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Deadline extended for NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News awards

Tuesday Jan 09, 2018  |  0 comments

UPDATE: The deadline for submissions has been extended! The new deadline is now Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.


It’s been another tough year for local journalism.

News organizations are battling issues of misinformation and trust. There have been attacks on press freedom. And local news providers are still trying to figure out how to financially sustain their work in the shadow of behemoth platforms that seem to gobble up more control of audience and revenue every day.

Yet, local journalists are still here and are still pumping out the local news and information your community relies on. That hard work should not go unnoticed.

With that in mind, we’re excited to announce the inaugural NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News awards for original local journalism produced in 2017.

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Happy birthday to the NJ News Commons: Looking back on five years of cooperative media in New Jersey

Friday Dec 29, 2017  |  0 comments

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Voting Block: Read the People’s Agenda we compiled and sent to Gov.-elect Murphy

Friday Dec 08, 2017  | 

One of the important things we wanted to do at the end of Voting Block was compile what we heard from New Jersey residents about their top priorities for the new governor, and send those priorities directly to the new governor.

We’re calling this effort the People’s Agenda.

This week, we sent the People’s Agenda to Murphy’s administration. You can read the letter and the agenda below. Our plan is to follow up in the spring to see what kind of progress has been made on these important issues.

You can read more about Voting Block, a collaborative project that focused on the 2017 New Jersey governor’s race, at www.votingblocknj.com.


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Local Beat: Newark’s Executive Protection Unit racked up more than $1M in overtime

Friday Dec 08, 2017  | 

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

NEWARK’S EXECUTIVE PROTECTION UNIT RACKED UP MORE THAN $1M IN OVERTIME, RECORDS SHOW
There are 27 Newark police officers assigned to the city’s Executive Protection Unit, which provides 24-hour security for the mayor. Elana Knopp of TAPinto Newark obtained documents through an Open Public Records Act request that show those 27 officers racked up a combined total of approximately $1.12 million in overtime pay during the first eight months of 2017 alone.

POLICE REPORTS CONTRADICT PROSECUTOR STATEMENT ON HIGHLAND PARK DEATH
Documents released as part of a lawsuit filed against the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) revealed inconsistencies in the official story of a man who died last year after an encounter with Highland Park police officers. Police found Daniel Nagahama, 28, alive when they arrived on the scene, but the man died just hours after he was taken to a hospital in New Brunswick by police. Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today says the documents appear to confirm that instead of reviving the man, police instead punched the man and sprayed him with a “chemical/natural agent.”

MAURICE ‘MICKEY’ CARROLL, WHO COVERED JFK ASSASSINATION AND PUSHED FOR MORRIS SCHOOL DISTRICT, DIES AT 86
Longtime journalist and Morris Township resident, Maurice “Mickey” Carroll has died at the age of 86. Carroll covered everything from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to a range of local issues for seven different newspapers. Carroll also “taught generations of journalists at four universities and, for the last two decades, translated the Quinnipiac University Poll into plain English,” writes Kevin Coughlin for Morristown Green.

TAX BILL PROTESTERS GATHER IN WESTFIELD, FIND CONGRESSMAN LANCE IN AGREEMENT
A “flash protest” against the Senate GOP tax bill brought dozens of Westfield residents to the office of Republican Congressman Leonard Lance on Monday. Jackie Lieberman of TAPinto Westfield says the protesters descended upon Lance’s office, only to find themselves in relative agreement with the Republican congressman when it came to his opposition to the tax bill.

MONTCLAIR HS FOOTBALL WINS 2017 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Montclair High School football team won the 2017 NJSIAA State Championship last week in the North 1 Group 5 category. The Montclair Dispatch says Montclair took home the trophy after defeating Union City, with a final score of 35-14.

BADER FIELD IS NOW BEING USED FOR… STORAGE
Atlantic City’s Bader Field, once home to an airport, a minor league baseball team, and numerous Thanksgiving Day rivalry games has been vacant for years – until now. Elinor Comlay of Route 40 News says the city has finally found what they have determined to be the “highest and best use” for the property: a storage yard.

OTHER NOTABLE LOCAL STORIES THIS WEEK:

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What can we do to support you? Give us your 2018 wish list

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017  | 

It’s almost 2018 and we’re gearing up for another year of trainings, workshops, grants, collaborations and more. Our biggest responsibility and most rewarding objective here at the Center for Cooperative Media is to do everything in our power to help you.

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Voting Block: How we brought New Jersey neighbors together to talk politics

Thursday Nov 09, 2017  | 

For the past six months, 28 news organizations across New Jersey have been reporting on the election through the lens of local neighborhoods as part of the Voting Block project.

Voting Block was a collaborative effort launched to facilitate civil and impactful community conversations among neighbors ahead of this fall’s governor’s race. Ideally, we also wanted to drive more awareness about the election and ultimately get more people to the polls.

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We’re building a database of journalism collaborations. We need your help.

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017  | 

Over the past year, we’ve been collecting information about dozens of collaborative reporting projects involving hundreds of newsrooms around the world. We used that information to identify six distinct models of collaborative journalism, which are based on how long newsroom and information organizations worked together, and how they integrated their work and workflows.

Now, we’re creating a comprehensive database with the information we’ve collected about both those projects and others we don’t know about yet. In the coming weeks, we’re planning to gather as much information as we can about all kinds of collaborative journalism projects from around the world. The resulting database will include information on:

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Local Beat: Cooper to acquire Lourdes, creating largest health system in South Jersey

Friday Sep 01, 2017  | 

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

COOPER TO ACQUIRE LOURDES, CREATING LARGEST HEALTH SYSTEM IN SOUTH JERSEY 
Two of the largest hospital groups in Camden City have proposed a merger, Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen reports, as Cooper University Health Care announced this week its intention to purchase the Lourdes Health System. Cooper says if the acquisition gets regulatory approval, it would create the largest health system in South Jersey and fourth-largest in the state.

BELMAR MAYOR LAUNCHES BEACHFRONT FUNDRAISER TO ASSIST RESIDENTS OF SMALL TEXAS COASTAL TOWN
During the Labor Day weekend, donation collection boxes will be placed at all of Belmar’s beachfront entrances, TAP into Belmar/Lake Como reports, with all money raised going to residents in Rockport, Texas, which was hit by Hurricane Harvey. Belmar’s mayor noted that Rockport is similar to Belmar in its population and was hit as hard with Harvey as Belmar was with Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

MORRISTOWN BOARD REJECTS REQUEST TO SUBPOENA PARKING OFFICIAL FOR POWERBALL WINNER RESTAURANT PLAN
Morristown’s top parking official won’t be forced to testify at a hearing regarding the plans for Sandi’s SoulBites, a restaurant being pitched on Bank Street by a 2010 Powerball jackpot winner. The restaurant owner, Sandra McNeil Rogers, has been seeking a zoning variance to operate without having to provide parking, Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green reports. A nearby building owner is objecting to the plans.

NEW JERSEY OFFERS ‘CARE CAM’ TO NURSING HOME PATIENTS, FAMILIES 
A state-run program that installs hidden cameras to protect the elderly from abuse is being expanded, Jeanette Beebe reports for NewsWorks. The Safe Care Cam, launched in December, works by lending small surveillance cameras disguised as everyday objects to New Jersey residents for up to 30 days. Previously the cameras were only available to families who had home health aides or live-in caretakers; now, it can be used in nursing homes and assisting living facilities.

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Voting Block expands, launches statewide citizen engagement campaign; sign up to host a ‘Political Potluck’

Wednesday Jul 19, 2017  | 

Last month we announced the launch of Voting Block, a collaborative reporting initiative to cover New Jersey’s upcoming gubernatorial election through the lens of neighborhoods across the state.

Voting Block started with four initial reporting partners –WNYC, WHYY, NJ Spotlight and The Record – and is being coordinated by the Center for Cooperative Media, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and New America Media. The first stories have been rich; we’ve learned about residents and their concerns in Paulsboro, Westwood, Long Valley and West Orange. We plan to follow them throughout the summer and fall leading into Election Day, with a focus on their thoughts on the governor’s race.

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Open call for collaborative reporting projects unveiled at Collaborative Journalism Summit; here’s how to apply

Thursday May 04, 2017  | 

One of the most important goals of this year’s Collaborative Journalism Summit is to spur new ideas for future reporting projects that can produce meaningful, impactful journalism.

And now, we’re adding a little financial incentive to help us hit that goal.

Thanks to generous support from the Rita Allen Foundation, the Center for Cooperative Media today at the Summit announced that it is launching an open funding call for collaborative reporting projects. We’re accepting proposals today through June 30; three reporting projects will be selected thereafter to win a $7,000 grant.

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Speaker lineup, agenda announced for Collaborative Journalism Summit; register now to save your seat!

Tuesday Mar 28, 2017  | 

We’re thrilled to announce the speaker lineup and agenda for the upcoming Collaborative Journalism Summit, an international symposium on collaborative reporting projects and cooperative news networks.

The summit, set for May 4-5 at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., will bring together more than 150 journalists, media executives, funders, technologists, professors and students to discuss different models, best practices and case studies of collaborative projects. The event is presented by Google News Lab.

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