Your Voice Mahoning Valley grows from a belief that the people are not being heard and that solutions to problems they face are not receiving adequate attention. The project is part of a statewide effort begun in late 2015 as Ohio news organizations worked together, experimenting with new ways to represent the people of Ohio in the 2016 election.
Backed by research conducted by the Jefferson Center, a non-partisan civic research organization in St. Paul, and polling by the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, the news organizations, led by the Akron Beacon Journal, developed a working model for listening to Ohioans and joining with the public in working toward solutions.
The Your Voice Ohio media project has selected the Mahoning Valley as a test site to work closely with citizens in identifying solutions to the heroin epidemic. What the people decide here will be used as a model for other news outlets to tackle the crisis statewide, and then launch conversations about the economy.
Doug Oplinger is director and editor for the Your Voice Ohio statewide media project and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org