SOURCE: Journal Register Company

Journal Register Company

December 14, 2010 08:00 ET

Journal Register Company's Open Newsroom Launches New Era in Community Journalism

The Register Citizen Invites the Audience in to Its New Community-Focused Office in Torrington, Connecticut

YARDLEY, PA--(Marketwire - December 14, 2010) - Marking a new era in community journalism, Journal Register Company, a leading local news and information company, opened the doors of The Register Citizen's new, community-focused newsroom.

"This newsroom is more than a new space. This newsroom demonstrates Journal Register's renewed commitment to local journalism. The Register Citizen's new newsroom is an invitation to the audience we serve to participate in the newsgathering process and to work with our professional journalists to address the issues facing our communities," said John Paton, Chief Executive Officer of Journal Register Company. "Our Digital First strategy is an investment in sustainable journalism and sustainable communities."

The Register Citizen's new newsroom is located at 59 Field Street, Torrington, Connecticut, and is more than 13,000 square feet of open office space. The space includes the Company's first newsroom café that is open to the public and serves coffee and pastries; provides free public wifi; public access to more than 120 years of newspaper archives; classroom/meeting space with video conferencing capabilities; and dedicated space and workstations for the public as part of The Register Citizen Community Media Lab.

The space also provides members of the community with easy and open access to Register Citizen staff to discuss story ideas and community coverage. The Community Media Lab space -- adjacent to the newsroom -- will also serve as the hub for community journalists and bloggers to work with the Register Citizen staff and provide additional coverage of the community.

"What we produce -- online and in print -- is for our audience and about the communities where they live so we want them and need them to be part of it," said Matt DeRienzo, Publisher of The Register Citizen. "This is an extension of what The Register Citizen has been doing online with our crowdsourced Fact Check box. This is the community's news site and newspaper so they should have a voice."

Earlier this year, The Register Citizen launched a Fact Check box on every story page of RegisterCitizen.com to foster greater accountability and transparency in its coverage. "All of this provides more opportunities for engagement and collaborative ownership of all we cover, all we write and all we report," said Mr. DeRienzo.

The Community Media Lab workstations are equipped with software that Journal Register Company used during The Ben Franklin Project, a publishing experiment where the Company published all 18 daily websites and newspapers using only free, web-based tools. These workstations will be updated with additional software based on recommendations by Community Media Lab participants.

"Journal Register Company recognizes the need for a strong local news source as part of any local community and we also recognize that our audience is key to that strength," said Jon Cooper, Vice President of Content for Journal Register Company. "The Register Citizen's new office will help facilitate community engagement but it will be the quality of the journalism and the work of our staff that will strengthen our community connections."

The Register Citizen's training room will be used to train staff and bloggers but the space will also be made available for the public for use as a community meeting room. The Register Citizen is also inviting elected officials -- state and federal -- to hold office hours at the newsroom to provide direct access for community members. Office hours will be livestreamed on RegisterCitizen.com.

Also, as part of the newsroom opening, The Register Citizen is displaying photographs and information from the Connecticut floods of 1955 on the walls of the news café. In coming months the staff will work with local artists to curate exhibits of locally produced art and photography.

"This is the community's newsroom," said Mr. DeRienzo. "Together we will make this open newsroom a central gathering place -- much the same way RegisterCitizen.com has become the center of conversation and public debate in town."

About Journal Register Company

Journal Register Company is a leader in local news and information serving 992 communities in 10 states. The Company's 324 multi-platform products reach an audience of nearly 14 million people each month. For more information visit the company website at www.JournalRegister.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Jonathan Cooper
    Vice President of Content
    Journal Register Company
    Tel: (215) 867-2022
    jcooper@journalregister.com

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