J-School Takes On Expanded Role On The Local Web Site With NYTimes.com

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will assume editorial leadership of NYTimes.com’s The Local community web site starting on Monday, January 18.

The J-School has been collaborating with NYTimes.com since March of 2009 on The Local, which serves residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Local will remain on the Times’ web site.

Annaliese Griffin, a graduate of the J-School’s Class of 2007 and senior editor of the blog Brooklyn Based, has been named collaboration editor and will be responsible for gathering content with the help of community contributors. Several faculty members will oversee the site with input from Mary Ann Giordano, a deputy metropolitan editor of The New York Times and founding editor of The Local. Another J-School grad, Lois deSocio, is running The Local in Maplewood, Millburn, and South Orange, NJ. That site is still under the auspices of The Times.

The Brooklyn site will get further support through a new hyperlocal news course to be launched in the upcoming spring semester. Students will focus on organizing collaborative reporting projects with Fort Greene and Clinton Hill residents and producing their own in-depth stories in multiple media. A number of students also will work for The Local during the summer as paid interns.

A key goal of the project is to make the hyperlocal site sustainable through advertising and other revenues.

“We want to build on The Times’ work in creating a scalable platform to help communities organize their own news and knowledge,” said Prof. Jeff Jarvis, director of the J-School’s Interactive Media Program and its New Business Models for News Project. “The spirit of collaboration – within the community, The New York Times, and our school – will hopefully serve as a model for future hyperlocal efforts in New York and beyond.”

Other faculty members who will be involved in the project are Prof. Sandeep Junnarkar, who teaches in the Interactive Program; Jere Hester, director of the J-School’s award-winning NYCity News Service; and adjunct Indrani Sen, a Brooklyn resident and former Newsday reporter.

The Journalism School’s work with The Local is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional funding from the McCormick Tribune Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


Read here what New York Times reporter Andy Newman had to say about the future of The Local.