Mandy Jenkins
Sep 11 · 3 min read
(L-R) Julie Westfall, Emily Dresslar

The Compass Experiment team has been growing. As you may have seen last week, we announced our editorial team in Youngstown. We have two new team members to introduce who are going to be vital to our success in all of our markets in the months and years to come.

Emily Dresslar is heading up The Compass Experiment’s business operations. She’ll be directing our local revenue streams, including leading the local business staff as well as taking point on key strategic partnerships.

Emily most recently headed up Strategic Partnerships for Calkins Digital, an award-winning start-up providing strategy and technology to publishers and broadcasters. She has also worked at Calkins Media and GateHouse Media in corporate development and strategy roles and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Local Media Consortium from 2016–2017. She is a former newspaper editor-in-chief in Western Colorado and has also served as a researcher and consultant for media organizations including The McCormick Foundation and the NewsMedia Association of America Foundation.

As Compass’ Central Editor, Julie Westfall will be responsible for the editorial product and audience strategy in each of our three markets. She’s already been hard at work on setting coverage priorities and planning how to best reach our local audience with the team in Youngstown.

Julie was most recently an editor at the Los Angeles Times, where she led news teams and developed digital news products. Julie was also part of the team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for coverage of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Previously, she led a national breaking news team at Digital First Media in New York City and worked to build a breaking news strategy at NPR-affiliate KPCC in Los Angeles. She was also part of the team that launched, a local news start-up that covered the Washington metro area, and ran a community newspaper and website serving Capitol Hill. [Eds note: Julie and I worked together at both and Digital First Media.]

I am so excited to have this “brain trust” operating at the core of The Compass Experiment. The three of us will be leading the development and growth of all three Compass sites while supporting the local teams on the ground.

Right now, our team’s main focus is the development and launch of Mahoning Matters. Soon after, we will need to get to work on identifying the next two cities for local news experiments. We have three years to build these new ventures and test out various revenue streams with the goal of making each site self-sustaining. I’m confident this is the team to make that happen.

Mandy Jenkins is the General Manager for The Compass Experiment, a local news laboratory founded by McClatchy and Google and is part of Google’s Local Experiments Project. If you have questions or suggestions, please reach out to her via email, on LinkedIn or Twitter (DMs are open).

The Compass Experiment

The Compass Experiment is a local news laboratory founded by McClatchy and Google to explore new sustainable business models for local news.

Mandy Jenkins

Written by

GM at The Compass Experiment and ONA President. Formerly: JSK 2019, Storyful, DFM Thunderdome, Huffington Post, TBD, Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Compass Experiment

The Compass Experiment is a local news laboratory founded by McClatchy and Google to explore new sustainable business models for local news.

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