By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Signal Ohio, a nonprofit startup, expands into Akron

Sunset in Akron, Ohio. Photo (cc) 2022 by Raymond Wambsgans.

Signal Ohio, a large, well-funded nonprofit news startup, is expanding into Akron. From the announcement:

Signal Ohio, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit news startups, launched Signal Akron today, its second newsroom in Ohio. The growing range of freely accessible journalism at will include accountability reporting and community resources. Stories already published include a deeper look at police accountability, the effects of the city’s efforts to set neighborhood boundaries, a column by local artists in Akron, and a guide to getting relief on utility bills.

“As we launch and continue to build Signal Akron, I’m excited to see our reporters include neighborhood voices and perspectives in their work. Our content will be driven by the community and the Akronites working in our Documenters program,” said Susan Kirkman Zake, editor-in-chief of Signal Akron.

Signal Ohio describes itself as “a network of independent, community-led, nonprofit newsrooms backed by a coalition of Ohio organizations, community leaders, and the American Journalism Project. With more than $15 million raised Signal is one of the largest local nonprofit news startups in the country with a growing network of newsrooms across Ohio.”

Akron, by the way, was home to The Devil Strip, a local arts and culture website that was at one time among the very few examples of a cooperatively owned local news organization. In 2021, The Devil Strip imploded in rather spectacular fashion, as Laura Hazard Owen reported at Nieman Lab. The legacy daily, the Akron Beacon Journal, is part of the Gannett chain.

Leave a comment | Read comments

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.


Joan Donovan claims she was pushed out of Harvard to make Meta happy


Jason Tuohey, the Globe’s top digital editor, is moving on

1 Comment

  1. Dan Kennedy

    A comment from Aaron Read, who for some reason got locked out of posting this himself:

    The ABJ had a good followup on exactly why The Devil Strip imploded:

    1. Whatever his virtues, Horne would seem to be a terrible businessman; having virtually no financial records until 2020. He managed to amass a lot of debt in TDS’s parent LLC before the sale to the co-op in 2021, and add more debt afterwards, too.

    2. The board of the co-op did a lousy job in fiscal governance and due diligence as part of that sale. This is understandable but nevertheless inexcusable. That’s the number one job of any board member, even if few non-profit board members understand or are willing to take on that professional and personal burden.

    3. A co-op is a lousy governance model. Just to have quorum to vote on needed major changes to save the paper, they needed 356 people from the “owners” to attend. That’s ridiculous and, as they found out, impossible to herd that many cats. The board members were (effectively) legally prevented from doing anything to save the paper once the problems hit critical mass. Their only option was to resign.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén