Signal Cleveland staff and Cleveland Documenters convene at our office for a Community of Practice in May.
Cleveland Documenters convene at the Signal Cleveland office for a Community of Practice in May. Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

If you’re a reader of Signal Cleveland, you probably already know about our Cleveland Documenters and their critical work covering local government meetings. They are the heart of what we do here.

A new approach to local news

The Documenters got their start in 2020, two years before Signal Cleveland launched, and, since then, have become a formidable force producing local news and information every week. We have equipped hundreds of Greater Cleveland residents with training and resources that let them go out into the community to document the decisions our elected officials make every day.

Most of the time, our Documenters are covering meetings where no other reporters are present. Let that sink in. 

They fill a critical need: keeping our community informed and holding our elected leaders accountable. This work is essential to a healthy democracy, and we don’t stop there. 

Access to information that matters

After Documenters cover these meetings, we make sure all Greater Cleveland residents have access to their work, summarized in Public Meeting Briefs, which we make available in a variety of formats on multiple platforms:

We believe strongly that the work of our Documenters should be accessible to all, and that means reaching residents where they are — in print, online, on social media and through podcasts and radio broadcasts.

We’re publishing a new kind of local news that this city has never seen. As a nonprofit newsroom, we depend on readers like you to fund our efforts.

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Help us keep local government accountable

Just one Public Meeting Report (in all formats) costs around $700 to produce. You can make a difference with a monthly donation.

Managing Editor, Community (he/they)
Lawrence, a 2022 Stanford JSK Community Impact Fellow, was most recently field coordinator for Cleveland Documenters, where they led the recruitment of more than 600 Greater Cleveland residents. They bring a wealth of knowledge about journalism, civic engagement and technology. Lawrence has worked in non-commercial media for over 28 years, including 11 years at Ideastream where they focused on civic engagement and media production.