Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Want a "Virtual Assignment" from The New York Times?

The "democratization" of journalism rolls on. This is just in from Media Bistro, an on-line observer of all things media-related. The way I read this tidbit, anyone can now write for the Times.  Well, not exactly.

You have to have a good idea, you have to be able to write it, and the story has to be about the East Village of Manhattan. But maybe this is just an experiment. Maybe it's the wave of the future, i.e., all kinds of citizens will be participating in journalism (i.e., blogging!) for the Times.

P.S. They don't say it, but you have to write for free of course.

"The New York Times and New York University launch one of the more ambitious projects in recent memory, The Local East Village. The plan: to cover the 110 blocks that roughly make up the New York neighborhood. Former Timesman Richard G. Jones will edit, while current NYT deputy metropolitan editor Mary Ann Giordanooversees from the Gray Lady and NYU professor Jay Rosen plays the role of brains/cheerleader/spiritual guru. Perhaps the most revolutionary goal is for half of the content and the story ideas to come from people who live in the East Village. To achieve that end, the group developed the Virtual Assignment Desk, which will allow any user registered on to volunteer for an assignment or suggest a story. If VAD works, it could be the ultimate takeaway from this whole experiment..."

At the website for The Local East Village, this is the welcoming message:


The Local is a journalistic collaboration designed to reflect the richness of the East Village, report on its issues and concerns, give voice to its people and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves. It is operated by the students and faculty of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, in collaboration with The New York Times, which provides supervision to ensure that the blog remains impartial, reporting-based, thorough and rooted in Times standards. "

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