Economic digest at work in Indiana

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Indiana newspapers that share regional economic development information help communities make better-informed decisions.

That’s one of the reasons the Indiana Economic Digest website exists, said Carol O. Rogers, deputy director of the Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelly School of Business.

Another is to benefit state papers.

The economic digest is a collection of daily news focusing on life sciences, business expansions and closings, education, taxes and more from newspapers around the state.

Editors can sign up to receive an email notifying them when information about dozens of categories they can choose from is posted on the site. Stories are sorted by most recent, statewide, topic, region, day of the week and county.

The story index on the site, indianaeconomicdigest.com, is the power behind the digest.

“You don’t just know what’s happening locally but regionally, and you get ideas for economic development,” Rogers said. “It’s very helpful to see, for example, business activity that might be booming along the new I-69 corridor. One can look at the regions that might be impacted.”

Information on business development is vital for community economic developers to know, she said.

“They can see what’s going on elsewhere in the state and get ideas for possible actions to take,” Rogers said.

The digest, sponsored by the Indiana Association of Realtors, the Indiana Business Research Center and the Hoosier State Press Association, recently surpassed 60,000 stories filed since its inception nine years ago, said site editor John C. DePrez Jr. of HB Media Group.

Several thousand people have signed up to get a daily email with the top economic headlines, he said.

The site, which had 13,980 unique visitors in a recent week, went live in 2002.

It offers the ability to track economic news over a long period of time over any part of the state, Rogers said.

“We call it the news behind the numbers,” she said. “It’s to help us better understand areas of high unemployment, for example, (and) which type of businesses are creating either a lot of jobs or a lot of unemployment. And there’s no better place to go than a newspaper to find that out.”