Look: Not everyone is going to be thrilled that NYU is doing this with the New York Times. We’ll have to take those problems on, not as classroom abstractions but civil transactions with the people who live and work here. You know what? It’s going to be messy and hard, which is to say real.
Rosen outlines 16 points about the site and its goals, including Studio 20’s instrumental role:
6. Whereas CUNY took over the production of an existing site, LEV is more of a start-up. The Local: East Village doesn’t exist yet. The Journalism faculty and students at NYU are to give form to it, and we are presently hard at work on that, assisted by the editors and blogging team at the New York Times.
7. Deciding how to launch the site, how it should operate, and how to make it effective in the East Village community are ideal tasks for students in NYU’s Studio 20 program, which I direct, assisted by my colleague, Jason Samuels, formerly of ABCNews.com. The students in Studio 20 are immersed in the innovation puzzle in journalism; they learn by doing projects with media partners who are struggling with the same puzzle. We’ve devoted their spring seminar—a class called Studio 2, which I teach—to this collaboration with the New York Times. They are working on every aspect of the project: from the design of the site to relationships with the community, from work flows to topic pages, data apps to user participation, social media to beat reporting.
The project also includes collaboration with Visiting Scholar Dave Winer, NYU’s business school and computer science department, as well as with fwix.com:
11. There are other parties collaborating in this project. Dave Winer, a visiting scholar at NYU and a technical adviser to Studio 20, has already contributed east-village.org, a river of news-style feed that will help us curate the blogosphere and wider web. He will advise us on other parts of the project, as well. Avi Fein and Natalie Marchant, students from the Stern School of Business Consulting Corps, are working with Studio 20 on the sustainability puzzle. I’ve asked them to figure out what the most likely sources of revenue are and recommend a strategy we can follow over the next year or two. Anuj Bajaj, Erik Froese and SungHyun Bang, students in Professor Evan Korth’s Information Technology Projects class in the computer science program at NYU are collaborating with Studio 20 on an open source assignment desk system that we can use for LEV. (This is one of the holy grails of citizen journalism.) Darian Shirazi, founder and head geek at fwix.com, is building us an aggregation tool based on his system for isolating new web content about particular places.
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