'New York Times' to Launch Local Citizen Journalism Sites

By Strupp, Joe | Editor & Publisher, February 27, 2009 | Go to article overview

'New York Times' to Launch Local Citizen Journalism Sites


Strupp, Joe, Editor & Publisher


The New York Times is joining the growing world of local "citizen journalism" with two Web sites launching Monday focused on five specific communities in New Jersey and Brooklyn, N.Y.

"The Local" will appear on the Times' Web pages with sites dedicated to three communities in New Jersey -- Maplewood, South Orange and Millburn -- and two Brooklyn neighborhoods, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Most of the contributions will come from local residents, with a Times staffer overseeing each site.

"They have each recruited initial contributors and the mission of their sites will be to encourage and instigate people in their communities to do their own reporting and contribute their own creativity to the community we are trying to build online," said Jim Schachter, Times editor/digital initiatives.

Times staffers Tina Kelley, in New Jersey, and Andy Newman, in Brooklyn, have been recruiting contributors and will oversee the sites. Schachter said locals will file stories, photos and other items to each site, but on a volunteer basis.

Deputy Metro Editor Mary Ann Giordano will oversee the two reporters.

"These are pilots," Schachter added. "The way we are doing the pilots is a New York Times metro reporter who will be an anchor person on each of these and lead the community in reporting on these sites."

Asked about the dangers of having inexperienced non-journalists doing reporting for the sites, Schachter said, "I don't think we would expect to get the exact same thing that we would get from a New York Times reporter. …

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