The startup nonprofit news organization has appointed two Managing Editors in Cleveland and posted ten new journalism jobs
CLEVELAND – July 12, 2022 – The Ohio Local News Initiative, which will be a statewide network of nonprofit newsrooms, today announced the appointment of two journalism trailblazers to its Cleveland newsroom’s leadership team. The newsroom, which is slated to launch this fall, is also now recruiting for 10 newsroom roles.
Lawrence Caswell, who uses the pronouns he/they, will serve as Managing Editor, Community. Caswell, a respected community builder, is a Stanford JSK Community Impact Fellow and was most recently field coordinator for Cleveland Documenters, where they led the recruitment of more than 500 Greater Cleveland residents. They bring a wealth of knowledge about journalism, civic engagement, and technology. After getting their start as a sound operator at the Beachland Ballroom, they worked at Ideastream for more than 10 years on civic engagement, audience experience and media production.
Mark Naymik, who uses the pronouns he/him, will be Managing Editor, News. Naymik is a veteran journalist with experience in alternative media, print, digital, and television news. For 19 years, he was a groundbreaking reporter and metro columnist with The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com. Most recently, Naymik spent three years as an investigative, enterprise and breaking news reporter at WKYC-TV, where his “Leading the Land” series on Cleveland’s 2021 mayoral primary race earned a regional Emmy.
“Mark and Lawrence are a dynamic team and, together, bring a deep knowledge of civic engagement and journalism to the newsroom,” said Lila Mills, Cleveland Editor in Chief for the Ohio Local News Initiative. “They are among the best in the industry and they’re ready to create new, innovative ways to center community information needs while producing excellent, impactful journalism. We are excited to set a new course for local news and to add our own brand of original reporting to the local news and information ecosystem.”
As the Managing Editor, Community, Caswell will lead the development of the newsroom’s innovative, inclusive, community journalism. Caswell will oversee the newsroom’s community reporting practices and the integration of the Cleveland Documenters program, which they built into a thriving and robust community in their previous role. They will also oversee the production of much-needed service journalism for Greater Clevelanders, and will supervise editorial staff who will be responsible for translating local news into explainers, guides, and actionable information for people to use in their daily lives.
“I am really looking forward to leading a newsroom committed to working with residents to build the kind of social and civic infrastructure that strengthens democracy in Cleveland,” Caswell said.
As the Managing Editor, News, Naymik will build a team of mission-driven beat reporters who will collectively replenish the local news ecosystem with daily accountability coverage across key beats, starting with government, economy, education, and health. Their coverage will be impactful, proactive, rigorous and responsive to the needs of Greater Cleveland residents.
“Cleveland deserves coverage that goes beyond headlines and amplifies residents’ voices and issues often overlooked in neighborhoods across the city,” Naymik said. “I’m committed to harnessing my more than two decades of experience and contacts in Northeast Ohio to help tell those stories.”
The yet-to-be-named newsroom, slated to launch this fall, will increase the volume of original, in-depth, non-partisan reporting in the region and support the efforts of Cleveland news outlets and community initiatives to make critical information available to all who need it. Information will be available in numerous formats across multiple platforms, and will be free to access.
Residents will help set the newsroom’s priorities through a community reporting model that will train and pay Clevelanders to become information connectors in their communities, gathering requests and questions from neighbors. The program will begin in Central, and grow to serve more communities throughout Cleveland.
Job postings for editing and reporting positions and more information about the project are now available at localnewsforohio.org/jobs.
About the Ohio Local News Initiative
The Ohio Local News Initiative is a network of independent, community-led, nonprofit newsrooms, starting in Cleveland, with plans to produce high-quality accountability journalism while employing an innovative model for working directly with residents to be responsive to their information needs. The new organization will be one of the largest local nonprofit news startups in the country when it launches later this year, with more than $6 million in seed funding from a coalition of local and national organizations and incubation support from the American Journalism Project.
Media inquiries: Tom McGeveran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-205-1216