The Franklin College Statehouse Bureau will expand its full-time coverage of state government and politics for Indiana newspapers.
Staffing additions will allow the bureau, operated by the college’s Pulliam School of Journalism, to better serve Indiana news readers.
Veteran journalist John Krull will serve as the bureau chief and continue in his role as director of the Pulliam School of Journalism.
Joining the operation as assistant bureau chief is Lesley Stedman Weidenbener, formerly the statehouse bureau chief for The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.).
The Statehouse Bureau generates between 30 and 50 stories per week. All HSPA members can use the content, available through the association’s InfoNet content-sharing program at www.hspainfo.net.
Papers can use the stories whether they have registered to use InfoNet or not.
Hoosiers benefit from a better explanation of what government entities are either doing or contemplating that will impact their lives, and the partnership between HSPA and the expanded Statehouse Bureau provides that, said Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel.
“Indiana can draw on copy edited by experienced journalists that the newspaper might otherwise not be equipped to cover,” he said. “Students get the experience of being working journalists, not just classroom journalists.”
During the course of the year, the bureau anticipates utilizing five interns per semester, four during the summer months and eight to 12 during the month of January.
The Statehouse Bureau has provided great training for Franklin College students and a real service for news outlets in Indiana, Krull said.
“Great as it has been, it will get even better with Lesley on board,” he said.
Strong coverage of state government is an essential part of the media’s responsibility to the public, Weidenbener said.
“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to help groom the next group of reporters to fulfill that mission while also giving Indiana newspapers more coverage of the Statehouse, where so many important decisions are made,” she said.
College students staff the Franklin College Statehouse Bureau. It operates from offices provided at Emmis Communications in downtown Indianapolis.
To access Statehouse Bureau stories, HSPA member newspapers should visit www.hspainfo.net. Under the Special Coverage tab, click on Statehouse Bureau
Editors will find a list of headlines and the first sentence of the lead.
To further assist editors in selecting stories, an attention line lists counties that may be most interested in stories, though this does not limit other newspapers’ uses.
Only HSPA member papers have authorization to use the copyrighted stories.