Muncie: The Star Press Has Vanished

Gannett Newspaper Vanishes Into Black Hole

Suppose one utilizes the internet these days to research meaningful subjects. In that case, you will find the following information about Muncie’s daily newspaper, The Star Press or Gannett daily newspaper, once heralded as Muncie, Indiana’s hometown newspaper:

The Muncie Star was first published in 1899 by owner George McCulloch. In 1901, McCulloch purchased the Muncie Morning News, thus publishing two daily papers; the Muncie Morning Star and the Muncie Evening Press.

The newspapers were sold to John C. Shaffer in 1904, then eventually sold to Eugene Pullam’s company, Central Newspaper Inc. In 1996, the two newspapers were consolidated to a single publication, the Muncie Star Press. Gannett purchased the newspapers in 2000 and is the current owner.

Not Really a Hometown Newspaper

If one were to be technical, the “hometown newspaper” label should have been dropped in 1996. Instead, the newspaper has been in a state of decline since the mid-70s. Many make excuses that social media and the advent of the internet were the cause, but all of these excuses cover the fundamental failure of legacy media.

As history will reveal, the failure of all legacy media like The Star Press directly dropped its constitutional power of the free press. Once the media outlets abandoned their power to work for the people searching for profits, their fate was set in stone—each media outlet set in motion their destruction when they chose profits over the power of the truth.

The causation for the media’s collapse has been detailed at length by Noam Chomsky in the 80s and 90s. The effect was self-destruction over three decades, piece by piece.

Currently, the “local Muncie Star Press” operates out of the abandoned Chase building in downtown Muncie. A security guard from the Ivy Tech building took this photo of the “office window” of a closed-door on the third floor.

The Muncie Star Press

All the locals, including the Chamber of Commerce folks, are hilarious. They clamor about supporting local businesses have been directing people to The Star Press, which hasn’t been locally owned since 2000 or two decades ago. It makes one wonder about Woof Boom Radio or the Muncie Journal or WLBC.

Who Owns Muncie’s “Local Newspaper” Now

Just like when I discovered Ball State’s investment losses under JoAnn Gora’s presidency. With the help of Seth Slabaugh at The Star Press and local law firm Defur Voran, Gora used her buddy, former Governor Mitch Daniels, to hide the $13.1 million truth. Yes, the truth was buried in Reuter’s newspaper so donors and residents would think she was stupid for getting scammed by a con man from Ghana.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the death of our newspaper was also hidden obscurely without any fanfare on the internet in a Reuters article. Gannett was bought out by Gatehouse Media and then was acquired by several entities buried deep in the land of LLC incorporations and inevitably swallowed by a Japanese multinational:

Faced with declining revenue, Gannett has invested millions in the last few years to scale up its digital footprint. Sales, however, haven’t quite picked up as yet. The company, which also owns local papers ranging from the Detroit Free Press to the El Paso Times, missed second-quarter revenue on Monday.

Now by merging, the companies expect to cut costs by $275-300 million annually and said they would together have 263 daily media organizations across 47 states, as well as USA Today. New Media and Gannett are the largest U.S. newspaper owners by circulation, according to Statista.

About 25% of the combined company’s revenue will come from digital, New Media Chief Executive Officer Michael Reed said on a conference call.

New Media is run by Fortress Investment Group, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T, and has built the largest chain of local U.S. papers, including 156 dailies from the Austin American-Statesman to the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon.

Some folks would say this is propaganda – others would call it lying by omission. Does it matter which one it is at this point?

I know well-educated people who still deny the newspaper’s collapse or failure. I had one intelligent person excuse that COVID has been hard on newspapers and other media entities. Really?

In Summary

Public relations and advertising are concepts created out of mass consumerism. Their goal is to make you feel less than unless you buy their product or service. It’s tricking the unconscious mind into a form of neediness. Yes, some people become addicted to shopping as a result. Consumerism was highly prevalent beginning after WW2.

However, the sole purpose of the free press is to hold the government accountable. When the Oligarchy began corrupting the government and vice versa, the role of The Star Press was to serve their subscribers to keep the government accountable. The problem is they couldn’t, or they’d lose their advertisers since they were the same. So the owners of the newspapers began ‘pulling stories’ that could cause harm. As Chomsky noted, this decision would prove fateful for the industry.

The free press became the media propaganda industry. They ‘created the news’ for the government and industry, but they did poorly. Over time, they lost their credibility, and people stopped trusting them. It was a death spiral into what we see today in Muncie, Indiana – Middletown, USA. A ghost newspaper and Muncie Journal endorsed by the government and the Oligarchy. That’s all they have left to convince the people that they have a democracy with a press holding them accountable. It’s a fraud!

How long will the people believe this ghost of a newspaper? Days, weeks, months, years…?

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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