As summer speeds by, the MSU/Detroit News contingent has been working with a software developer on the Tandem Project.

We are also creating an advisory council to seed Detroit neighborhoods to get the community involved in the process.

At the suggestion of Nancy Hanus, online editor, and Jonathan Morgan, multi-platform editor, at The News, we have enlisted the directors and faculty of four Detroit area universities, Oakland, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan Dearborn and Wayne State to join the project. Their students will enroll in Jonathan’s JRN 408 Community Journalism Tandem course this fall along with, we hope, some MSU J-School students. Unfortunately, the price of gas for the 180 mile round trip will definitely lower the MSU participants!

We will be meeting later this summer to hash out the rest of the details.

With the news in the past week on more buyouts, lay-offs and problems for the financially ailing newspaper industry, grassroots projects like Tandem may help folks understand the importance of investing in their local news.