From the Kid’s Corner to the Editor’s Desk: Two Ohio-Based Sisters Purchase the Buckeye Review

After robust careers in journalism and law, sisters Dontaira Terrell and Zakkiyah Terrell are returning to their hometown in Youngstown, Ohio to run the Buckeye Review with Dontaira as Editor-In-Chief and Zakkiyyah as Chief of Operations.

The sisters described their return to the community as a full-circle moment: Zakkiyyah interned for the publication, loving known in the community as “The Voice of the Valley,”  30 years ago and one of Dontaira’s first memories with the publication is when her sister interviewed her as a child about kid summer activities.

The sisters, proud HBCU grads, aim to highlight the diversity and richness of marginalized communities through the art of storytelling and by giving a platform to the voices in those communities.

“We are going to have a section on both print and digital that focuses on everything HBCU culture, like our HBCU hub,” Dontaira said. “We have a lot of great ideas coming down the pipeline. One of the things that we agreed upon was not abandoning that community connection, but extending it. We want to fuse all those things together.”

Zakkiyyah and Dontaira told EBONY that they also plan to incorporate a journalism institute for students as part of the expansion of the Buckeye Review.

(l-r) Zakkiyah Terrell and Dontaira Terrell making boss moves. Image: On Sight Photography & More, LLC.

“I’m very excited about the impact, not just the newspaper itself, but we plan to really engage with the community and bring forums, talent, artists, writers, authors, whatever we can to the communities,” Zakkiyyah said.

Purchasing the newspaper has proved to be a rewarding and an exciting experience. As chief of operations, Zakkiyyah described both the joys and the challenges of taking on a legacy publication.

“We’re a monthly print publication and so we’ve learned a lot about truly being publishers, printers, marking up the paper,” she said. “Just the mechanics of running, printing and publishing a newspaper. It’s not just about articles. It’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes day to day.”

Even though the operation side of a newspaper is challenging, Dontaira said their plans for the publication are going to launch the Buckeye Review into a new era.

“I’m interested in creating those conversation starters and what we have in store for that,” Dontaira said. “We want to reach a younger audience and get people excited again to pick up a physical copy (of a newspaper), to learn history, or some quick facts or get entertained.

With a focus on community engagement and a commitment to storytelling, Dontaira and Zakkiyyah are determined to leave a lasting impact through their stewardship of the Buckeye Review.

“We’d like to ensure that we leave our footprint,” Zakkiyyah said. “Our children and nieces and nephews, you know, we take all that seriously. We realize and recognize that we too are representation of not just ourselves, but generations to come. We definitely don’t take this lightly.”

Updated: May 13, 2024 — 12:02 pm