The Future of Content: A Documentary and Discussion on How Youngstown is Sustaining Local News

About This Session:

With last year's closing of The Vindicator, the city of Youngstown, Ohio, no longer had a daily newspaper. A new digital news outlet called Mahoning Matters was launched about two months later, as part of The Compass Experiment — a partnership between Google and McClatchy to explore sustainable business models for local news.During this session, view a documentary on what's happened since The Vindicator closed, and hear about lessons learned that will benefit the industry as a whole.


Tim Franklin is senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Before joining Medill in June 2017, Franklin was the president of The Poynter Institute, a leading international school for journalists and a media think tank. Franklin has been the top editor of three metropolitan newspapers, The Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun. His newsrooms won numerous national journalism awards, and The Sun was a Pulitzer Prize finalist during his tenure. Before joining Poynter in 2014, Franklin was a managing editor in the Washington bureau of Bloomberg News, helping oversee coverage of the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and many federal agencies. In 2009, Franklin was the founding director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University, and the Louis A. Weil Jr. Endowed Chair. While there, he helped create the nation’s first master’s degree program in sports journalism. He began his career at the Chicago Tribune, where he was a reporter and editor for 17 years. Franklin is helping lead the Medill Local News Initiative , a research-and-development project designed to bolster the sustainability of local news in America.

Craig Duff is a professor at Medill and also the graduate journalism Video and Broadcast Specialization leader. He is an award-winning video journalist and documentary television director, producer and writer, specializing in multi-platform storytelling and solo journalism. Before joining Medill in 2012, he was the director of multimedia and chief video journalist for TIME, served as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He also spent a year in Egypt, where served as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, training professional broadcast reporters and graduate students at the Center for Electronic Journalism at the American University in Cairo. Previously, Duff worked with The New York Times and CNN.

Mandy Jenkins is general manager of The Compass Experiment, a partnership between Google and McClatchy to explore sustainable business models for local news. Previously, Jenkins was a 2019 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University. Her work includes roles at Storyful, Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, Huffington Post,, Cincinnati Enquirer and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She is on the board of directors for the Online News Association and News Leaders Association.

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