The Compass Experiment
, a joint project between the McClatchy newspaper chain and Google aimed at creating sustainable digital newsrooms in areas with limited resources.
After the announcement last month of the The Youngstown Vindicator's closing, the Compass Experiment's GM, Mandy Jenkins, said she instantly recognized the Mahoning Valley as an optimal laboratory for their project.
She said in a press release that her team was already on the ground in Youngstown, working to assemble a small full-time staff with the hopes of launching in the fall.
Available positions, including an editor and a reporter, have been posted here
. (Jenkins wrote that they would only consider applications from "those working in or with strong background in Youngstown or the surrounding region.")
Google, too, is delighted to be chipping in with the reconstruction of the industry it helped dismantle.
"There has been much impassioned commentary about the closure of The Vindy after 150 years, and we are pleased to play our part alongside McClatchy in helping local journalism develop new approaches for the future," said Google's VP of News, Richard Gingras. "Through the Google News Initiative's Local Experiments Project we want to explore evolving business models in local news that can benefit not only the people of Youngstown, but communities across the country."
The Compass Experiment will be selecting two other communities in which it will launch similar digital-only newsrooms in the coming months.
This development arrives shortly after ProPublica announced that it would expand its local reporting network to Youngstown. Applications for that position, which will provide a year's salary and ProPublica's national editorial resources for a reporter publishing in a Youngstown-area outlet, are due Monday, July 22
“What’s going on in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley cries out for solid investigative reporting,” said Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica’s editor in chief, in that announcement.
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