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)
The Devil Strip exists to help more people care more about Akron and all its residents. That’s why we’re committed to making this a better place to live by connecting you to your neighbors, our city and a stronger sense of shared purpose through stories and meet-ups that showcase the folks who make this place so unique.
What is a devil strip?
The “devil strip” is the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. The precise origins of the term are unknown, but it’s only used in Akron. Today, the devil strip is what connects residents to the city–its public space, its people and its challenges. The Devil Strip (that’s us!) seeks to do the same thing.
The Devil Strip is made up of a team of dedicated Akronites who love living and working here.Get to know us!
What we believe
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.
We 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.