong and growing base of membership support. The Documenters assignment editor is a role that will oversee one of the initiative’s innovative community journalism programs, Indianapolis Documenters, which trains and pays residents to cover local government meetings.
These and additional jobs will be posted at https://www.localnewsforindiana.org/jobs in coming months. The initiative will be hosting its first Indy Documenters training on August 24; those interested can find more information at https://www.localnewsforindiana.org/posts/indy-documenters.
Very special thanks to the Editor in Chief search committee members:
- Karen Ferguson Fuson, Board chair of the Indiana Local News Initiative and former publisher of the Indianapolis Star
- Kevin Corcoran, Veteran Indiana journalist and strategy director of the Lumina Foundation
- Tamara Winfrey-Harris, President of the Women's Fund of Central Indiana
- Mizell Stewart III, Former editor of the Evansville Courier & Press and former executive of the Gannett & USA TODAY Network
- Loretta Chao, Vice President for Strategy & Startups at the American Journalism Project
And to resident interviewers, who included:
- Jackie Martinez, local-business web developer
- Sitashma Thapa, Climate advocacy and Philanthropy research
- Kinsey Bussell, Marion County Reentry Coalition Associate at Community Solutions
- Korie "KP" Griggs, author and communal care advocate
- Lee Farquhar, Director of Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism & Creative Media at Butler University
About the Indiana Local News Initiative
The Indiana Local News Initiative is a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, fiscally sponsored by the American Journalism Project. With $10 million raised so far, it is on a mission to ensure all residents of Indiana have the local news and information they want and need, and is filling information gaps with the launch of a robust newsroom in Central Indiana, facilitating investments in journalism outlets around the state, and fostering collaboration among Indiana outlets to amplify local journalism for all Hoosiers, especially underserved communities.
The initiative receives support from a broad coalition of philanthropies including the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Myrta Pulliam, Lumina Foundation, John Mutz, Michael Arnolt, the Robert R. and Gayle T. Meyer Family Fund, Joyce Foundation and the Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the American Journalism Project. The initiative will continue fundraising and making investments to fulfill its mission of ensuring information gaps are filled for all of Indiana’s communities.