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.
For more than 150 years, The Vindicator has been a dedicated voice for the citizens of the Mahoning Valley. The newspaper documented so many momentous events while keeping a watchful eye in dogged pursuit of public corruption. This is sad news for all of the Mahoning Valley.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) June 28, 2019