The New York Times and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute have formed a collaborative agreement to cover New York City’s East Village under The Local, The Times’s network of community web sites. The site will be the first devoted exclusively to covering a Manhattan neighborhood.
“We want to continue to expand our collaborations, in the New York area and across the country, through associations with individuals, companies, and institutions that share our values—foremost, increasing the volume and scope of quality journalism about issues that matter,” said Jim Schachter, editor, digital initiatives, The New York Times. “We think that the journalism program at NYU is the perfect match for this initiative.”
The Local East Village (LEV) site will be built by NYU faculty and students, working with Times journalists and software developers, and is expected to launch this fall.
“This collaboration with The New York Times emphasizes our commitment to the highest journalistic standards in providing an innovative model source of news and information about and for our East Village neighborhood,” said Brooke Kroeger, director of the Carter Journalism Institute. “We intend to bring the Institute’s many direct and indirect gifts to the project. These include a state-of-the-art media facility; a community gathering place both on the Web and at our 20 Cooper Square location, and our ever-replenishing pool of student and faculty talent backed by the vast research resources of a distinguished university.”
The Carter Journalism Institute has appointed as editor of the site, Richard G. Jones, an award-winning veteran local and national reporter for The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“One of the most appealing aspects of working with the Institute is that it is firmly rooted in the enduring verities of journalism while also maintaining a broad and ambitious vision for the future of the craft,” Jones said. “We’ll work hard to ensure that The Local East Village represents the best of both of those worlds. I look forward to working with the students, faculty and the other members of the East Village community to help the site live up to its great potential.”
The endeavor will draw upon additional academic resources at NYU: the Stern Consulting Corps (SCC) at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.
Two business students from Stern’s Undergraduate College will consult 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 organizations 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, will 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 organizations.
Throughout the spring, Jones will be planning the project with Carter Journalism Institute faculty Jay Rosen and Jason Samuels, along with their students in the Institute’s new graduate Studio 20 concentration, which runs projects on web innovation. New York Times editors will serve as advisers to the project.
“Incubating the East Village Local and figuring out how it works is exactly what we designed the Studio 20 concentration for,” said Rosen. “What I love about this project is that it's really big, because the local news puzzle is one of the most important unsolved problems in journalism today, and fairly small, because this is a beat our students can literally walk.”
By fall of this year, the Institute’s “Reporting New York” concentration will support Jones and his wider community efforts through a new class, “The Hyperlocal Newsroom,” taught by Yvonne Latty and Darragh Worland. In the summer of 2011, the Hyperlocal Newsroom will welcome graduate and undergraduate journalism students from across the country to cover East Village beats and help coordinate wider community involvement.
In a similar collaboration with the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, The Local currently covers the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.