Detroit launches own ‘Neighborhoods’ website

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city on Tuesday launched a news website and cable channel to tell its own stories about Detroit’s neighborhoods.

The site “the Neighborhoods,” was spearheaded by Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration in an attempt to dig into neighborhood issues on a deeper level than traditional media.

Former Blac Detroit magazine editor Aaron Foley was hired as Detroit’s “chief storyteller” to serve as editor of the site.

Duggan this spring said he’d been considering a city-initiated news site for a couple of years to ensure neighborhood stories are being told and to balance out the “hyper focus” on Detroit’s downtown.

“We aren’t aware of any other community that has tried something like this to tell the stories of the city and its people because they deserve to be heard,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement released Tuesday. and Comcast Channel 21 will feature profiles of Detroiters, videos of the seven city council districts as well as content and data tailored to each of the city’s 200-plus neighborhoods, officials said.

The website features an interactive map displaying information about schools, parks, libraries, bus routes, trash collection schedules and demolition activity. It also will allow residents to submit stories and share events.

The city allocated $254,000 for the Neighborhoods, which operates with a team of six staff members. The cable content, officials said, will be paid for with Comcast grant fees, revenues generated from the city’s cable television franchises that’s not eligible for general city services.

The news site was unveiled by Foley on Tuesday afternoon at RollerCade, a third-generation black-owned roller skating rink in southwest Detroit’s Boynton neighborhood.

He said the news platforms will feature content from city staff and encourages residents submit their own photographs and stories.

“This new website is going to be all about giving Detroiters a voice in how their neighborhood is represented,” Foley added. “We want your stories. We want your photos. Whatever that thing is about your neighborhood you always wished people knew about.”