Alhambra debuts hyperlocal news website

A screenshot of the Alhambra Source website.
A screenshot of the Alhambra Source website. alhambrasource.com

People in Alhambra have a new local news website designed to serve that city’s diverse readership. Journalists and USC Annenberg communication researchers developed the site “Alhambra Source” to fill a void.

Managing Editor Daniela Gerson says she expects more people will take action on neighborhood issues as they keep up with the Alhambra Source news site.

“When communities have low levels of news coverage, they also tend to have low levels of civic engagement and that is something that was found in this area," Gerson said.

Researchers and journalists at USC-Annenberg developed the school-funded online project. They unveiled the website at the Nucleus Art Gallery in the heart of downtown Alhambra.

Website editor Michael Parks, a longtime correspondent and editor with the Los Angeles Times, admits that running a hyper-local news service poses challenges.

“There are some real concerns about how you participate, journalistically, how you assure quality, how you don’t get hijacked," Parks said. "On the other hand, how do you trust the people? And how do you get that community involvement if they’re too many gatekeepers?”

Parks says professional journalists and local contributors will write for the site. He maintains that editors will vet online content for accuracy and fairness.

The website’s staff is as varied as the city it serves: more than half Alhambra’s population of 93,000 is Asian-American. One third is Latino.

When readers go to www.alhambrasource.org, the stories will appear in three languages - English, Mandarin and Spanish.

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