NEW YORK, Jan 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NYTimes.com announced today an expanded collaboration with the City
University of New York Graduate School of Journalism for The Local
Brooklyn site. CUNY will assume day-to-day editorial leadership of The
Local, The Times's community Web site serving residents of the Fort
Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods of Brooklyn, N.Y.
CUNY students and faculty have collaborated with editors and reporters
of The New York Times in the development of the site - at www.nytimes.com/fortgreene
- since its launch in March 2009. Now, CUNY J-School faculty will serve
as editors of the site and work with students to enlist residents to
cover the news of everyday life in the two Brooklyn communities. Times
journalists will serve as advisers to the project - in the classroom,
the newsroom and the neighborhoods - as The Times extends its
exploration of collaborative journalism strategies in the region and
across the country.
" 'Engagement' is the holy grail for publishers today, and The Local has
been wildly successful in engaging its target audience in Brooklyn,"
said Jim Schachter, editor for digital initiatives at The Times. "The
users of the site create most of the content - posts, photographs,
videos, slideshows - and this coverage, by and for residents, sets the
news agenda of these communities."
Students in an innovative hyperlocal news class at CUNY will focus on
community engagement, organizing collaborative reporting projects and
recruiting contributors for the site. The students also will produce
in-depth stories, in multiple media, about issues of importance to
residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. The journalism school's work
with The Local is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York,
with additional funding from the McCormick Tribune Foundation and the
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
"Our goal is to build on The Times's work in creating a scalable
platform to help communities organize their own news and knowledge,"
said Jeff Jarvis, head of the J-School's Interactive Program and its New
Business Models for News project. "The spirit of collaboration - within
the community, The New York Times and our school - will, hopefully,
serve as a model for future hyperlocal efforts in New York and beyond."
The project with CUNY is one of several collaborative journalism efforts
being pursued by The Times and NYTimes.com.
A sister Local site serving Maplewood,
Orange, N.J., remains under the editorial supervision of The
Times, working closely with a local journalist and more than 50
residents who contribute to the site.
In the Chicago area, a non-profit news organization, the Chicago News
Cooperative, provides content for four pages of local coverage weekly
in copies of The Times distributed in the region.
Times journalists have worked with other non-profit news entities,
including ProPublica and Spot.Us, on reporting projects.
"All of these undertakings produce news coverage and service journalism
that might not otherwise be available to Times readers," Mr. Schachter
With the Local blog in Brooklyn, Andy Newman, a reporter for the
Metropolitan desk of The Times, has galvanized the community and CUNY
students to provide in-depth coverage of local stories, including a
building collapse on Myrtle Avenue, the removal of a controversial
elementary school principal and the shooting of an unarmed resident by
an undercover police officer.
Neighborhood contributors have established popular editorial features on
the site, such as "Oral Fixation," coverage of local restaurants by Kate
Blumm; "Local Locals," profiles of residents by Myryah Irby; and "Urban
Forager," guides to consuming Brooklyn's natural bounty by Ava Chin.
Residents have also been quick to respond to the site's "Be the
Journalist" feature, which posts requests to cover meetings or events,
send in photographs, review restaurants or crowd-source topics of
As Mr. Newman moves on to a new assignment as the bureau chief of City
Room, The Times's metro blog, a team from CUNY will assume
management of The Local in Brooklyn effective Monday, Jan. 18. The Local
will remain on NYTimes.com.
CUNY J-School graduate Annaliese Griffin, senior editor of the blog
Brooklyn Based, will serve as collaboration editor, working with
community contributors, students and faculty. Faculty members
supervising the site will include Prof. Sandeep Junnarkar, who teaches
in the Interactive Program; Prof. Jere Hester, founding director of the
J-School's award-winning NYCity News Service; and Indrani Sen, who is an
adjunct professor at the J-School, a Brooklyn resident and former
With CUNY managing daily responsibilities for the Brooklyn Local, Mary
Ann Giordano, a New York Times deputy Metropolitan editor who has
overseen The Local, will take on added responsibilities for advancing
the use of collaborative strategies for the Metro report.
"We hope to set the standard for this kind of journalism," Ms. Giordano
said. "The idea is to give all professional journalists additional tools
so they can more thoroughly report on the people, places and issues on
"The possibilities for collaborative journalism are endless and
exciting, as we learned with the two Locals this year," Ms. Giordano
added. "There's a richness to the news and information that comes
directly from the people who work and live in a place, and I am looking
forward to pursuing a range of innovative alliances and arrangements
that deepen and broaden The Times's coverage of the city and region."
The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2008 revenues
of $2.9 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald
Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50
Web sites, including NYTimes.com,
The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting
and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.
This press release can be downloaded from www.nytco.com
SOURCE: The New York Times Company
The New York Times Company
Diane McNulty, 212-556-5244
Carolina Valencia, 212-556-5936