Mahoning Matters Meets New Challenges Of Digital Media

YOUNGSTOWN –The digital-only news outlet Mahoning Matters, a startup born out of a partnership between the McClatchy newspaper company and Google, launched in October with a mission of focusing on solutions in its coverage of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.  

The path forward has included retaining a talented pool of local journalists, building an “office-less” office using public meeting spaces and video conferencing and retraining a team with a newspaper background on the ins and outs of digital-only publishing. 

Mahoning Matters is a part of The Compass Experiment, an initiative co-founded by McClatchy and Google to explore sustainable business models for local news. While the site has startup funding from the Google News Initiative’s Local Experiments Project, for it to succeed long-term, it must become self-sustaining through advertising, sponsorships and reader contributions.  

This year, Mahoning Matters will be focused on raising community funds to support its Report for America reporter and launching a membership program with readers, says Publisher Mandy Jenkins.  

“All of the funding we take in stays in the community, funding the local journalism we produce every day,” she says. 

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