Local Beat: Gamifying the news with Samantha Bee and New Brunswick Today

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

GAMIFYING THE NEWS WITH SAMANTHA BEE AND NEW BRUNSWICK TODAY
Local reporter and adult “baby” Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today appeared on last night’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee to talk about one potential solution to local journalism’s money problem: gamifying the news. Bee interviewed Kratovil about his work with NBT, and helped him launch a new lottery-style game to help increase subscriptions to his publication.

IN STATE OF THE STATE SPEECH, BARAKA OUTLINES NEWARK’S FUTURE WITH ANTI-TRUMP OVERTONES
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka found time in between remarks about public safety and urban development to roast President Trump at Baraka’s third State of the City address. Mark Bonamo of TAP into Newark covered the speech, which called on Newarkers to unite in the face of Trump’s policies, which Baraka believes will hurt urban America in particular.

TAPINTO.NET PROVIDING HYPERLOCAL NEWS TO NJ COMMUNITIES
Steve Adubato sits down for a one-on-one with Mike Shapiro, CEO & Publisher of TAPinto.net, to talk about the role hyperlocal news sites play in a time when traditional newspapers are cutting back. Shapiro also explains how events and issues in small communities can ultimately make an impact on the national stage.

PUSHING BACK AGAINST CRIME IN NEW BRUNSWICK’S 2ND WARD
Jack Murtha of TAP into New Brunswick met with Maria Pellerano and Pete Montague to discuss their work as unofficial facilitators of the Second Ward Block Club and Crime Watch, an organization that seeks to boost quality of life and clamp down on crime in their section of the New Brunswick community. At meetings, they discuss everything from crosswalks and car crashes to tips on how to scare away drug dealers using motion detectors and security cameras.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS TRIED TO DENY APPLICATION FOR PRO-TRUMP MARCH
Seaside Heights has reversed course on their decision to deny a pro-Trump group’s application to hold a demonstration on the boardwalk this Saturday. Daniel Nee of Shorebeat says plans to hold New Jersey’s “Make America Great Again” march in Seaside Heights were initially shot down by Mayor Anthony Vaz, but Vaz backed down after the borough attorney informed him that denying the application could result in litigation over the group’s constitutional right to assemble under the First Amendment.

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