Q&A on Studio 20’s New York Times collaboration

Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab did a Q&A with Studio 20 Director Jay Rosen on what the program’s collaboration with the New York Times means for journalism education.

So, are you suggesting that journalism schools could do well to focus on small, incremental steps toward local media partnerships? I mean, if I’m a journalism school director and I like what I see from this partnership, what’s the first step? What should I do?

This project began when I noticed what the Times was doing with The Local, and thought I glimpsed a need to experiment and learn. I mean, that was the logic of what they were doing. So, the first step is to get inside the head of the potential collaborator and start with a need or interest they have. The next step was to look at what we are doing at NYU and where we wanted to go with our program, and figure out where the two circles overlapped.

So, my Studio 20 concentration wants to work on innovation puzzles that matter in journalism in the broadest sense, but to do that through projects that can be completed in a semester. The Carter Institute at NYU teaches local reporting and needs a better way to do that. Put those things together and you get a version of The Local that Studio 20 can incubate, that the Reporting New York concentration at NYU can “own,” and that the Times can benefit from as a learning lab — and the community can gain from because it serves the East Village well. So it’s really four or five overlapping circles, because this is a community that NYU, the university at large, has a big stake in; it’s a big land owner and expects to own more land here.

Once I had the idea — East Village! The Local! — I just looked for ways to multiply the overlapping circles.

Oh, and one more thing: I tried to listen well to what the Times needed from such a project and understand it from their perspective as well as I did from ours.

Check out the full post.

ExplainThis.org partners with podcast on The Nation

Got a burning question that a simple web search can’t answer? Ask it at Studio 20 Director Jay Rosen's ExplainThis.org, where “journalists are standing by.” Studio 20’s Tim Stenovec is working with Rosen on the project.

Explainthis.org recently partnered with The Breakdown, the explainer podcast with Chris Hayes of the Nation. More details here.

Explaining The Local: East Village, NYU’s Collaboration with the New York Times

Studio 20 Director Jay Rosen describes more details in a PressThink post:

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.

Read the full post for more.