The New York Times will hand over operation of its local Brooklyn blog to journalism students and their professors, the NYT Media Decoder Blog reports.
The NYT runs two community blogs, called The Local. They have reporters and editors assigned to them but source most of their content from outside contributors, including readers. One of these will remain the responsibility of Times staff, while operation of the other will rest with the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
The blogs were launched last year, and are seen as an experiment that may lead to dozens of local blogs run by the Times in the New York metropolitan area.
Media Decoder called the move "a model for expanding hyper-local coverage to many communities at minimal cost". As well as pointing out the cost benefits for newspapers in farming out their reporting, it raised the question of credibility: can established news organisations be sure of the quality of others' work? And further, should the seeming increasing reliance of big media organisations on the work of unpaid contributors be a cause for concern?
Hyperlocal news is appealing to news publishers who see the potential to offer a targeted, niche product, and advertising to match. More and more hyperlocal outlets have been opening lately, including several across the US, in the UK, and in the Netherlands. The Local has been a part of this trend, and it will be interesting to see how the publication operates under its new editors.
Source: NYT Media Decoder