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Compass Experiment to begin with local news in Youngstown, Ohio

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Compass Experiment, which is a part of Google News Initiative’s Local Experiments Project, will launch its first newsroom to cover local news in Youngstown, Ohio, this fall.

The aim of this initiative is to make local newsrooms self-sustainable via a/b testing of revenue sources while disseminating news that is important to the local communities.

Compass’ local news lab has been founded in partnership between McClatchy and Google. Over the next three years, they plan to launch three digital news operations in small and mid-sized towns that have finite resources to practice local, independent journalism.

The location of these three sites hasn’t been decided yet. All of these three sites will be owned and operated by McClatchy — they have editorial control over the content published by these news operations.

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“Over the past few weeks, the Compass team has been talking to journalists, community leaders and businesses in the Youngstown area about the area’s news needs. We have found many allies eager to help bring this to life,” writes Mandy Jenkins, GM, The Compass Experiment.

McClatchy will also be sharing their learning from this project with the news community to help them learn from their revenue model and potentially replicate the success.

“We at McClatchy are looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with Google as we embark on this next important step. Over the course of the next three years, we will be sharing our successes, failures and what we’ve learned to the media industry at large.”

Those interested in joining Compass’ editorial and business staff in Youngstown can check out the openings here.

Youngstown Ohio was chosen as the first location for digital news site after consultation with Penelope Muse Abernathy, the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina and author of a 2018 study on the loss of local journalism in the United States.

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