At a time when hyperlocal news is taking off, many newspapers are struggling to fund the reporting necessary to keep popular but costly local news bureaus active. But The New York Times is taking a new approach. They're tapping into the potential talent pool at New York University's Arthur L Carter Journalism Institute to launch a new East Village focused news blog.

The effort will help the Times expand its local coverage and help journalism students get important experience (and a few bylines). Not a bad deal. And are there any reasons why the Times should pay journalists when it can get students to do their work for free?

The Local East Village site will be overseen by former Times reporter Richard G. Jones as well as N.Y.U. professors Yvonne Latty and Darragh Worland. The site will be hosted on The New York Times website at

And just because The Times won't be paying NYU students to produce content for the site, that doesn't mean someone won't be supporting them. Brooke Kroeger, director of NYU's Journalism Institute, tells Business Insider that the school is planning to build a "war chest" to help cover the costs of freelance contributions.

The news has been met with mixed reactions. Curbed had a smattering of responses, including the following:

"Awesome that the Times thinks enough of the East Village to assign the beat to some NYU grad students who haved lived here for a short time... I have a lot of mixed feelings about all this... too much to try to process at the moment..."EV Grieve

The site will launch this fall, just before the paper begins charging for access to its website. And the question remains: Will The New York Times make its readers pay for something that it gets mostly for free?

Meghan Keane

Published 23 February, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (3)

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Meghan,

Interesting move by such a large media player. I personally think it's a smart decision because students will get valuable work experience and exposure and NYT, under the guidance of a reporter and lecturer, will generate relevant local content, which can only benefit SEO and readership.

I'm aware of an agency in Ireland that uses University students to manage social media monitoring for its Clients. This work counts towards their degree whilst giving them useful work experience and insight into the world of eCommerce and social media.

If you look at Summit media, they use UK prisoners to deliver online marketing and this has been a huge success story. Thinking laterally when delivering work can be rewarding.

Could tapping in to educational establishments be a practical and viable working model for digital agencies and content owners?



over 8 years ago

Meghan Keane

Meghan Keane, US Editor at Econsultancy

Hi James, I agree that with efficient quality control (ie: a good editor) this will be a cheap and easy way for The Times to generate local content. I'm just curious to see if it's treated the same as other content on the site — and what happens when the paper's website goes behind a pay wall.

over 8 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

That's true - if/when the paywall does go ahead, will students be paid for their content that sits behind it?

over 8 years ago

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