Signal Cleveland

We are deep into interviewing for the 10 open roles at Signal Cleveland. As part of the hiring process, every candidate is interviewed by a panel of Greater Clevelander residents. A huge shout out to Kellie Morris, Hails Hoyat and Gennifer Harding-Gosnell, who are also Cleveland Documenters, for serving on the interview committee and spending hours reviewing applications. It is a heavy responsibility. As Hails said last week, “Every time a reporter works on something for this newsroom, the vision for this newsroom is being handed over to them.”

Everything the newsroom churns out, Hails added, will either bring the newsroom one step closer to the ultimate vision of a new community model for local news or one step backwards.

Of course we don’t expect reporters, editors and producers to be experts right away. We are committed to practicing this new model, investing in professional development and learning from community members as we develop our reporting. But if you want to know what we’re aiming for, join us at one of our gatherings.

“You can feel a heartbeat in our meetings and that heartbeat is part of the vision for this newsroom.”

Hails Hoyat, Cleveland Documenter

As always, call or text 216-220-9398 and tell us what you want to see from Signal Cleveland, a part of the Ohio Local News Initiative.

This week we were honored to announce that three new members have joined the board of the Ohio Local News Initiative. Among them is Debra Adams Simmons, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at National Geographic Media and previously editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Akron Beacon Journal. Debra has a reputation for mentoring journalists. I count her as one of my mentors and am thrilled to have her support with the initiative to help us build the strongest organization possible. Also new to the board are Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and Henry Gomez, a Clevelander and senior national political reporter at NBC News.

We hosted an orientation and notetaking training for about 20 new Cleveland Documenters this week. Anyone can sign up to become a Cleveland Documenter and be trained and paid to take notes at or live tweet local public meetings. So far 590 Greater Clevelanders have. There is a Documenter living in every ZIP code in Cleveland and almost every ZIP code in the county. Join us – check out our upcoming gatherings and drop in to say hello.

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.