WHYY is launching Newsworks (www.newsworks.org)today. Chris Satullo, project coordinator, describes it in this way:
On NewsWorks, we will try to bring the news from this region, from Wilmington to Princeton, from the Navy Yard to Montgomeryville, with timeliness, accuracy, energy and a sense of fun.
We will try to cover communities not only as places where problems fester and scandals erupt, but as places where hope is stubborn, where quiet heroes strive and solutions are possible. And we'll try to make the news timely, tasty and engaging with our new interactive blog, The Feed, which you'll see at the top of every page on the site.
We won't be able to do any of this without you. Newsrooms aren't the teeming masses of eager reporters they were back when I first walked into The Inquirer in 1989, as the 560th employee on the newsroom rolls.
The local news / regional community site features news stories, blogs by recognizable names, in addition to Satullo, Dave Davies, Dick Polman, and Jo Ann Allen contribute their thoughts and analysis. Readers can contribute story ideas or participate in moderated discussion forums. In keeping with the theme of civil discussion readers will be able to rate comments and, if they choose, only view positively rated comments. There will be a Ben's Bucks / Ben's ladder rewards program to further encourage thoughtful participation. One interactive visual feature is the Civic Atlas that lets you zero in on cultural institutions in the city, as well as types of services (health, financial, legal).
As the site grows hyperlocal (neighborhood or similar smaller areas) news will play a larger role. At present three neighborhoods in Northwest Philadelphia (Mt. Airy, Roxborough, Germantown) are represented. If you'd like to see your area included you'll need to sign up and send in story suggestions.
Newsworks looks to be a valuable addition to the local news scene, especially with the reputable journalists associated with it. I look forward to adding this to my daily news menu.