New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today

Every Monday, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of New Jersey local news publishers, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another. 

Name: Charlie Kratovil
Title: Founder, Editor of New Brunswick Today
Age: 31
Current residence: New Brunswick, N.J.
Originally from: Paterson, N.J.
Contact info: editor@newbrunswicktoday.com


Tell us about yourself.

I am a Rutgers alum who came to New Brunswick to get my degree and never left. In school I studied journalism and worked for a couple of non-profits doing some organizing. At one of them I got the opportunity to start the Paterson Press, an online newspaper for the community, and learned from one of the best editors in the business. I started New Brunswick Today as a passion project on the side, and it has since grown into what it is today.

Tell us about your business.
New Brunswick Today is the only bilingual newspaper in New Jersey. We publish a monthly print edition, but the website is updated daily. We have an active and engaged social media following. In addition to the leadership team, we have twenty or more paid contributors who work on the paper every month. We have a number of local advertisers, foundations, (other) organizations, and readers who support us. The Grow and Strengthen grant (awarded in 2013 by the Center for Cooperative Media) helped us start our print operations and allowed us to start paying contributors, which also helped us become more serious about what we were doing.

What makes you get up and go to work everyday?
The knowledge that our community depends on us for the news. Middlesex County isn’t getting the coverage that it used to, especially in the corporate media, which makes our role in the community even more crucial and indispensable.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to journalism?
I am most passionate about training our less experienced reporters about how to do this work honestly and effectively, and how to serve as a megaphone for the community. It’s very rewarding to work with our phenomenal team of talented writers and we have been able to accomplish things we never thought possible. At New Brunswick Today, our team is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

How many times have you been thrown out of a New Brunswick City Council meeting?
None… yet.

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