Ball State Daily’s newest partner: Inform Muncie

Discover untold stories in Muncie

<p>Kate Elliott, assistant lecturer of journalism, with students in the fall 2023 Inform Muncie class. </p>

Kate Elliott, assistant lecturer of journalism, with students in the fall 2023 Inform Muncie class.

Ball State Daily is excited to partner with Inform Muncie, a student-led news outlet committed to collaborative and inclusive storytelling in Muncie. Ball State University journalism and strategic communication majors contribute to the publication, which focuses on underserved people and neighborhoods.

Inform Muncie launched in spring 2021 during an interdisciplinary seminar at Ball State University’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Juli Metzger, associate lecturer of journalism, and Melinda Messineo, professor of sociology, co-taught the course, which challenged students to immerse themselves in Muncie to give a voice to the voiceless.

The course published two print issues to accompany a range of online stories, podcast episodes and photo essays. The class distributed the free print issues to public spaces and nonprofits around town.

“While serving underserved communities is important, what is equally as important is to teach students how to cover diversity,” Metzger said. “We hear diversity, equity and inclusion thrown out, but what does that mean? What does it mean to cover that? What does it mean to learn how to cover a community that doesn’t look like you and sound like you or have the same beliefs as you?

“So, the real objective was to cover the community and give audiences some content they don’t get otherwise. But we also want to teach students to cover and to really be serious about equity and inclusion.”

Students in the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication work on Inform Muncie stories.

Metzger said Inform Muncie came after learning about the former Muncie Times, an African American publication, and wondering what a newspaper for under-represented groups would look like today.

When Metzger retired in May 2022, the publication took a pause. In fall 2023, Kate Elliott, assistant lecturer of journalism, revived Inform Muncie with a team of 20 students. The team collaborated with The Daily to rebuild the website site and start posting stories about underserved people and places in Muncie.

Since 2020, Elliott has guided the university’s first long-term partnership with a community partner, the 8twelve Coalition, which is a team of more than 25 neighborhood associations, nonprofits and organizations in Muncie. Students help produce the 8twelve’s newsletters each semester, which share news about the Thomas Park/Avondale and South Central neighborhoods.

Elliott said she hopes this established partnership with the 8twelve will fuel Inform Muncie content and invite residents to reach out with story ideas.

“Students are excited to get out into the community to tell stories that matter about communities that are often overlooked,” Elliott said. “We hope to continue to build relationships and trust with neighbors and to empower students to engage in community-focused storytelling.”

Explore Inform Muncie stories, podcasts and videos posted thus far, but the site is evolving every day as students continue to post stories. The site also features archived content.

Email story ideas to Kate Elliott at


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