|Page (1) of 1 - 05/04/12||email article||print page|
Digital First Media Announces 12 New Community Newsroom Projects(May 04, 2012)
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 05/04/12 -- Digital First Media announced today that it would soon launch 12 new community newsroom projects, as it continues to seek ways to more effectively engage and involve its local readers.
These community newsroom projects seek to build on the success of the Newsroom Café launched by the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn., an experiment that led to the Register Citizen being named the 2011 Innovator of the Year by the Associated Press Media Editors.
The 12 new projects will use a variety of methods to involve the community in reporting news, issues and events in the cities, suburbs and towns covered by Digital First newsrooms.
"We didn't want to replicate the Newsroom Café in other newsrooms," said Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement and Social Media for Digital First. "What we're trying to do is apply some of the principles of the Newsroom Café to the unique circumstances of other communities and draw on the creativity of our local staff members the same way we did with that project."
Four of the new projects will involve "mobile community media labs," which will equip vans with computers and wi-fi hot spots for engagement throughout the regions covered by their newsrooms:
- The San Jose Mercury News will use a van that includes an awning and portable furniture to create a "pop-up living room," so staff members can lead classes and meetings throughout the Silicon Valley region the Merc covers.
- A TwinCities.com van will help the St. Paul Pioneer Press extend its news coverage and digital brand throughout the Twin Cities metro area. TwinCities.com will also expand the Pioneer Press's partnership with the St. Paul Public Library to other libraries throughout the metro area.
- The York Daily Record's van will allow the newsroom staff to engage throughout the south-central Pennsylvania region that it covers.
- The New Haven Register will take the Torrington "open newsroom" concept on the road with its new mobile newsroom. Community Engagement Editors Angela Carter and Ed Stannard will set up at the scene of local events or stories of interest to the community and target specific neighborhoods for outreach.
Two of the projects will involve partnerships with local communities:
- The El Paso Times will engage its community in a cross-border partnership with the University of Texas-El Paso and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Times will offer community classes and recruit bloggers in English and Spanish on both sides of the border and will open a room in its downtown El Paso newsroom for community use, equipped with computers and wi-fi.
- Heritage Media will operate its community newsroom at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich. The Heritage staff will engage with the public on campus, training bloggers and offering computers and wi-fi for public use.
Projects in two other Digital First communities will provide rooms for community use at the sites of the newsrooms:
- In a downtown location with heavy foot traffic, the Pasadena Star-News will offer a Newsroom Café with computers, wi-fi and a flat-screen TV for use by community bloggers as well as for classes, meetings and other events.
- The Mercury is already using a room at its offices in Pottstown, Pa., for community meetings and events. The project will provide the room with computers, a microfilm reader and furniture for daily use by the community as well as special events. This spring the Mercury collected more than 15,000 food items and laundry detergent containers through its Community Media Lab in a drive to replenish dwindling stocks at local food pantries.
Four projects will seek to engage the community through existing facilities:
- The Daily Camera, dailycamera.com, BuffZone.com and BoCoPreps.com in Boulder, Colo., are planning a variety of engagement approaches, including a "You Be the Editor" day when guests will decide which stories should get front-page play and lead play online, recording sessions for local bands in the "Camera Garage studio" and taking it sports video shows, now produced in the studio, on the road.
- The Denver Post will host monthly forums in the auditorium of its downtown office, inviting the community to discuss news and issues with Post journalists. The Post's plan also included newsroom tours that will invite visitors to join discussions at daily news planning meetings.
- The Daily Freeman in Kingston, N.Y., will offer public classes to the community and open its conference room on selected days, providing wi-fi and computers for public use, along with tutorials on using the newsroom's archives and microfilm readers.
- The North Adams Transcript in North Adams, Mass., will host weekly meetings to discuss news in the community. The meetings will include a book swap, because the community no longer has a bookstore.
Nearly two dozen other Digital First newsrooms have proposed further community newsroom projects that remain under consideration. In addition to the Torrington project, other community newsrooms are in various stages of development in the company, including one opening later this year in downtown Oakland, Calif., another ready to open soon in Lansdale, Pa., and one opened last year in West Chester, Pa.
"We want all our newsrooms to engage their communities in multiple ways -- on our websites, social media, blogs, text messages and print products, but also in person," Buttry said. "We are pleased that so many of our newsrooms will be expanding the ways that we reach out in person in our communities."
About Digital First Media
Digital First Media is headquartered in New York City and jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. Digital First Media reaches 57 million Americans each month through more than 800 multi-platform products across 18 states.
For information, contact
Copyright @ Marketwire
Related Keywords: DigitalFirst Media, Steve Buttry, Newsroom Cafe, Community Nesroom, John Paton, Digital First , Marketwire, , The Associated Press, Sports, Television, Sports, mexico, Other,