Lauren Chapman: From the top down, everyone wants to better inform Indiana

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Current is marking the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act by illuminating the experiences that inspired people to choose to work in public media. Every week, we are sharing their stories using the hashtag #IAmPublicMedia. Current is also collecting longer contributions, like this one. If you’d like us to feature your story, submit it here.

I took a rather roundabout way of getting into public media. I worked for a basketball magazine, interned at a top 30 newspaper and worked as a web producer for a commercial television station.

But I found I was really unsatisfied after a year in commercial television. There wasn’t anything innovative or new. We were making small steps to engage with the community in a different way, but my job was focused on clicks and consultants.

I found my current job through a friend, promising myself that I wasn’t 100 percent sold on moving on. I drove from my commercial station in a different state back home to Indianapolis. After talking about the future of news, the mission and the purpose — especially of a Regional Journalism Collaborative — I realized exactly what I had been missing.

I chose public media because it’s mission-driven. It’s not the newsroom fighting against management to hold public officials accountable and bring news to communities. It’s not focused on profit. At the end of the day, everyone — from the CEO to the part-time weekend All Things Considered host — is focused on contributing to products that make our city (my hometown) and our state better informed.

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