The New York Times launched The Local on a snowy day in March 2009, with hopes the blog would serve as a shining example of community collaboration amid the mushrooming online hyperlocal movement. The Local was conceived not only as a place to get neighborhood news of the day, but as a blog by the people and for the people of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
As Andy Newman, The Times reporter who became an instant online and in-person presence in the neighborhood, put it, the paper envisioned The Local as a “petri dish” for experimenting with citizen engagement as journalism evolves.
What no one could have predicted was the way the blog – thanks to your enthusiastic participation for the last four years as readers, commenters, tipsters, writers, editors, crowdsourcing project participants, videographers, and photographers – has become part of the fabric of the Fort Greene and Clinton Hill community.
These four years have brought great change, not only to our dynamic neighborhoods, but to The Local. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which worked with The Times and the community from the start of The Local, took over day-to-day operations of the site in January 2010, under the supervision of Times editors.
Now, more change is on the way. The Times, having vastly contributed to, and gleaned lessons from, The Local, is moving on. But the CUNY J-School plans to keep the site going and growing.
In making our fresh start, our name and location will change. On Thursday May 16, The Local will become The Nabe, and it will be found at www.TheNabe.me. We (and we mean WE, neighbors) will provide a vibrant online platform for the people of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, using the emerging tools of journalism to tell and share stories in compelling new ways.
Besides the name change, we’re streamlining your viewing experience with a new, multimedia friendly look – perfect for your computer and most mobile devices. We’re also adding a forum where locals can come together to talk. More exciting features are in the works – all aimed at attracting additional community contributors and local voices into the site.
A spirit of collaboration drove The Local and now, we hope, will carry The Nabe to new heights. So please use the comments section below to tell us what you would like to see on the revamped site. And tell us how you would like to contribute.
In the meantime, locals, hope to see you soon, in The Nabe.