The Times To Launch Local Blogging Initiative

fort-greene-map-022709.jpgLook out, local bloggers, the Gray Lady is moving in on your turf. Starting mid-day on Monday, The New York Times will be rolling out a neighborhood blog initiative. Our home soil of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill will be one of the two pilot sites (the other site will cover Millburn, Maplewood and South Orange in New Jersey). According to an email that was forwarded to us, the subject matter will include “cultural events, bar and restaurant openings, real estate, arts, fashion, health, social concerns and anything else that goes on in the ‘SoHo of Brooklyn.'” Each site will be helmed by a writer/editor from the paper, a Times official told us, but will draw upon contributors from the neighborhood as well as some free labor from the CUNY journalism program. Readers will be able to post everything from short films to wedding announcements, and a map-based real estate listings section will tie back to the Times’ main real estate site. Wonder if they’ll have a House of the Day post as well? The game is on!

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  • Compared to brownstooner, most other blogs are pretty poorly formatted. Although the NY Times may get the formatting right, why are they making it such a small neighborhood footprint???

  • Take ’em down JB. Toast the gray bastards! Movin’ in on your turf like that…

  • Ah yes, J-school young’uns, get out there and work those Interwebs, because, as the kids say nowadays, that’s where it’s happening, man! Everything you need to know is contained in the phrase, “the Soho of Brooklyn.” The poor grey bastards haven’t yet figured out that Soho is now merely the pathetic, Paris-Hiltonized Williamsburg of Manhattan. Toast! Toast!

    (Interesting footnote that the J-school providing young’uns is CUNY and not their usual feeder, Columbia. Wonder why?)

  • If its done by the NY Times the formatting may be right but the facts won’t be, this organization has a record of printing lies. Kick ther butts Brownstoner.

  • “The game is on!”
    So now it’s Team Bull and Team Bear vs. Team Grey?

    We aren’t going anywhere, Mr. B.

  • Competition will reveal your worthiness, Mr. Brownstoner.

  • Another attempt by the Times to stay relevant, in the face of their implosion.

    Mr. B, you don’t have anything to worry about.

  • While it’s nice to have something else to read online that relates more or less to where I live, in my experience the Times lately doesn’t have the balls to be really edgy and interesting.

  • Now if the people who did the Sun did this, I would be excited.

  • Don’t fret. You get it right while they…well they don’t have a clue.

    Besides, we’re loyal.

  • nothing to see here. except for free journalism costs.

    they are onto you bloggers and your bleeding-edge cost structures(no payroll, no physical product).

    really though. anyone here think it matters? they stll have the albatross of a print edition.

    they are FOLLOWING, not LEADING.

    its like watching one of those nature videos where the big cat takes down the bigger animal over a torturous several hour gruesome video.

    but a cheer to the times. they finally drank the koolaid of blogging and are (it seems to me) getting ready to abandon the comprehensive journalism ship.

    and the snark shall rule them all!

  • I’m sure I’ll fall asleep reading their blog as I do the newspaper.

  • quote – While it’s nice to have something else to read online that relates more or less to where I live, in my experience the Times lately doesn’t have the balls to be really edgy and interesting.

    well they did run that piece this week about the new sex club in brooklyn, with a positive spin and outlook on it!


  • “they stll have the albatross of a print edition. they are FOLLOWING, not LEADING.”

    It’s The Times’ news organization that’s the important thing. Like it or not, the newsgathering organization continues to lead. The blogosphere cannot exist (not yet, anyway) without the traditional media. Bloggers don’t employs large staffs that report on specific beats and topics. Bloggers don’t maintain news and photography bureaus in international cities. Bloggers don’t attempt to investigate or explore subjects outside of their (often) narrow purview. Bloggers NEED traditional media. That said, papers like the Times will continue to seek ways to break into the undeniable momentum and (hopefully) profitability of the blog/online culture.

  • > “and the snark shall rule them all!”

    One Snark to rule them all
    One Snark to find them
    One Snark to bring them all
    and in the snarkness blog them

  • eny:

    in 4 years the times “organization” wont staff those things either.

    Bloggers don’t employs large staffs that report on specific beats and topics. Bloggers don’t maintain news and photography bureaus in international cities. Bloggers don’t attempt to investigate or explore subjects outside of their (often) narrow purview.

    thats 4 years to get up to speed.

    the smart existing organizations pulled ut years ago…

    knight-ridder in 2006, pulitzers ???

  • dear brownstoners –

    thank you all for all the love. andy newman here, veteran ny times brooklyn reporter and, now, fledgling fortgreene/clintonhill blogger. this despite the fact that, as our pals at clintonhillblog reported and as i confirmed there, i reside, perhaps unforgivably, in park slope, the soho of montclair.

    as i said on chb, i’m thrilled to be here, happy to not be writing about park slope, and hoping you’ll come check out The Local (that’s what it’s called) starting monday at and, where we will be blogging like crazy, linking religiously to our betters at brownstoner and elsewhere, looking for ways to serve you and get your voices heard and showering the neighborhood with the journalistic attention such an amazing place deserves.

    to answer a couple of the questions posed above:

    dibs, the small footprint is because this kind of blog, where we’re going to attempt to tease out every thread in the complex fabric of a neighborhood’s life, only makes sense to do at a scale this small, and barely that – there are more than 50,000 people in fg and ch, which is kind of a lot. if this blog and its new jersey counterpart take off, the times will replicate them elsewhere.

    brenda, we also (of course) have interns from columbia. and queens college. as well as cuny. it takes a village of unpaid labor to get something like this going.

    yours in infinite engagement,

    – andy

  • Ah- the gauntlet has been thrown down. Welcome to b’stoner, Mr. Newman. When does Crown Heights get its blog? :-)

  • thanks. no gauntlet though. i come in peace. the more the merrier. no HOTD unless our realestate suits make me do it, promise.

  • “in 4 years the times “organization” wont staff those things either.”

    Perhaps…we will see, won’t we?

  • eny:

    i’ll bet some cash they wont.

    brand alone wll die.

    sears anyone.

  • I second the ‘following’ comment. But why not, let’s see what they do. Good luck AN.

  • Andy Newman, didn’t we have a date in 2006/7? Ha!

  • I don’t see why a number of good sites can’t co-exist. I’d go to the NYT site for credible local news (which there really isn’t any more in specific bklyn neighborhoods), and BS for real estate/renovation/forum. The beauty of the Web is that there’s unlimited room and the cost of entry is zero. And don’t forget that the corporate-ness of the NYT is going to prevent the freewheeling nature of sites like BS…which is what i love about it…

  • I just hope they catch up to the neighborhood more quickly than they did in Williamsburg. The Times seems to only comment on the ever expanding gentrification there. So, good luck Mr. Newman. There are only a handful of good blogs about FG, so here’s hoping this is a positive addition. Just try to keep the breathless “Visit from Manhattan, there are white people on the streets at night!” columns to a minimum. FG is a complex and storied neighborhood that deserves better than updates on who was spotted at the Flea market and which TV show is filming there next.

  • final thought from me…(on this)

    welcome back to brooklyn nytimes(you have a former printing plant in brooklyn).

    there will be competition.

    there will be fun.

    there will be many contenders(most as yet unborn).

    lets see darwin realtime.

    p.s. i have to look it up somewhere but there is a nytimes artcle from way back where the times welcomed the brooklyn daily eagle to the newspaper fold in the 1850s. they said(i paraphrase), we’ll do the news, you can do the fluff.

    turnabaout is fair play. i think the times will do the fluff better, cause thats what will sell the papers longer.

  • Yeah, of course you guys are loyal, this is your own private little party here. Maybe the comments section on the Times’ blog will actually be readable….maybe not….

  • Mopar: Perhaps you went on a date with the like-named Andrew Adam Newman, a Times freelancer who, unlike me, is unmarried? See if he looks familiar:

  • What the Times should be doing is buying great sites like yours and rolling them into their mix.

  • Andy, you are right, it was the other Mr. Newman. Funny, I am also a journalist with a doppleganger.

    I love Brownstoner and the NYT. Maybe they shouldn’t compete. I would like to pay the NYT because I read it online every day. Maybe a donation, a la NPR? I don’t want a print sub because it’s out of date and piles up.

  • Mopar, my wife is relieved to learn that I didn’t go on any dates in 2006/7. Thank you. Re donations: I expect that sometime in the nearish future the Times will begin either charging for online content or begging for donations a la NPR, since, what the heck, we’re practically a nonprofit at this point. (Note: this is not a scoop. It’s been out there.) Start saving up your pennies now. We’ll need them. – Andy

  • > “the Times will begin either charging for online content”

    Didn’t they already try that a while back?

  • Yes but we charged too much. Wasn’t it something like $14.95 a month for TimesSelect? I’m guessing it will be less this time. And maybe you won’t be able to get 75% of the content for free anymore like you could then, which took away most of the incentive to subscribe. Also, millions of people have become hopelessly addicted to the site since then. I will stop now before the suits shut me up.

  • I would pay $80 a year. All my best to your wife. :)

  • To Brenda from Flatbush:

    The reason is that Jeff Jarvis is a CUNY, and he’s a bit of a force consulting with papers in regard to new media restructuring in journalism, and the hyperlocal movement.

    I don’t know that Columbia has a similar guru and a student program already in place.

    Who knows what will happen to the Columbia J-school snob appeal, with traditional journalism basically imploding. I’m guessing it will just morph into a small shell of non-J-School Ivy League cronies like in publishing, while those with geek chops who are willing to work for free will slave online (or will rely on trust funds, but those folks don’t tend to have geek chops).

  • Hi Andy Newman and Brownstoner,

    I’m a j-schooler at Columbia. I also happen to live in Clinton Hill at the edge of Fort Greene, and I think I know it pretty well. If you’re looking for any of that aforementioned “slaving” I would love to help.

  • I welcome the Times Blog and the professionalism of Andy Newman to boot. I met with him several times in the last month or so offering any help I could. I see the relationship as synbiotic.

    Andy is today’s new man. Tomorrow when the next new man arrives will be heaped with your snotty sarcasm and vile humor.

    I am dismayed and embarrassed by most of the comments submitted by folks I assume are my neighbors. I expected more. Do you think you own Fort Greene Clinton Hill?

    DK Holland
    resident 26 years
    Fort Greene/Clinton Hill
    co-founder and editor of The Hill
    celebrating its 25 anniversary