Happy to announce today that we have a partnership with Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on higher-education reporting. Open Campus, founded in 2019, is working to improve the coverage Americans get about college and post-secondary training. They have a team of local reporters, embedded in partner newsrooms, who are supported by national editors who are subject-matter experts.

Amy Morona
Amy Morona

At Signal Cleveland, you can expect a student-centered beat looking at not just who gets to go to college and how they make it through but also focused on workforce development and certificate programs.

Amy Morona, who has been a journalist in local and national newsrooms for a decade, is joining Signal Cleveland to be the higher-education reporter. Amy’s work covering higher education over the past two years at Crain’s Cleveland Business in partnership with Open Campus has earned awards from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the Press Club of Cleveland. She’s a first-generation college graduate and is committed to highlighting the voices of young people in her coverage.

Amy will be joining us at the end of October. You can look forward to seeing Amy holding office hours on local campuses and in neighborhoods to have conversations with you about your educational experiences.

“Higher education can break down socioeconomic barriers and spark social mobility,” Amy said. “It’s vital to shaping how Cleveland’s economy works today, how that changes in the future, and who does — or doesn’t — share a slice of that pie. I believe there’s nothing more influential in our society, especially as we figure out how to help the COVID-19 generation.”

Added Scott Smallwood, a co-founder of Open Campus: “We’re thrilled to work with you and everyone at Signal Cleveland to help Amy create smart, community-oriented coverage about the colleges and universities serving the city. Coverage of higher ed in America is often dominated by a small sliver of ultra-wealthy universities. So collaborating with this newsroom on an innovative, community-led reporting model is especially exciting.”

We look forward to welcoming Amy to our growing newsroom, which so far includes five editors, five beat reporters and a multimedia producer.

Editor-in-Chief (she/her)
Lila is the founding editor-in-chief of Signal Cleveland, the Ohio Local News Initiative's Cleveland newsroom. Lila, who has experience in community building and journalism, led the launch of Cleveland Documenters in 2020. Formerly associate director at Neighborhood Connections, a Cleveland-based organization that has done groundbreaking work building community networks, Lila has been a newspaper reporter, a student-journalism advisor and a freelance news producer. Born and raised on the southeast side of Cleveland, Lila is a first-generation college graduate with degrees from Columbia University.