The HawkEye began as a civic- and community-journalism project among students in the Journalism Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
These undergraduates reported and wrote public-service investigative stories focused on the community of Indiana, Pa., and the surrounding county. These local news stories — called The Civic Project — were rooted in the curriculum of the News Reporting classes taught by IUP journalism professor David Loomis, Ph.D.
The HawkEye went online in 2008. Earlier Civic Project stories were published in local print media as early as 2004. Collaborations have included reporting projects in partnership with The Indiana Gazette, the League of Women Voters of Indiana County and the IUP student newspaper The Penn.
Civic Project stories perennially have won top awards from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for public-service/enterprise reporting by college students, most recently in March 2018. The latest award continued a string of honors dating to 2005 that have flowed from the statewide press association to the digital online newspaper and the IUP journalism program.
In 2016-2017, The HawkEye received internal funding from the IUP College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The funding was supplemented by sustaining external funding from The Falcon Fund, a local philanthropic group within The Pittsburgh Foundation. The Falcon Fund supports entrepreneurial aspiration, technological innovation, public higher education, public-service enterprise journalism and community-focused civic engagement.
In August 2018, Loomis retired from IUP. The journalism department and the university honored him with emeritus status. On August 30, 2018, The HawkEye received 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the federal Internal Revenue Service. The HawkEye continues to receive community-based financial support from The Falcon Fund.
The HawkEye invites citizens to submit tips, ideas, stories and opinions for publication. For more information, contact editor David Loomis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HawkEye thanks:
— IUP English professor Kenneth W. Sherwood for visioning and technical consulting.
— IUP history professor Caleb Finegan, founding director of the IUP Center for Civic Engagement and Student Leadership, for financial support.
— Brian M. Petersen, formerly of the IUP IT Services office, for technical advice and assistance.
— Andrew Hesner for technical advice on and assistance with The HawkEye’s 2013 conversion to a new web-publishing platform and its 2018 transition to its new independent status.