The Media School

Archive for ‘Civic Life’

Bloomington nonprofits adapt to changes in volunteering and funding to provide relief during COVID-19

April 21st, 2021 No comments

Around five years ago, Beth Lintner wanted to actively contribute to her community in a positive way. She thought about volunteering at some local nonprofit organizations but didn’t feel motivated enough. After watching the presidential debate in 2016 and being shocked by some of the comments on social issues, she found her motivation. Two days later, she started volunteering at Wheeler Mission, which provides services to the homeless.

“I was frustrated with the social climate in our country,” she said. “I just was like, ‘Okay I need to step it up.’”

Since the pandemic, Lintner has not been able to continue her passion for volunteering due to safety concerns.

Read More

Local nonprofits adapt to the pandemic through virtual fundraising, flexibility

April 21st, 2021 No comments

Last February, IU student Varun Gopal walked into the callout meeting for Student United Way at IU, a club that works to better the community through volunteering, and was immediately offered a fundraising director position.

Just a few weeks after he began working in that position, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the club’s activities for the rest of the academic year. Gopal said it was his mission to make sure the club came back during the fall semester in full swing.

 

Read More

New ‘no turn on red’ ordinance aims to protect cyclists and pedestrians in downtown Bloomington

April 21st, 2021 No comments

Jim Shackelford has lived and worked in Bloomington for the past 13 years. He walks, bikes, drives and uses public transportation in town. When the Bloomington City Council announced a new ordinance that would prevent right turns on red lights, Shackelford thought it was a small change that could prevent a lot of accidents. 

In October 2020, IU student Dan Plebanek was struck and killed by a turning vehicle while crossing the intersection at Third Street and Indiana Avenue. This was not the first time an accident like this occurred, so on April 7, the city council approved the ordinance that will add 78 ‘no turn on red’ signs to intersections that currently allow right turns on red.  

Read More

Abby Ang, local activist, founder of No Space for Hate, exposes local hate groups and protests white supremacy

April 1st, 2021 No comments

In August 2019, the scene at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market alarmed Abby Ang. While she protested Schooner Creek Farm, a vendor at the market who support white supremacy, she stood fearful. Armed members of a conservative militia group counter-protested her condemnation of the white supremacists. Some singled-out Ang by name.

Ang was known for protesting white supremacist groups. Just three months after she began protesting Schooner Creek Farm, she no longer attended the Bloomington Farmer’s Market, worried for her safety. The presence of the President of American Identity Movement, a neo-Nazi white supremacist extremist group concerned her especially.

Read More

Bloomington nonprofit My Sister’s Closet’s executive director Sandy Keller never planned on a career in the nonprofit sector

April 1st, 2021 No comments

Sandy Keller never planned on a career in the nonprofit sector. With a marketing degree, she started a company called Absolute Marketing & Research in 1992, where she found that many women looking for employment assumed the company was a temp agency and ask for help with their resumes or finding a job. And Keller did it for free.   

“It wasn’t something that I actually planned to do,” she said. “It was just one of those things that you see something that’s needed at the time, and you think, ‘Well, I can help here.’”  

Read More

Emily Pike’s work at New Hope for Families helps many struggling Bloomington families

April 1st, 2021 No comments

After arriving at Mitchell High School in 1998, Emily Pike was asked to join the local chapter of the Red Cross. She taught a few safety classes and chaired a volunteer recognition committee.

One of Pike’s first tasks was to throw a volunteer recognition dinner. The dinner was small. Fried chicken was served. And it was held in a church basement.

Read More

Ken Nunn, from troubled teenager to law firm legend

April 1st, 2021 No comments

When Ken Nunn was a child in Jeffersonville, he was only able to feel completely warm while he sat in school, because many of his childhood homes didn’t have heat. More often than not, Nunn ate mayonnaise sandwiches at home.

Much of his time outside of school was spent caring for his little sister, while his mother worked two jobs to support them. His family was evicted from their homes 10 times in 12 years for non-payment of rent.

Read More

Comfort Keepers owner Doug Johnson provides at-home care for senior citizens in Bloomington

April 1st, 2021 No comments

Doug Johnson sits confidently in his office at Comfort Keepers with art and ribbons hanging behind him. The antique art creates a contrast between the crisp first place award ribbons. He is alert, his hair freshly cut, his large, framed glasses resting on his nose. His phone rings multiple times, which is expected from a business owner of this scale.  

In 2008, Johnson opened the home health care business in Bloomington. The community was embracing of home care as an alternative to institutional care and he passionately cared about it. He believes that senior citizens thrive and live longer when taken care of in the comfort of their home. Comfort Keepers in Bloomington has had steady growth for 13 years. 

Read More

Finding out just how different journalism is during the pandemic

March 25th, 2021 No comments

Reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic was more difficult than I had initially thought it would be. However, good reporting and journalism are crucial to keep people safe and informed during these times, so I knew I needed to re-familiarize myself with the process. My experience reporting during the pandemic was challenging and discouraging, but it also taught me several valuable lessons.

My first semester with the Indiana Daily Student was the fall semester of 2019. I worked on the health and public safety beat and did that for the spring 2020 semester. In this role, I would attend police press briefings several times a week, in person, I would meet sources face-to-face for interviews and I would even go up to strangers and ask them for an interview.

Read More

Social distancing makes a reporter’s job even more awkward

March 25th, 2021 No comments

Although we have been dealing with COVID-19 for almost a year, it still makes tasks difficult, including reporting. Since everyone is being much more cautious, it is difficult to collect sources and information, epically to do it over zoom or over the phone.

For the last article I wrote, we were directed to stand in a place on campus and interview people about a topic of our choosing. We were told that three should have a diverse group of people interviewed, and in addition to say socially distant and wear a mask. It was already going to be awkward enough asking for people’s opinions on the street, but COVID made it even more so.

Read More