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Top Youngstown Business Leader Holds Out Hope For Print Journalism After the Close of the Vindy

screen capture of vindy.com with news the Vindicator will cease production
The Youngstown Vindicator has announced it will cease publication.

The announcement that the 150-year-old Youngstown Vindicator will cease publication at the end of August came as a shock to at least one top Mahoning Valley business leader. But he says there are still possibilities for saving print journalism in the city.

James Dignan is President and CEO of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. He says the loss of The Vindicator will not only impact the paper’s staff, but also the city’s access to local coverage by a locally-owned paper.

“It’s about understanding the market.  Understanding the people.  Understanding the history of our market.  Where we came from and what we want to do.  Because there’s a civic service that local newspapers provide.  And the more connected it is to the community, the better that understanding of the service -- and the needs of the community -- will be.”

He says that for Youngstown to avoid becoming a “newspaper desert,” another entity may have to step up.

“Is it going to be the Business Journal? Can they be a weekly [or] daily paper? Can they fill that gap? Maybe a Cleveland paper comes in as a regional location. I don’t know; all good questions. I just hope that we still have the visibility and coverage.”

Dignan says he has reached out to the Brown family – which owns the paper – and hopes to speak with them this week about its future.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.