Signal Ohio, a nonprofit news startup, has launched its second newsroom in the state: Signal Akron. The new venture joins Signal Cleveland in the growing news network.
To date, six reporters and editors have been hired, and the newsroom is actively hiring to fill additional positions.
The new product is “a critically important addition to the local news ecosystem, filling a void created by shrinking newsrooms across the region,” says Debra Adams Simmons, senior director of editorial projects at WGBH, former editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal, and a Signal Ohio board member.
“Signal Akron will expand the volume, depth and reach of news in the market while centering the experiences and amplifying the voices of the residents who live here,” Simmons adds.
Thus far, Signal Akron has offered a look at police accountability, a report on the effects of the city’s efforts to set neighborhood boundaries, and a guide to getting relief on utility bills.
Signal Akron is set to launch Akron Alive!, a weekly newsletter about things to do in the Greater Akron area.
Also being featured is Signal Akron, the Akron Documenters program. The National Documenters Network by City Bureau trains and pays residents to cover public meetings; more than 100 Akron residents have joined so far.
“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 is supported by local organizations including Knight Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, GAR Foundation, Goodyear, the Greater Akron Chamber, Huntington Bank, United Way of Summit & Medina, the University of Akron Foundation and the American Journalism Project, and by contributions from residents.
Signal Akron coverage is free at signalAkron.org, and through social media and email.