We’re Portage County’s locally owned news source. Our mission is to help our community thrive.
The Portager is a new local news source for Portage County, Ohio. We cover local government, businesses and nonprofits, schools, and things to do around town. Our journalists have written for The New York Times, Newsweek and, yes, the Record-Courier. In fact, longtime Record-Courier editor Roger Di Paolo was on our board until his passing in 2021.
“I support The Portager because Portage County needs a news source that’s invested in our future.“ — Roger Di Paolo, Record-Courier editor (1991-2017)
We’re invested in Portage County
The publisher of The Portager is Ben Wolford, who graduated from Waterloo High School in 2007 and from Kent State’s journalism program in 2011. He has written for and edited magazines and newspapers around the world.
But home is home. Ben started The Portager in March 2020 to build a strong local news source for all of Portage County. Today, The Portager’s email newsletter and other channels reach over 80,000 readers every month.
The Portager is also proud to offer financial support to many community groups and nonprofits, including:
Ben Curtis Family Foundation
Coleman Adult Day Services
Family and Community Services
Fields Playground Group
Kent Music Boosters
Kent Rotary Foundation
Kent Social Services
Kent State Student Media
King Kennedy Community Center
Lions Club of Kent
Main Street Kent
Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard
Randolph Suffield Atwater Food Shelf
Rural Relief Mobile Food Pantry
The Haven of Portage County
United Way of Portage County
Why local news matters
Research shows that communities with strong local news sources have…
Watch Publisher Ben Wolford discuss The Portager with the Friends of the Hiram College Library
What our readers say
‘An essential service’ “I am elated at the return of local news, edited and written BY and FOR local people. Knowing what’s going on from Windham to Diamond, from Shalersville to Palmyra, from Hiram to Deerfield and all around our County is an essential service to the people of Portage County.”
‘Authentic and accessible’ “This local community news source is much needed in Portage County. It feels authentic and is accessible. In an age of big data companies using digital psychological manipulation, major disinformation campaigns, and the integrity of journalism at stake, The Portager is doing a great job covering topics local folks care about honestly.”
Mike Beder, Kent entrepreneur Jodie Fiala, owner of Jake’s Eats in Mantua Jeff Fruit, former Director of the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication Barbara J. Hipsman Springer, Kent State University emeritus professor of journalism
In memory of Roger Di Paolo, Record-Courier editor 1991-2017, Portager board member 2020-2021
All Portager subscribers and advertisers contribute to make this publication possible. Some individuals have gone above and beyond to fund our projects and support the professional development of early career journalists.
Carl and Ann Schierhorn Fred Endres Roger Di Paolo