ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com will hit the road by early June with a new Mobile Community Media Lab designed to expand their reach and visibility throughout the Twin Cities.
The van – a mini-newsroom on wheels, with the latest digital technology – will help journalists gather and publish content, including news, blogs, opinion, slide shows and video. It will enable the Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com to meet people where they are – at sporting and entertainment events, community festivals, concerts, ethnic events and more.
“We're really excited about being able to take our journalists and trusted brand all over the Twin Cities,” says Managing Editor Chris Clonts. “This whole project is about telling untold stories, especially those of people we don't traditionally run into because of where they live, work and play. It also gives us a unique opportunity to go into communities where digital expression and interaction isn't a way of life. Those folks also have important stories to tell. We aim to help them.”
The Pioneer Press long has been the news leader in the Twin Cities’ East Metro market; TwinCities.com has a metro-wide digital brand, and the van will foster engagement with the community throughout the region.
The Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com also will expand a partnership with the St. Paul Public Library to other libraries throughout the metro area. Efforts have included a series of social media workshops, and other such sessions that bring newspaper expertise to a broader audience. Among them is a May 23 session with MaryJo Webster, Computer Assisted Reporting editor and reporter, based on her work on recently released 1940 census data, considered a treasure trove for genealogy enthusiasts. The session is at 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Library.
The Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com mobile lab is among 12 community engagement projects announced today by Digital First Media, which manages the Pioneer Press parent company, MediaNews Group. The projects seek to build on success of the Newsroom Café launched by the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn., named the 2011 Innovator of the Year by the Associated Press Media Editors.
“What we’re trying to do is apply some of the principles of the Newsroom Café to the unique circumstances of other communities,” said Steve Buttry, director of community engagement and social media for Digital First. “We want all our newsrooms to engage their communities in multiple ways – on our websites, social media, blogs, text messages and print products, but also in person.”
The Pioneer Press and TwinCities.com are members of MediaNews Group. The Pioneer Press, the winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, is No. 1 in the Twin Cities’ East Metro market. To arrange for home delivery, call 71-PRESS (717-7377) or (800) 678-7737.