Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coffeeshop Newsroom: Where to Get the Latte-est News?

Cup of coffeeImage by tika hapsari via Flickr
The Asbury Park Press & Gannett-operated news blog, Freehold InJersey (http://freehold.injersey.com)["FIJ"], has established a "Coffeeshop Newsroom", partnering with Zebu Fornu Cafe on Main St. in Freehold Borough, the county seat of Monmouth County (N.J.), according to an FIJ press release.

The collaboration intends to involve the community and promote citizen journalism.  FIJ staffers will man a computer workstation in the cafe, from which they will conduct interviews, write stories, and generate multimedia content for the website. Patrons are encouraged to approach the staffers to share news tips, discuss stories, and learn how to post stories  to the open source news site.

The press release claims the cafe will boast a working newsroom with FIJ staffers holding office hours daily. The website editor is hopeful the Coffeeshop Newsroom will enable community members to get to know the reporters and offer FIJ staffers insights into their readership.

Wonder if there will be any signs posted at the workstation, such as "Please don't feed the reporters!" and "Please Don't Make Eye Contact with Our Anonymous Sources!" The dedicated staff at "TUOL" applauds FIJ's novel approach to connect with the community it serves, but would wager that if the FIJ journobloggers had their druthers, coffee would not be the  beverage of choice.

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