What we believe and why it matters

Who we, the people of The Devil Strip, aspire to be for the people of Akron

Chris Horne
Oct 3, 2017 · 3 min read
About 100 (out of 450 at our founding) newly minted co-owners of The Devil Strip Local News Co-op making faces after our inaugural shareholders’ meeting, held at the Akron Civic Theatre on Feb. 19, 2020. (Photo by Ashley Kouri/The Devil Strip)

What we believe is important. To remind myself of this pretty simple fact, I keep this Simon Sinek quote by the door in our office:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

Belief is the origin of our actions.

Though our wee team started this process in conversation amongst ourselves, we want to build this next version of The Devil Strip with you — beginning with what we believe.

This is a living document so tell us what you think. This is who we aspire to be. This is the standard to which we’ll hold ourselves. But is this how you see us? Is this who you want or need us to be? Please highlight what you like or dislike, make notes, post comments. This is practice for what’s coming up next. Thank you! — Chris Horne chris (at) thedevilstrip (dot) com

WHAT WE BELIEVE:

Stories matter

We believe the most important stories are the ones we tell ourselves about ourselves, and that this is as true for cities as it is individuals. For better or worse, every city’s chief storyteller is its media. We take responsibility for our work because we know it shapes the way Akronites see each other, and the way we see each other influences how we treat one another.

Our work is for Akron

This is our reason for existing, not merely our editorial angle for stories. We are advocates for the city of Akron and allies to its people, so we may be cheerleaders, but that won’t keep us from challenging the city’s flaws. What’s the point of being part of the community if we can’t help make it a better place for human beings to live?

Our work should be done with Akron

We would rather build trust through cooperation and collaboration than authority. Our place in the community is alongside it, not the outside looking in or trying to stand above it looking down.

We care about you, not just your eyeballs

Sometimes, we love a good fight with the status quo, but conflict and antagonism will never be a way of life for us, especially not to boost clicks, views, comments, shares and “eyeballs”. We are a watchdog to hold our leaders accountable, not to keep the neighbors up all night with our barking.

Love our neighbors

Our stories humanize the people in our city. We not only want to counter sensationalized and alarmist reporting but to eventually render it obsolete. We advocate for justice, freedom and equality because those qualities make this city, and our lives, better.

Journalism should live beyond the page

Information without context or connection is inert. We believe journalism can connect people to each other, our city and even a sense of purpose. Though our work begins on the page, both printed and web, we promote and plan events so people can meet face-to-face where real life still happens.

People over profits

The local businesses, nonprofits and civic orgs who support The Devil Strip are part of our community and are as vital to our culture as our artists and musicians. That’s why we don’t accept ads for national chains, things in large metros outside of Summit County and businesses that profit off the exploitation of women. We’ll never be a coat hanger for advertising.

We get one shot at life, so let’s have fun

We want our readers to fall in love with their city (again and again and again), to buck the temptation to only live vicariously through the people you follow online. One thing that makes art, theatre, dance, music, film, food, civic engagement, biking, hiking and beering so great is that these things can bring us together, help us find new friends and have fun with the ones we already have. That makes us all a little bit happier, and that’s what it’s all about.

So… what do you think? How would you challenge us to be better? What do you believe that we should know about? What are we missing here?

The Devil Strip

A nakedly pro-Akron arts and culture magazine hellbent on…

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