05 March 2009

NYT Launches Community Sites

Residents living in five New York neighbourhoods are being encouraged to write stories for two new community sites on nytimes.com.

The citizen journalism websites form part of a New York Times pilot project and will be launched this week.

According to Editor & Publisher, two websites will cover news from five communities in New Jersey and Brooklyn.

NYT staff will oversee the sites but the content – from articles to photos and videos – will come from people living within the areas.

And the newspaper’s editor for digital initiatives revealed that the overseers have already been busy recruiting volunteers ahead of launch.

“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.

He added that the new sites are not intended to replace community coverage produced by professional journalists but they represent instead “a grassroots effort, to see if there is a new kind of journalism we can be part of”.

Schachter concluded: “There are ‘place’ blogs everywhere. We have to create a real quality community that figures out the answers to questions on the minds of people in each place.”

See Editor & Publisher for the full story.

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