NYTs City Room Blogger Moves To DC Role; Expands Hyperlocal Effort

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The NYTimes.com is making some small moves regarding its New York metro coverage. Sewell Chan, the reporter who helped found the City Room blog three years as its first bureau chief is heading to Washington, DC for a new role. He’ll be replaced by Andy Newman, who most recently ran The Local blog in Brooklyn, the NYT said in a City Room post. Speaking of The Local, the hyperlocal project it started last year in collaboration with Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis through his citizen journalism initiative at The City University of New York, is adding two more shifting oversight of two of its Brooklyn sites.

The Local’s two new sites will focus on Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods. The CUNY J-School faculty will serve as editors of the site as Newman switches focus to the City Room blog. The NYT will still serve as advisers to the project. The Local consists of five neighborhood sites in New Jersey and Brooklyn.

The CUNY oversight is limited to the Brooklyn sites. The Local’s Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, NJ, sites remain under the editorial supervision of the NYT. The NJ sites use local journalists and more than 50 residents who contribute to the site.
In the Chicago area, a non-profit news organization, the Chicago News Cooperative, provides content for four pages of local coverage weekly in copies of the NYT distributed in the region. Release

With national ad spending likely to remain fairly weak this year, the NYT and others have been aggressively looking for ways to mine the largely untapped local online marketplace. Meanwhile, the NYT is being challenged for local readers and advertisers by the WSJ, which has followed it into San Francisco with its own local edition and has opened a New York bureau to expand its metro coverage there as well.

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Jim Schachter

This post is not wholly accurate. We are not adding two Locals in Brooklyn. The Local serving Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, nytimes.com/fortgreene, will be under the day-to-day editorial control of the CUNY j-school starting Jan. 18. Same number of Locals, more collaboration and innovation!

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