Following the success of December 2010 pilot project the Newsroom Cafe at the Register Citizen in Torrington, Connecticut, Digital First Media has announced plans to expand community outreach at a dozen papers across the country. Two of which are in California.
The San Jose Mercury News is going to hit the streets of Silicon Valley with a special van featuring an awning and portable furniture, so that it can create a “pop-up living room” with staff members leading classes and meetings. The Pasadena Star-News meanwhile will be opening up its newsroom on East Colorado Blvd. in August. Per a note to readers from editor Frank Girardot:
We want to show you that we practice what we preach. But, there’s another reason too – the Star-News is a part of your community – just like your neighborhood grocery store, your favorite coffee shop, or the place where you and your family worship.
We’ll do it by creating a community space where readers and residents can drop in to pitch stories, ask questions or make use of public blogging stations with free wi-fi access.
Other Digital First Media properties taking part in the community initiative include the Denver Post, which plans to hold monthly reader meetings in its auditorium, and the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado.