University of North Carolina (UNC) research has documented the relentless spread of news deserts from coast to coast.
But wait—what’s that glow on the horizon?
It’s the nation’s first cooperatively owned local online news site, trying out a new business model in Akron, Ohio. The Devil Strip, whose eye-catching name it adopted from Akron’s distinctive term for the grass berm between street and sidewalk, is celebrating its first birthday as a co-op, having enrolled nearly 1,000 member-owners and, according to publisher Chris Horne, beating its one-year revenue goal. Might this be a signal that co-op sites will not only thrive but spread, that more communities will be nurtured by the informed citizenries crucial to healthy local civic life?