Inspired by Nase Adresa – a Czech news organization which approaches their communities in innovative newscafes -, my team, at Zero Hora, developed a project called Café ZH
The staff of the neighbourhoods’ supplements spend one day in a local cafe to talk with the community. We collected suggestions, feed a blog with stories reported by readers and took photos of those whom attended the event.
The first Café ZH took place in the trendiest Porto Alegre’s neighbourhood, Moinhos de Vento (check posts about the Café ZH in this neighbourhood – available just in Portuguese), in February, 2010. The second event happened in the South Zone, linked to the supplement and blog I used to edit (ZH Zona Sul, check posts here – in Portuguese), in March, 2010.
A traditional local cafe was our base, and many readers went there specially to talk with us. In the second event, after four hours working in the coffeeshop with our laptops, we’d came back to the newsroom with around 50 suggestions.
We announced each meeting one month in advance. Fortunately, the company could provide us some advestising material. After the event, we had a large variety of subjects to report about. The readers’ feedback are so motivating, and different places have contacted us to set the next Café ZH (including shopping mall, schools, clubs etc – that’s not the focus, of course, but it’s good to know this repercussion).
Links in English about Nase Adresa project:
> New York Times: A Latte With Journalism on the Side
> Times (UK): Journalists cross a new frontier
> Editors Weblog: A new experience in journalism, at multiple levels