With the help of The New York Times, the East Village is officially now a hyperlocal journalism experiment at NYU. Not content to just gobble up real estate all over the neighborhood, decapitate churches and fill the streets with obnoxious students, NYU has now teamed up with The New York Times to gentrify the EV blogosphere. Here's the official release:
NYTimes.com announced today a collaboration with New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute to create a new Local community news and information Web site covering the East Village in New York City.
The Local East Village site will be developed by N.Y.U.'s journalism faculty and students and is scheduled to launch later this fall. Richard G. Jones, an award-winning veteran journalist and former New York Times reporter, will serve as the editor of the site. Mr. Jones will work with students, faculty and the East Village community to cover the news of everyday life in the neighborhood.
Together with N.Y.U. professors Yvonne Latty and Darragh Worland, Mr. Jones will also manage "The Hyperlocal Newsroom," a course that will allow students to engage in a variety of ways, including reporting and writing for the site. Summer courses will also be available for students of other journalism institutions.
Awesome that the Times thinks enough of the East Village to assign the beat to some NYU grad students who have lived here for a short time. (The Times has two other Local community news sites: one for Maplewood, Millwood and South Orange, N.J., the other in Ft. Greene and Clinton Hill.)
Per Choire Sicha at the Awl: "[M]y third and minor objection is that most of the reporters are going to be young people who actually don't know anything about the history of the area they're reporting on. But that's fine, if they are smart or have time to learn things or have a good editor."
Jay Rosen, who directs NYU's Studio 20 program, has a lengthy explanation of the project here. An excerpt:
Permit to say what I find so fascinating about this project. Man, it has everything in it — everything I’ve been studying since I gave my first talk to newspaper editors in Des Moines, Iowa in 1989. It’s neighborhood journalism; it’s cosmopolitan too. It’s about innovation; it’s about the classic virtues, like shoe leather reporting. It combines the discipline of pro journalism with the participatory spirit of citizen journalism. It’s an ideal way to study the craft, which is to say it’s an entirely practical project. It’s what J-school should be doing: collaborating with the industry on the best ways forward. It’s news, it’s commentary, it’s reviewing, it’s opinion, it’s the forum function, community connection, data provision, blogging — all at once. LEV I said is a start-up, but it’s starting with the strongest news franchise there is: the New York Times.
[T]he thing I really love about it… NYU is a citizen of the East Village, a powerful institution (and huge land owner) within the frame. Our students are part of the community; they live there, or at least a lot of them do. Because we’re located there; we can’t really separate ourselves from our subject. Look, not everyone is going to be thrilled that NYU is doing this with the New York Times. We’ll have to take those problems on, not as classroom abstractions but civil transactions with the people who live and work here. You know what? It’s going to be messy and hard, which is to say real. But what better what is there to learn what journalists are yet good for in 2010?
I have a lot of mixed feelings about all this... too much to try to process at the moment... I wasn't thrilled with the earlier incarnation of this project. (And I'd still like to know what happened to the comments on this article. And how the reporter first heard about the incident.)
In any event, the editor at the NYU site who sent me the news release about the local East Village site? She lives in Brooklyn.
For further reading:
The 'Times' Comes for the East Village with Another Non-Paying Student Paper (The Awl)