Recently, I wrote about the history of City Market, a historic landmark in downtown Indianapolis. For the story, I interviewed two historians, read a 166 page thesis, dug through IndyStar’s old newspaper archives, and went down to the market to see if for myself.
City Market is basically as old as the city of Indianapolis. And I traced the way it evolved to justify its existence as the city changed. When I was assigned this story, I had no idea I’d learn so much about Indianapolis…or history and records keeping.
Something a historian said that’s stuck with me is the fact Indianapolis has a “really terrible habit of throwing away records.” Sometimes, the old newspapers are all we have to go off of. People often talk about news as the “first draft of history,” but I’ve never thought about it as the only draft of history.
That makes local news all the more important. I know that it can be frustrating to hit paywalls, I’ve grumbled about it too. But this experience is giving me a deeper appreciation for the work local journalists do, and they (we?) deserve to be compensated for our work. There’s a lot more to say and learn, but I’m grateful to be learning from some of the best this summer.