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The Day | Two Invitations

Through the roofMolly O’Toole

Hello, East Village.

We start this morning with two invitations from us here at The Local.

First of all, the development team that has been hard at work on the Virtual Assignment Desk has made the list of story assignments visible to the public on the beta version of the site.

You may recall that the Assignment Desk is an application that allows members of the community to suggest story ideas and volunteer to report, take photographs or otherwise contribute to the blog. It represents another way that we’re promoting journalistic innovation and bringing value to the blogosphere.

So we’d like to invite you to visit the assignment desk and try it out.

We’d also like to remind you that you’re all invited to a celebration of the history of the East Village at NYU Journalism tonight where Pete Hamill will discuss ways that storytellers can mine the neighborhood’s hidden past.

The event begins at 6 with Mr. Hamill’s lecture and the festivities continue with music from a playlist firmly rooted in the East Village and D.J.ed by NYU Journalism’s own Jenn Pelly, a familiar face in the local music scene whose work has appeared here on The Local and elsewhere.

There will also be food and drink and a raffle for a Kindle. We hope that you’ll join us and if you’re unable to attend we’re planning to stream Mr. Hamill’s remarks live on The Local, so check the site at 6.

In other neighborhood news, we wanted to draw your attention to a couple of links worth checking out including this one at DNAinfo about a resolution in the MTA’s case against Billy’s Antiques on East Houston Street, this one from our sibling blog City Room about Irish actors getting a taste of Yiddish theater on East Seventh Street and this story about a possible breakthrough in the murder of Second Avenue Deli owner Abe Lebewohl.

One more thing: You may recall that we at The Local are asking for your reports about bedbugs in the East Village so that we can map them. The Neighborhoodr blog has posted a link to a version of a citywide map – yuck! We’re still looking for your bedbug stories so please keep sending.

What’s a Virtual Assignment Desk ?

If The Local East Village, a collaboration between The New York Times and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, is an experiment in online journalism, then one of its most ambitious applications, the Virtual Assignment Desk, is an experiment within an experiment.

Designed as a digital interactive platform that provides readers with a way to suggest stories or volunteer to produce them, the Assignment Desk is an effort to help readers shape The Local’s coverage of news in the East Village.

“The Local East Village is about experimenting with innovative means of producing quality journalism in and about our own community,” said Brooke Kroeger, director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. “Making it easy for community members to participate in this project is just as high a value. One of our major purposes in taking on this project is to have an in-house professional-level laboratory for journalistic innovation.” Read more…

About The Local East Village

YellowBuildingRachel Wise

On its face, The Local East Village is a collaborative experiment between a learning institution, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and a newspaper, The New York Times — but it’s much more than that.

The Local has been conceived and designed to help foster a journalistic collaboration with a third partner, our neighbors in the East Village. The site is designed to reflect our community, report on its issues and concerns, give voice to its people in a wide-reaching online public forum and create a space for our neighbors to tell stories about themselves.

Our coverage area — which extends from Broadway to the East River, 14th Street to Houston Street — is home to roughly 70,000 people and features a sturdy and robust blogosphere. What can we contribute? A healthy respect and appreciation for our neighbor blogs; the academic and intellectual resources of NYU; the vast journalistic experience and high professional standards of The Times; and a commitment to do our best to reflect the richness and texture of life in the community we share.

We hope, too, to provide innovation: For years now the lines between those who produce news and those who consume it have become increasingly blurred. And so we hope to bring our readers even more into the process of producing news in ways that few other sites have tried before.

One of those ways is through the Virtual Assignment Desk, an application produced by students at New York University and which makes its debut on this site. It is designed to provide readers with a seamless, intuitive tool for interacting with the process used in producing and shaping news. Those who use the desk can identify stories that they would like to see covered or volunteer to cover assignments themselves.

Read more…