The Signal Cleveland team, gathered at the studios of our partner WOVU 95.9 FM with General Manager Jae Williams. Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

What is Signal Cleveland?

Launched in 2022, Signal Cleveland is a newsroom that fuses community building with local news reporting. We produce trustworthy daily journalism across a range of topics, including government, economy, education, health, and safety and resilience. We’re also home to Cleveland Documenters, a group of 600 Cleveland residents who represent almost every zip code in Greater Cleveland, and are trained and paid to cover public meetings.

Together, we are a primary source of information for residents who may not otherwise have access to trusted local journalism, and we’re available online, via email, and on social platforms. Our website is full of explainers and guides to help residents navigate life in Cleveland, and serves as a growing civic tool for our city. We also hold community meetings and trainings, and we’re present every day in Cleveland communities.

Why are we called “Signal”?

Our name is a nod to Garrett Morgan, the noted Cleveland inventor and businessman who came to Cleveland to make his name in 1895. Morgan made his fortune in Cleveland with a series of successful inventions, including the three-position traffic signal that later became the three-light traffic signal in use today. Morgan also started The Call newspaper in 1916, which later merged to become The Call and Post, an influential newspaper in Cleveland and eventually all of Ohio. So our name speaks to not just Cleveland history but to Ohio’s trailblazing journalistic history.

And, of course, a signal – similar to a lighthouse – can be a beacon, a trusted guide that lights the way. We aim to be just that, a trusted source of daily news and information for Greater Clevelanders. 

Who are Cleveland Documenters?

Cleveland Documenters are a part of the Signal Cleveland newsroom. They are Greater Clevelanders who are trained and paid to document official meetings of the Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland governments and contribute to a communal pool of public knowledge. Almost 600 people have signed up to be Cleveland Documenters. There is at least one Documenter living in every ZIP code in Cleveland (except the Industrial Valley) and almost every ZIP code in Cuyahoga County.

What does the Signal Cleveland newsroom cover?

Signal Cleveland will layer service and community reporting — based on the network of Documenters who regularly attend public meetings — with beat reporting in education, government, healthcare, criminal justice, economics and service journalism. We are focused on filling the big gaps in news coverage that too often overlook people and issues in Cleveland and the inner-ring suburbs.

What is Signal Cleveland’s editorial policy?

Signal Cleveland is a non-partisan newsroom whose mission is to provide information and resources to Clevelanders to help them make informed decisions and hold people in power accountable. Central to the mission is to listen to Greater Clevelanders impacted by policies and the people who make them. 

Signal Cleveland storytelling will take many forms, from digital stories to newsletters and social media posts to text messages, videos and printed fliers. Our stories will explore all sides of an issue and will not shy away from drawing conclusions backed by reporting and expertise.

How do I share a story idea or tip with Signal Cleveland?

Signal Cleveland is a newsroom that values input from the community. Your story tips and ideas will help us inform readers and hold those in power accountable. Submit a tip here.

What is Signal Cleveland’s corrections policy?

Signal Cleveland will be transparent about its reporting process, which includes alerting readers to errors and clarifications made to published stories. Our reporters and editors will also be accessible to discuss our reporting. Review our policy or submit a correction.

Who funds Signal Cleveland?

Signal Cleveland is a nonprofit organization supported by a combination of donations from Greater Clevelanders like you, local and national philanthropies and sponsorships. Your support is incredibly important for our independence and sustainability, which means we have to work every day to earn your trust. You can donate or become a sustaining member here.

As a journalism organization, we believe in full transparency. You can find a list of our funding sources here.

Is my membership tax-deductible?

Yes! Signal Cleveland is a part of the Ohio Local Information Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and, as such, donations to our organization are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law in your personal circumstances. To find out what that means for you, we recommend consulting with your tax advisor, accountant or the IRS. If you plan to claim this donation on your federal taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record–we will send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

What is the Ohio Local News Initiative?

Before we got our name, Signal Cleveland, we were known as the Ohio Local News Initiative. This is because our newsroom was born out of an effort by a coalition of Ohio-based organizations, the American Journalism Project, and the John S. And James L. Knight Foundation, to understand local information needs and develop a solution to fill them. The group raised more than $6 million to launch a network of independent, community-led, nonprofit newsrooms for Ohio, starting right here!

Do you have a political agenda?

No. We are a nonpartisan organization, not affiliated with any political campaigns or political parties. We are working to improve and strengthen the local information that is shared with Greater Clevelanders.