Spring 2021

Community news deserts and underserved populations (Virginia Ball Center)

Where do you get your news? Is it on your phone? Is it from social media? Where do you get news about your community where you grew up? How do you follow what’s happening in your town or at your old school?


At this writing, Muncie’s primary news and information is provided by a still-daily newspaper and its diminishing staff, one commercial radio station with a minimal news crew, a digital-only publication that focuses on “good news” only, and a small public media staff associated with the university whose primary focus is entertainment programming, and a handful of primarily on-campus student-run publications and news outlets. There are a few independent citizen journalists, as well, with limited reach.


Evidence is mounting that there is an opportunity to do more, particularly as it relates to underserved populations, in the matters of race, ethnicity and gender.


In Spring 2021, join Juli Metzger, Associate Lecturer in Journalism, Dr. Melinda Messineo, Professor in Sociology, for a Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry immersive learning course on news deserts. Under the direction of Metzger, and Messineo, this unique transdisciplinary class will examine the phenomenon of the local news desert, gaps in the market and alternative media platforms and projects. The course will teach research methods, the sociology of media and examine today’s media environment in Muncie as Middletown, one of the most studied cities in America.


Students of ALL MAJORS are eligible to apply. Students with an interest social sciences, journalism and multimedia storytelling, are especially encouraged to submit. Please apply here.


Applications close on November 1, 2020.