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NYT To Launch ‘Citizen Journalism’ Sites

From Editor & Publisher:

‘New York Times’ to Launch Local Citizen Journalism Sites

By Joe Strupp

February 27, 2009

NEW YORK 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…

"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. One of the qualities that we bring to the plan is our good judgment."

He also said the new approach is not meant to replace some suburban coverage that has had to be reduced in recent years: "It is a grassroots effort, to see if there is a new kind of journalism we can be part of." …

"The mission is to educate the community about how to be citizen journalists and contributors," he added. "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."

But he admits the money-making options are unknown. "There is no conceivable way that a site staffed with a full-time New York Times journalist can pencil out as profitable," he said. "We are trying to figure out using our people as experimenters if there is a model that combines journalism, technology and advertising that would work."

As most of the world knows, we extolled “Citizen Journalists” in our speech at CPAC the day before yesterday.

And now the New York Times announces this? – A coincidence?

We don’t think so.

But of course it is obvious The Times really has nary a clue as to what is actually meant by the term of art, “Citizen Journalists.”

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…”

Let’s hope not. We should expect a much higher standard.

After all, most people are by nature honest.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 2nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “NYT To Launch ‘Citizen Journalism’ Sites”

  1. greasywrench says:

    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. One of the qualities that we bring to the plan is our good judgment.”

    NY Times “qualities and good judgement?” Jayson Blair had no comment.

    • caligirl9 says:

      No problem being concerned about journalistic integrity if you have “inexperienced non-journalists” creating content.

      Oh wait, journalistic integrity (objectivity) isn’t what the NY Times is known for; it’s known for its correct punctuation and word usage. I wonder if the citizen journalists will be edited for style and word usage, or will text speak become mainstream?

      Pardon my bitchiness this morning; I’m on my way to get some needles into my back in a couple of hours. It’s so much fun fighting with a worker’s comp carrier for treatment that I am entitled to as a former state employee who was injured on the job! My 20-year work injury “anniversary” is coming up in April. It’s an anniversary I’d rather not have ever had to “celebrate.”

  2. proreason says:

    A sound business decision.

    Better quality control for 1/1000th the cost.

  3. Kilmeny says:

    Anyone else finding this concept from the Times a little suspect? I’m going to be interested to see these “citizen journalists”. Something tells me that these are going to be rather indistinguishable from their so-called “real journalists”.

    Or maybe I’m just crabby and suspicious today.

    • caligirl9 says:

      I think they may be as reliable as a Wikipedia entry.
      I also expect that the ones with the liberal slant will be not as edited as those with a conservative point of view.
      That is, assuming any of their “citizen journalists” can string together a cohesive sentence and a coherent paragraph.

    • proreason says:

      The “citizen journalists” will permit them to move even FURTHER left, with plausible deniability.

  4. heykev says:

    I had first thought that it will be used by outfits wanting to get their Leftist press releases published; but the NYT already published them in the guise of journalism, so I’m not sure why they are doing this. Although I will agree with Pro, it does make good business sense.

    It would be quite funny if EVERY conservative blogger posted their new there as well as posted on their site. It would make them so angry and probably be taken down in a matter of days after that. But it would be fun.

  5. mikepatr says:

    I wonder if their “Good Judgment” is the reason that their stock has dropped like a gangster in cement shoes, and their board has suspended the payment of dividends.

    Oh yeah… their judgment and their competence in running a newspaper is quite obvious. They print a million papers a day and then lecture Americans they’re destroying the planet by wiping their butts with toilet paper. It’s too bad the times isn’t worth wiping your ass with.

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What could be a better place for bleeding heart liberals to spend more time together than in a bleeding heart blog that is from a bleeding heart rag of a paper also hemorrhaging money profusely?

    Sorry, did I say “bleeding heart” too much?

  7. toxicbrainpoison says:

    this is a good idea. We all deserve to be journalists. Thats all blogs are…

    • TwilightZoned says:

      My thoughts exactly. Besides the NYT is so far down the toilet that I doubt this effort will make any difference saving the business. The Times is in quick sand slowly sinking. I wonder if the Mexican lenders will be calling in the payment soon…and how exactly will that work…will anyone be physically unharmed…hummm

  8. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    For some reason, today, the conspiracy theory side of my brain is acting up. While the NYT’s calls them citizen journalists, my first thought is ‘neighborhood informants.’

    • curvyred says:

      That was my initial thought as well, then my mind wandered back to the spoof site:

      THEOBAMAFORUM.COM and their threads about reporting neighbors for re-education.

      Maybe I need a new tinfoil hat?

  9. Al Morone says:

    “It is a grassroots effort, to see if there is a new kind of journalism we can be part of.”
    Yeah, like the “journalism” of Jayson Blair!

  10. Liberals Demise says:

    OOOOOOOR….are they trying to bring integrity back to their sorry rag?

    Me thinks nope!!

  11. joeblough says:

    This is just plain comical.

  12. proreason says:

    Even David Brooks, the Slime’s pretend conservative, is beginning to get it:

    “Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice”

    It’s good to see progress, but I would have worded it differently…

    “The Moron is who we thought he was. His words are lies; his character is slimy. But his actions betray a transformational communism that should put every American on notice that their lives are terminal.”

  13. preparing4theworst says:

    Was I the one of the few that caught the line about “one of the qualities that we bring to the plan is our good judgement”, and found it a little more than mildly amusing from a publication that is slowly dying on the vine due that same “good judgment?


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