aaja launches "ourchinatown" blog

The Asian American Journalists Association recently announced launch of Our Chinatown, a hyperlocal news and culture blog covering Manhattan's dynamic Chinatown community. The goal is to fill in the gaps of reporting on this critical yet underserved New York City neighborhood. From AAJA's press release:
"The goal of this project is to figuratively turn around the lens, to make it possible for people who are fromChinatown — people who have a stake and a background in this neighborhood — to bring their unique perspective to covering it," says Jeff Yang, the project's marketing and community outreach director, who lived on the Lower East Side and worked in Chinatown for several years.

One of the things that makes the project unique is its emphasis on
mobile journalism: OurChinatown reporters, assigned to cover Chinatown beats ranging from politics to business to shopping, will use camera-equipped smartphones as a primary news gathering tool, filing stories, video and images from the streets of the neighborhood in real time. Eventually, says interactive director Paul Cheung, the project intends to make mobile delivery of news a priority as well, noting that cellphones and smartphones are ubiquitous even among recent immigrants to the neighborhood.

"To serve primarily Chinese-speaking residents — about half of the Chinatown community — we're going to initially provide a 'best-of' feed of stories translated into Chinese, which will be available in mobile-optimizedformat, " says Cheung, who grew up in Chinatown and attended the neighborhood's P.S. 24 elementary school. "We're also looking at producing Chinese-language podcasts that can be downloaded or streamed to phones."
It sounds like a really exciting news endeavor, and something that probably should have happened a long time ago. Essentially, it's daily news coverage of a community coming directly from voices within the community -- take that, New York Times! Check it out here.

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