LOS ANGELES — WorkingNation, a national nonprofit reporting on the future of work, today published “The Middle: Indianapolis,” a digital magazine examining the struggle to preserve one city’s middle class amid a changing workplace where workers must adapt and gain new skills just to stay afloat.
This latest “Inquire Within” digital magazine was assembled by WorkingNation’s team of Emmy-, Peabody- and Murrow award-winning videographers and journalists, including veterans of ABC News, CNBC, ESPN Films and The Wall Street Journal. WorkingNation’s projects have been showcased on such outlets as PBS and CNN.
Though “The Middle: Indianapolis” focuses on a single city’s middle class, similar challenges prevail around America. Workers face a world far different from that of their parents. Newer tech-centric jobs require higher levels of training. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up trends, forcing workers to face the future of work early.
In late 2017, Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation made its first grant to WorkingNation to support various forms of video storytelling about how individuals and companies are working to bolster the middle-class across the country. In 2016, WorkingNation was in Indianapolis shooting a story about Carrier Corp. moving its manufacturing operations to Mexico when “The Middle” emerged as a concept.
“The issue of middle-class survival could not be more timely,” says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “The pandemic cost millions of people across the country their jobs and pushed them further away from attaining the middle-class American Dream. Fortunately, community leaders are building middle-class pathways. We’re excited to share the stories of everyone involved.”
“The Middle: Indianapolis” includes a mini-documentary featuring workers and families trying to keep the American Dream alive, plus additional videos and stories, all available online at https://themiddle.workingnation.com/Indianapolis.
“We spent four years researching, reporting, interviewing, and shooting in Indianapolis,” says Melissa Panzer, WorkingNation’s executive producer of video content development and production. “We took a personal approach to exploring the issues surrounding the middle class, speaking with community leaders working toward middle-class survival. And we took special care to get into the communities themselves, finding real stories about real people and seeing firsthand how these trends are affecting their lives.”
Among those stories:
- Donte Sims juggled multiple jobs before landing a manufacturing position he thought had finally secured a middle-class life—but it didn’t last. So he returned to school to study electrical engineering.
- Tawnya Rachelle McCrary supports her family in a middle-class neighborhood, is college educated, and has a solid job. Nevertheless, she worries one health or professional setback could derail her, wondering, “Are we really middle class?”
Media organizations wishing to discuss “The Middle: Indianapolis” with WorkingNation experts or to facilitate interviews with featured individuals should reach out to the media contact listed below.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.