Wayne announces new West Side News


staff report

Since 1965, the West Side Community News has offered news and features to the west side of Indianapolis. Starting this month, the publication will be an online source of news that is maintained and published by the student media staff of Ben Davis High School.

The West Side Community News has been owned and operated by 1972 BD graduate Jackie Deppe, who went to work for the Community News after graduating from high school and has owned it since 1992. Deppe is a member of the Alumni Wall of Fame at Ben Davis, having been inducted on to the wall in 2002.

Wayne Township superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts said the timing was right for Wayne to undertake this venture.

“The M.S.D. of Wayne is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,” Butts said. “During that time, we have received great support from so many individuals, organizations, and businesses in Wayne Township.

“The Community News has been one of those supporting entities and I believe it is important for the M.S.D. of Wayne Township to do what we can to support the Community News in return. As we look towards the future of the West Side Community News under the operations of the M.S.D. of Wayne Township, great opportunities and experiences will be available to our students that did not previously exist. In turn, the West Side Community News will be able to continue its support of the M.S.D. of Wayne and help us to communicate more effectively about what is happening across Wayne Township with our residents and taxpayers.”

The West Side Community News will no longer be a print publication. Instead, the publication will move to an online-only format and will be available at www.westsidenews.org. Content will be updated weekly and will be promoted via social media at @indywestnews on Twitter. The plan is to offer coverage of Wayne Township, Pike Township, Decatur Township, Speedway, Avon and Brownsburg.

“Jackie Deppe and I first spoke about this transition many years ago,” Butts said. “At that time, I did not believe the timing was right for the M.S.D. of Wayne Township to take over the West Side Community News. However, more recently, our engagement in continuing the West Side Community News institution in Wayne Township made great sense. I am excited to see the changes that will be forthcoming as we further explore what the future holds for the West Side Community News.”

Butts believes this will be a great learning tool for students in the student media program, which also publishes the Spotlight monthly newsmagazine, the Keyhole yearbook and the Giant Visions arts magazine in addition to the www.bdspotlight.com web site.

“Our offerings at Ben Davis High School provide significant opportunities for student pursuing an interest in journalism,” Butts said. “I am extremely proud of the internal reporting that our students do and the product they distribute to students, staff, and others in the M.S.D. of Wayne Township.

“The externally facing West Side Community News offers an opportunity for us to expand the curriculum and hands-on experiences for our students as they prepare for their post-secondary pathways.”