The New York Times made news this week with the launch of The Local, offering close-up coverage of communities in New Jersey and New York. Stories include news about deer hunting and delays on transit trains.
Scrolling through the blog-like items about places like Maplewood and Clinton Hill, I was reminded of The Carrboro Commons, a project started in 2007 at the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. Students in my Advanced Editing course serve as the copy editors, and students in Community Journalism write the stories and shoot photos and video. Together, they put together a news site (including a .pdf “print” edition) focused on the town of Carrboro, N.C.
The latest issue of the Commons went up this week. Take a look at it and The Local. They don’t take identical paths, but they both lead to the same question: Is this the future of local news?