The Owen News receives Large Impact Grant

The Owen News receives a Large Impact Grant, supporting its efforts to provide quality journalism and community reporting.

Hannah Amos


Hannah Amos


Jun 30, 2024

The Owen News receives Large Impact Grant

To continue their work in the Owen County community, The Owen News was awarded a Large Impact Grant of $30,000 from the Owen County Community Foundation (OCCF).

Nicole DeCriscio, The Owen News Board President, said the grant will allow the nonprofit paper to continue to print monthly without financial stress, while also providing time for the paper to strengthen community bonds with advertisers to a sustainable point through to 2025.

"The financial support provided by the OCCF allows The Owen News to continue to report verified local information and is a catalyst for a re-energized local economy due to a reformation of a common community spirit," Tom Wallace, OCCF Board Chairperson, said via email.

Another aspect of the grant will be budgeted to help pay some correspondents, DeCriscio said.

The correspondents and reporters of The Owen News are volunteers, along with having a journalism advisory board that is a resource and helps train volunteer correspondents.

"Our model is different, and it takes time to not only share and explain that model with people, but to also make the community used to it, and especially, in a landscape where there has been a lack of local news for almost two years," she said.

This unique model of The Owen News is what stood out to OCCF, and is a part of the organization being awarded the grant. 

"Led by their distinguished board of directors and an independent journalism advisory board, they developed a marketing and sustainability plan, researched how other communities are rebuilding local news and trained citizen journalists," Janet Rummel, OCCF President and CEO, said via email. "Helping to build a local news outlet that has the trust of our community may be one of the Community Foundation’s most impactful grants in recent years." 

The Owen News Board describes the work on the model as "building the ship as [they're] sailing." The board works to continuously learn and grow in delivering quality news to the Owen County community.

"I could go on for days about what happens to a community when you lose news, and when I say news, I mean quality, local news," DeCriscio said. "Communities become more divided and no longer have a sense of community as a whole but then, statistically, local news is vital to the economic success of an area and impacts everything financially." 

With this grant, the board hopes to instill and gain more trust in the Owen County community.

Along with this grant, the nonprofit news organization receives funds to improve and grow from at-will donations, which keeps the paper free for pick-up. Donations can be made through the OCCF to either a long-term endowment fund or a fund that The Owen News has immediate access to, online at or via mail at 114 S. Main St., Spencer, Indiana 47460.

OCCF also granted La Campagne Ministries a $30,000 Large Impact Grant to prepare their facility for the launch of the Boys and Girls Club in Owen County. More information about this grant and the Boys and Girls Club will be highlighted in an upcoming story.

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