Terre Haute is the city where I've lived my entire life --- I’m connected to this place.
Today, I’m asking myself one question: Why didn’t I start this website sooner?
I wanted to be a reporter since I was a third-grader attending DeVaney Elementary School. No, it’s not the most ambitious calling, but it’s what I do well. When I graduated from journalism school 13 years ago, my only real goal was to work for my hometown newspaper. It'd be convenient to work there, I thought, while I raised my two young children as a single mother.
But. I didn’t ever work there.
In fact, all of the newsrooms I worked from were far from my residence. In Indiana: Vincennes, Washington and Brazil, I also worked in Paris, Ill. and most recently in Sullivan County.
I’d do it all over again if I had to, including the sometimes challenging commutes to work. The experiences have been invaluable. Although, in all honesty, I always envied my coworkers who were true residents of the city where the newspaper office is located.
Regardless of where you write about, knowing what's important to the people there is “central” to a reporter’s work.
To report on the city you were born in -- or even just resided a few years -- I always felt was the ideal job. That was the only real disconnect I experienced as a reporter through the years. For instance, discovering the emotional ties communities have to something: In Paris, there was Ernie Eveland Gymnasium at the high school when a new one was going to be built; In Sullivan, there was the former Central Elementary School site that many hope to preserve and develop into a community plaza; And, in Brazil, I remember they had an annual Popcorn Festival -- while I never had the pleasure to attend, I heard the buzz in the newsroom at the time. I don’t think it's held anymore, but I'd bet the community still values the memories.
The stroke of luck for me came a year ago, when I took up the offer to work for the online media, NewsBarb. Forget the close-to-home appeal; I did most of the work from my home -- until the business closed last week.
My year there reinforced what I’ve long known. I should cover more news in Terre Haute, my hometown. Not exclusively, but regularly. This website allows me to do just that. Indiana Central News (ICN) is all about the immediate areas, including nearby cities and towns -- pending funding.
As you get to know me, remember this about ICN: Community News, Events, the Front Page and various blogs are always free. I appreciate donations. All the important local news you really need to read, including coverage of police, government and business. Contact me with your news at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News Writer: Lucy Perry