Posted by Emma Heald on February 23, 2010 at 11:09 AM
NYTimes.com has announced that it will be collaborating with New York University journalism students to create a local community news site covering New York City's East Village area. It will be launched this autumn, according to a press release.

Students from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute will develop The Local East Village site on NYTimes.com and Richard G. Jones, a former New York Times reporter, will serve as editor of the site. New York Times deputy metropolitan editor Mary Ann Giordano will also be involved in coordinating the editorial content. Community contribution will be encouraged. 

A course entitled "The Hyperlocal Newsroom" will allow students to participate in the site.

"We want to continue to expand our network of 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," Jim Schachter, editor of digital initiatives at the New York Times said in the press release. "We think that the journalism program at N.Y.U. is the perfect match for this initiative."

Over the past year, the New York Times has made significant moves into hyperlocal news coverage and has welcomed collaboration with students and other news outlets. The Local Brooklyn, for example, is run with help from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Local editions of the New York Times are operated using news from the Chicago News Cooperative in Chicago, and in San Francisco the Bay Area News Project is due to start contributing news later this year.

It has been argued that hyperlocal coverage is likely to be a major part of the future of news: it is information that people really need, that is not widely available across the internet, and it is easy to get communities involved.  

AOL is in the process of expanding its network of hyperlocal news blogs, Patch. Everyblock, owned by MSNBC, has been constantly developing its offerings. Over in Europe, the Czech project Nase adresa is to be rolled-out country wide, and a new hyperlocal news network is in the pipelines in the Netherlands.

NYU professor Jay Rosen offers his take on the collaboration with the NYT here.

Source: New York Times press release