As you may have heard, NYU and The New York Times are teaming up to create a hyperlocal neighborhood news site called The Local: East Village (LEV).
Seth Lewis at Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab interviewed LEV mastermind Jay Rosen for a Q-and-A posted on Monday. Here's an excerpt: (Warning! It's pretty journalismish...)
So, are you suggesting that journalism schools could do well to focus on small, incremental steps toward local media partnerships? I mean, if I’m a journalism school director and I like what I see from this partnership, what’s the first step? What should I do?
This project began when I noticed what the Times was doing with The Local, and thought I glimpsed a need to experiment and learn. I mean, that was the logic of what they were doing. So, the first step is to get inside the head of the potential collaborator and start with a need or interest they have. The next step was to look at what we are doing at NYU and where we wanted to go with our program, and figure out where the two circles overlapped.
So, my Studio 20 concentration wants to work on innovation puzzles that matter in journalism in the broadest sense, but to do that through projects that can be completed in a semester. The Carter Institute at NYU teaches local reporting and needs a better way to do that. Put those things together and you get a version of The Local that Studio 20 can incubate, that the Reporting New York concentration at NYU can “own,” and that the Times can benefit from as a learning lab — and the community can gain from because it serves the East Village well. So it’s really four or five overlapping circles, because this is a community that NYU, the university at large, has a big stake in; it’s a big land owner and expects to own more land here.
Once I had the idea — East Village! The Local! — I just looked for ways to multiply the overlapping circles.
Oh, and one more thing: I tried to listen well to what the Times needed from such a project and understand it from their perspective as well as I did from ours.
Also, from here on out, perhaps we can shorten NYU-NYT to, say, NYUT.