The New York Times will launch its latest hyperlocal offering, an East Village community news blog produced by students from NYU’s graduate j-school, on Monday, Sept. 13, NYU announced this morning.
“The Local East Village gives us another opportunity to explore ways to provide quality online journalism to communities here and across the country,” said Mary Ann Giordano, one of The New York Times editors who oversees its local metro coverage.
The new site, called The Local East Village (alternately known as LEV), marks The Times latest entry in the hyperlocal sphere, where a growing number of media companies are trying to develop new advertising opportunities.
Over the summer, The Times shuttered its Local site covering the New Jersey towns of Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, due to a lack of resources.
Here’s the release from NYU:
The New York Times and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute will launch The Local East Village, part of The Times’s network of community web sites, on September 13. The site, which will cover New York City’s East Village, is the first devoted exclusively to reporting on a Manhattan neighbourhood.
“We intend to add new value — in all media formats — to the East Village’s already rich and vibrant online presence,” said Brooke Kroeger, director of the Carter Journalism Institute.
“The Local East Village gives us another opportunity to explore ways to provide quality online journalism to communities here and across the country,” said Mary Ann Giordano, a deputy Metro editor, New York Times. “We also look forward to seeing NYU’s innovations at work, so we can learn more about engaging and involving readers in coverage.”
The Local East Village (LEV) site — http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/ or http://localeastvillage.com — is built by NYU faculty and students, working with Times journalists and software developers. Carter Journalism Institute Professor Richard G. Jones, an award-winning veteran local and national reporter for The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the site’s editor.
The site will feature a Virtual Assignment Desk, an interactive digital platform that has been created as a WordPress plug-in. It provides an editorial work flow system for both assigning stories, and receiving and managing ideas, tips, and finished work from community and student contributors. Any registered user of nytimes.com will be able to go to a special page to see what assignments are available.
The site has a rotating community liaison editor. The first is Kim Davis, an East Village resident who publishes At the Sign of the Pink Pig, a weekly online magazine devoted to restaurants and the arts, since 2007. His work has appeared in a range of publications, including City Limits, the Literary Review, and the New Musical Express.
“The site is a significant step forward in pro-am journalism collaborations,” said Jones. “Our goal is that as much as half of the content on the site will be produced by our East Village neighbours.”
The Institute’s graduate “Reporting New York” concentration, directed by Yvonne Latty, will support Jones and his wider community efforts through a new class, “The Hyperlocal Newsroom,” which teams Jones and Latty with other Carter Institute faculty members, including Mary Quigley and Darragh Worland. The project incubated in the new graduate Studio 20 concentration, which runs projects on web innovation, and is led by faculty members Jay Rosen and Jason Samuels. New York Times editors and technology staff are serving as advisers to the project.
Starting in May 2011, the Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy will welcome journalism students from across the country to cover East Village beats and help coordinate wider community involvement. These include pre-college and college tracks as well as a select number of three-month graduate-level LEV internships, credit and non-credit, available on a competitive basis. For more on the The Hyperlocal Academy, click here.
The endeavour draws upon additional academic resources at NYU: the Stern Consulting Corps (SCC) at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and the Tisch School of the Arts’ Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Business students from Stern’s Undergraduate College have been consulting on marketing and strategy for the LEV site through the SCC, a program that offers its students 10-week consulting internships with prominent non-profit organisations in NYC, including mentorship from representatives at top-tier consulting firms.
Students in the Courant Institute’s “Information Technology Projects” course, taught by Clinical Associate Professor Evan Korth, serve as consultants for the LEV site. The course, part of Courant’s Computer Science Department, teaches students how to apply their technical skills in a practical team-oriented context to build real world IT solutions for businesses, government agencies, or non-profit organisations.
The Institute is also working with sensor technology emerging from the Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts for possible use in generating real time data about noise levels in the East Village, which is a major complaint of community residents.
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