Muncie Voice is now part of Middletown Media (MM), an Indiana corporation branding the following entities:
- Muncie Voice
- Muncie Matters
Muncie Voice is a progressive news/magazine outlet which is researching and sharing information of a politico-social nature. Over the past three decades, if not longer, we have experienced an unprecedented pro-business environment in Indiana and across the nation. So much so, research reports are surfacing now calling the U.S.A. an Oligarchy or Plutocracy, meaning a handful of very wealthy people and global interests have used the wealth obtained from our capitalistic economic system to influence our democracy – by investing and lobbying politicians in local, state and federal governments, they have acquired too much influence over our government. We believe the solution is to remove this influence and instill more democratic processes. The first objective is holding our press, government, and private sectors accountable for their role in reducing our democracy to the rule by a few monied interests. This is the role of Muncie Voice.
Findings of Muncie Voice
As a result of our exploration by Muncie Voice, we are learning the daily newspapers like the one owned by Gannett (The StarPress) is slowly fading into history like the horse and buggy. Over the years, they’ve consolidated and cut expenses, moved from long form investigative journalism to gossip rags who chase ambulances and cut corners to meet daily deadlines. The consequences are their product has diminished, but their advertising prices have escalated. Any business person knows this is a deadly combination – passing along the high cost of doing business to customers while producing a sub-par product.
The other issue is by abandoning investigative journalism of who it might offend (mainly advertisers), they’ve steered away from their primary purpose as defined by our constitution and founding fathers. Their role was to hold government accountable, while the government held our capitalists accountable. It was a simple setup of checks and balances. The capitalists figured out if they bought up the journalistic entities, then they could control the message and use media more as a tool for sales and public relations. Over several decades, the media underwent tremendous consolidation. Today, six corporate interests own 90% of all media we watch, listen to, and read. The same corporate executives serve on important boards and seats within the government and dictate policy. It’s a revolving door in Washington, D.C. with corporate executives, department head appointments, and lobbying firms.
Meanwhile, communities suffer.
New Economy Ownership Models
Another unique goal of Muncie Matters is to replace the typical corporate ownership. Our goal at Middletown Media is to develop a community journalism enterprise owned 100% by community members – a civic institution. A 100% locally owned media outlet will be responsive to the needs of the community and carried out by a local board of owners much like our local credit unions – a business cooperative venture. The members will not only own the media outlet, they will contribute to the outlet.
We’ve basically been paying a Virginia owned corporation to come into Muncie, collect our information, package it, and sell it back to us for a profit to their shareholders. The information shared is controlled by the hands of a few employees of the out-of-state company. Is it any wonder why this enterprise has failed our community?
We are fully aware this transition will be difficult for many, while others have already accepted the concept wanting to change overnight. It will take some time and education. We have good people in the community working on this and we have colleagues in other states working on similar collaborations.
In today’s world of information and high-tech, it’s all about creating a positive brand – story telling. We also believe Muncie is transitioning into a college town – Ball State University is our largest employer, but too many or their employees choose to live outside our community. Creating a community that will attract and support both employers and employees requires collaborations with a sincere desire to make a progressive college community. There is nothing preventing this from happening.
Past and Current Contributors
Holly Deavers Chance
Tobacco Free Coalition of D.C.
Todd Smekens Google