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Brooklyn Ink: five featured stories from Columbia journalism school project

Graduate Journalism students run an ongoing news project on Brooklyn.

Manhattan is watching us, Brooklyn. We knew they were, but now we can prove it. It’s right there on a big website: The¬†Brooklyn Ink.

The site is a journalistic project of Manhattan’s Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Its student staff is working to find strong stories about the people and places of Brooklyn. The current version of the project launched October 2009 and now included more tan a dozen contributors.

To give you a sense of the work that the student reporters do, here is our take on five of their most shared pieces on Reddit:

Yousef Al-Khattab, Man Behind Virulent Islamic Website, Grew Up Jewish.
April 23, 2010

This is a careful piece, breaking the story of the conversion of a local Jewish man who became a hostile blogger. It handles the story with great care, without making any of its characters caricatures and draws on sources including the subject himself, local Jewish leaders and a private investigator.

The comments below the post get very strange.

[VIDEO] Workers’ Coops Seek Sustainability After Occupy
April 5, 2013

The video above is just part of the story. It introduces you to OWS Screenprinters. The story below also describes Occucopy (now Radix Media), two worker owned cooperatives that grew out of the original Occupy Wall Street. It puts the two businesses in the context of the larger history of worker owned businesses and the ongoing narrative of Occupy.

Atheist Billboard Enrages Jewish Community
March 8, 2012

A New Jersey based group put up signs near Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community, in both Hebrew and English, aimed at drawing out people in those communities that didn’t really believe. They go both to the source of the billboard, local leaders and explore similar ventures by the organization elsewhere.

Brooklyn is Bad News for Cyclists – Third Year in a Row
February 13, 2013

The story is based on the news that there are the most cycling deaths in Brooklyn, of any of the boroughs, explores theories as to why and tries to find out how many of those killed were wearing a helmet.

Kickstarted in Brooklyn – One Year In
October 23, 2012

A year after supporting a local Kickstarter campaign to defray costs for rehabbing a local organization’s new space, UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, one of its backers had never received the promised reward DVD. The reporter looked into it and found that the business had never posted any updates since completing its campaign. Still, this story is from 2012, and the campaign closed in 2011: yesteryear in terms of crowdfunding. It seems like it was more a case of learning best practices for the then nascent Kickstarter community. Since the story came out, the company has posted several updates, which may mean this has been a case of journalism spurring positive engagement.


Companies: Columbia University
Series: Brooklyn

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