Jason Peifer wanted to know if the concept of a citizens police academy would be applicable to journalism. Saturday, he’ll get an answer.

Peifer is an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Media School. He has organized an event for residents of the Bedford area that will shine a light on the processes of journalism.

Participants will get lunch, an opportunity to share their thoughts on the profession and receive a $70 gift card. Results from participant surveys and a focus group discussion during the event will be used in a research study on public perceptions of journalism.

“If you care about local journalism, this is a way to support and improve it,” Peifer said.

The event, titled “Making the news: A community conversation,” is from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the StoneGate Arts and Education Center, 931 15th St. in Bedford. The day will be divided into three sessions followed by a group discussion on how local journalism can better serve communities.

The first session will be focused on managing and editing the news. The second will focus on the process of reporting. Representatives from local news organizations, such as The Times-Mail of Bedford and public radio station WFIU, will discuss how they cover the pressing issues of southern Indiana. Gerry Lanosga, an associate professor at the IU Media School, will moderate a discussion on investigative journalism during the third session.

Participants will be asked to fill out a survey when they register for the event. They can earn a $10 Amazon credit for completing a follow-up survey after the event. Peifer said he wanted to make sure there were some incentives for participants.

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