Brooklyn Eagle announces Ned Berke as Editorial Director, will be WordPress.com partner in Newspack program

April 3, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

Announcements signal Brooklyn Eagle’s deepening investment in digital local news product

Press release

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn Eagle has appointed veteran digital media strategist Ned Berke as Editorial Director, overseeing editorial, audience and digital product development for the Brooklyn Eagle brand. The announcement comes as Brooklyn Eagle is selected as one of just 12 publications that will shape WordPress.com’s innovative Newspack platform.

These investments are part of a focused effort to expand the Brooklyn Eagle’s news reporting capacity at a time when other New York City newsrooms are slashing staff and resources, and will better serve the borough’s 2.6 million residents with high-quality, impactful journalism on the people, power and policies shaping Brooklyn.

Ned Berke

In the coming months, the Eagle will continue to grow its editorial team with new hires and unlock more funding for freelance reporting, engagement projects and innovative digital development. It will also prioritize reporting collaborations with others in New York City media and beyond.

“Ned brings a remarkable combination of editorial passion and digital knowledge,“ said Dozier Hasty, Publisher of the Brooklyn Eagle. “New York City hasn’t escaped the local news crisis, and the Eagle is committed to turning the tides to ensure the industry’s long-term survival. Bringing Ned on board, expanding the newsroom and securing new digital partnerships are the types of investments local publishers must make to ensure growth in the new century.”

Ned Berke comes to the Eagle with a track record of developing innovative and sustainable news products. He most recently worked through the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and the Center for Cooperative Media to provide professional support, needs assessment and strategic planning for nearly 200 publishers including global, national, niche and local titles.

Berke’s experience on the frontlines of digital-first Brooklyn news products extends back 11 years to his founding of Sheepshead Bites, an award-winning hyperlocal publication he later sold to Corner Media (now Bklyner). He is also a founding board member and adviser to the national Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers association.

As Editorial Director, Berke will oversee day-to-day editorial operations and digital product development, including the growth of its flagship website BrooklynEagle.com, newsletter Brooklyn Today, podcast Brooklyn this Week and various social media accounts.

“Brooklyn Eagle is one of the most important brands the borough has ever produced, and it’s a privilege to have a role in shaping its future,” Berke said. “My charge is to extend the reach, depth and quality of the Eagle’s journalism, and we’ll be doing that by leveraging innovative technology, as with our participation in Newspack, as well as by surfacing a diverse range of voices and stories through hiring and freelance commissions.

“More importantly, we’re going deep on community listening and engagement. We want to hear from our Brooklyn neighbors, in every community, to ensure we become the agenda-setting news publication that a city of 2.6 million people deserves.”

The Newspack team will work directly with Berke in the creation of a next-generation business and audience engagement platform for local news publishers. The Brooklyn Eagle was one of 12 publishers selected out of 370 applicants from around the world.

Newspack is a project of WordPress.com and its parent company, Automattic, and operating partners News Revenue Hub and Spirited Media. It is supported by funding from the Google News Initiative, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, ConsenSys (the venture studio backing Civil Media), and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About Brooklyn Eagle

The Brooklyn Eagle is a 178-year-old brand covering the people and powers shaping Brooklyn. Its website, BrooklynEagle.com, served millions of users 2018, and its newsletter Brooklyn Today reaches more than 10,000 every weekday morning. Its print counterpart, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, founded in 1841 and once edited by Walt Whitman, is the only daily newspaper devoted exclusively to Brooklyn.

Publisher Dozier Hasty revived the Eagle in 1996 after a 40-year hiatus. Hasty also owns the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator, Brooklyn Heights Press, Brooklyn Record, Phoenix, Brooklyn Journal, INBrooklyn and the Queens Daily Eagle.

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