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About Us

Mahoning Matters is a civic-minded community news source for the city of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. We were founded in October 2019 with the mission to tell the stories that matter in Mahoning County and empower citizens to engage in their community with a focus on solutions.


Who We Are

Mark Sweetwood, EditorJustin Dennis, Reporter

Jess Hardin, Reporter

Ellen Wagner, Reporter

Jeremy Harper, Content Manager

Thea Nixon, Business Development & Community Partnerships

Mandy Jenkins, Publisher

Mahoning Matters also employs multiple freelance contributing writers and photographers. 


What We Cover

Our original reporting is issues-based and centered around solutions over merely highlighting problems. We will endeavor to explain the hows and whys of the Mahoning Valley. While we will routinely focus on issues in the key population centers of Youngstown, Boardman, Austintown, Poland and Canfield, we will cover important issues that are unique to Mahoning County no matter whom they affect. 

This site will focus on storytelling that explores:  

• How local government functions for underserved and marginalized Mahoning Valley residents 

• How residents can navigate the local and regional institutions that affect their lives  

• The impact of both local and global business decisions on the residents and economy of the Valley

• The effect of long-standing bouts with political and business corruption and its impact on the Valley’s identity and future

We will also feature obituaries, local events, high school sports scores and thoughtful contributions from around the community. If you are interested in submitting a column for publication, email us at


About Our Company

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. Mahoning Matters was founded with startup funding from Google as part of its Local Experiments Project within the Google News Initiative

Mahoning Matters is owned and operated by McClatchy, a local media company with 30 newsrooms in communities across the U.S. including the award-winning Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Mahoning Matters benefits from McClatchy’s expertise and experience in local media but operates independently.

All editorial decisions are made locally by the Mahoning Matters team.  


How We Are Funded

We have startup funding from Google New Initiative’s Local Experiments Project. For us to succeed long-term, we have to become self-sustaining through other revenue sources that include advertising, sponsorships and contributions from readers like you. All of the funding we take in stays here in the community, funding the local journalism we produce every day. We also receive funding to support reporting from organizations like Report for America.


It is Mahoning Matters’ policy to acknowledge errors promptly and correct them in a transparent fashion. Mistakes should be called to the attention of Editor Mark Sweetwood at

Comments Policy  

Mahoning Matters encourages lively and civil discussion on a selection of stories published to We aim to provide a platform for people of the Mahoning Valley to express their views and build a strong community.  

All comments will be moderated before being published, generally during business hours. Comments will be closed at the discretion of the editor. If a problematic comment slips through moderation, users can alert our moderators by flagging the comment. 

Personal attacks, profanity, off-topic, racist, sexist or other discriminatory comments will not be published. Spam, trolling behavior and libelous statements or comments that include false or unsubstantiated allegations will not be published. 

Readers must be logged into the site to post a comment. Usernames that include offensive or abusive words will be blocked. 

For more information about comments, visit our full Community Guidelines.


Community and Social Media Contributions 

When it comes to using your photos, videos, comments from social media and other contribution methods, Mahoning Matters follows the  Online News Association’s Social Newsgathering Ethics Code.

This means that we will:

  • Publish content you own only with your expressed permission. If you contribute photos, videos or comments to us on our site, on our social media channels or using a designated hashtag, we will accept your submission as consent to publish with credit. 

  • Credit the content you contribute as you wish.

  • Seek to verify the authenticity of content contributed from the community or obtained via social media before publishing or distributing it, holding it to the same standards as we would our own work. 

  • Be transparent as to how we have obtained and verified content.