In the News

Local news is a public good: Public pathways for supporting Coloradans’ civic news and information needs in the 21st century
Colorado Media Project | October 13, 2019

A survey and focus groups of New Jersey residents conducted by Free Press and the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University found that those with lower incomes were more critical of the quality of the local coverage of their communities.

The Power of Nonprofit News Collaborations: Shining a Light on Rural Hospitals
Nonprofit Quarterly | October 9, 2019

Collaboration among news organizations isn’t entirely novel; as the Center for Cooperative Media points out, six newsrooms joined up to form the Associated Press in 1846, and outlets often cross-publish. But creating content together is somewhat anathema to an industry that’s historically thrived on competition.

Voting Block project seeks to engage residents in dialogue, create agenda for lawmakers
TAPinto Newark | September 30, 2019

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is offering Voting Block, a dialogue journalism project intended to amplify the voices, concerns and opinions of residents regarding political issues in four New Jersey cities: Newark, Camden, Paterson and Trenton.

As media industry falters, civil society must step up
Policy Options | September 18, 2019

Teach neighbours to hold their own information sessions — sharing what’s on their minds, bringing up issues, hearing what others think. Inspiration: The Voting Block project run by the Center for Cooperative Media in New Jersey. The Center, run from a journalism school and funded by foundations, fights a growing news desert by helping local news outlets collaborate rather than compete with each other, so more ground is covered in the end.

Orienting journalists toward sustainability
CivicStory | August 29, 2019

Orientation began at Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media. With trillion-dollar views of the Manhattan skyline off in the distance, we discussed everything from soil microbes to air quality advocacy …

Covering Climate Now signs on over 170 news outlets
Columbia Journalism Review | August 28, 2019

Institutional partners include the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, Boston University, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, Climate Central & Climate Matters (George Mason University Center for Climate Communications, and Climate Communications) …

Learn tips and best practices on how to set up and run a collaborative reporting project.
ProPublica | August 14, 2019

Thank you to the collaborative journalism superstars who offered their expertise for this guide, including Stefanie Murray, the director of the Center for Cooperative Media; Project Facet founder Heather Bryant; Mar Cabra, former head of Research and Data at ICIJ; Megan Lucero, director of the Bureau Local at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism; and Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, executive director of Resolve Philly.

How SRCCON changed the way I teach journalism
OpenNews | August 14, 2019

During a lunch conversation at SRCCON:POWER, Joe Amditis of the Center for Cooperative Media introduced me to Cathy Deng’s clever open-source app, Try it out at your next large meeting, or with TV news! But what’s brilliant is not the precise timing, but how it makes everyone aware that we often hear certain voices more than others.

Initiative seeks to engage residents in dialogue, create ‘People’s Agenda’
TAPinto Paterson | August 9, 2019

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is working to create a “People’s Agenda” to give lawmakers in Camden, Newark, Paterson, and Trenton a better understanding of what issues matter most to members of their community. But first they need to recruit the people.

Local Fix: Terror, Safe Passage, and Trust
The Local Fix | August 9, 2019

Another critical component was investing in and trusting those who are such gifted and patient and generous network builders, like Mike RispoliCole GoinsAnnie ChabelStefanie MurrayJoe Amditis (and so many others) have been for NJ.

Digital startups see opportunity in local journalism
Marketplace | July 25, 2019

“Many of these startups are still supported by advertising. And we know that advertising is not a growth area for news,” said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Facebook, Knight grants boost NC efforts on small and big scales
NC Local | July 24, 2019

How can local newsrooms report for their communities using resources and findings from national journalism? The Center for Cooperative Media has launched a weekly email newsletter to help local journalists to do just that, identifying opportunities and how-to paths. It’s called The Local Connection.

State of the Art 2019 comes home to Studio Montclair
Montclair Local | July 10, 2019

Debra Galant, known to many Montclairites as an author from MidCentury Modern and the Center for Cooperative Media, sat in a chair outside taking in the world. “It’s my first piece in an art show ever,” she said, of her pastel “Floating Dock.”

Local newsrooms are teaming up with National Geographic Society to cover the environment
Poynter | July 10, 2019

Expect to see more collaborations on the environment, said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media. “Complex topics, investigations and issues that impact a lot of people lend themselves well to journalistic collaboration,” she said in an email. “The climate crisis hits all of these areas, which is one part of the reason why we’re seeing so many collaborations focusing on the environment.”

How media startups in the Philly suburbs are trying to fill the local news void
WHYY | June 27, 2019

“The clear majority of local news organizations rely on advertising,” said Stefanie Murray, Director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

Camden Residents Crave More Coverage of the Local Economy
Free Press | June 14, 2019
We co-hosted the event with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, close allies of ours on the Civic Info Bill campaign and the Stories of Atlantic City project. The Courier Post and WCMD, a Camden-based radio station, were in attendance and listened attentively to what residents had to say.

Why journalists should care about collective wisdom
Immerse | June 10, 2019

Over the past decade, news entrepreneurs have been busy developing tailored systems and models to refine such practices. Many of these were on tap at May’s Collaborative Journalism Summit in Philadelphia.

With Stories of Atlantic City, local news organizations are inviting community leaders into the reporting process
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism | June 6, 2019

In Atlantic City, a group of community leaders and local journalists experimented with a project where those community leaders would source stories — finding local personalities and narratives that weren’t being covered — that they would then pitch to local reporters to cover. This was part of a project called Stories of Atlantic City, organized by Free Press and the Center for Cooperative Media, which brought together local outlets and community groups to report on Atlantic City.

Five questions with Wrangell reporter June Leffler
KCAW | June 3, 2019

For a moment in May, listeners may have caught a different voice reading Sitka’s news over the airwaves. KSTK reporter June Leffler traveled to Sitka from Wrangell last month, and spent a week shadowing the KCAW news department. The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University awarded Leffler a grant to learn how to run a small newsroom.

What keeps ethnic media strong in New Jersey (and beyond)
Nieman Lab | June 3, 2019

A new report from the Center for Cooperative Media examines the state of ethnic media in and around New Jersey (that definition of ethnic media is theirs), highlighting the work the state’s 119 outlets have already done in building strong ties with their audiences, and the work the outlets need to do to survive in the future.

Judge: Monmouth County broke law by refusing public records requests
Insider NJ | May 28, 2019

OPRAmachine is a website that facilitates requests under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA). The site is active in all 21 counties and has processed over 5000 requests since 2017. It is also the only website that is collecting OPRA compliance statistics by county, municipality and school district. In February, 2019 it received the “Excellence in Local News” award in the “Innovate Local” category from Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media.

‘Collaborate or Die’: What we learned at the 2019 Collaborative Journalism Summit
LION Publishers | May 21, 2019

This sticker, gathered from a table at the conference entry at the top of this post, though, really says everything about what media is like in 2019, and will continue for the foreseeable future: We all need to collaborate. Or there won’t be much of a future to work toward.

The power of journalism collaboration is also the power of inclusion — here’s how to harness it
Nieman Lab | May 20, 2019

The third annual Collaborative Journalism Summit, organized by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and hosted this year by WHYY in Philadelphia, is, well, a collaborative collaboration geek-out. (There may have been “Collaborate or die” stickers.)

This media company has launched 81 local news sites and is expanding
The Business of Content | May 1, 2019

For instance, at our June franchise meeting, Stefanie Murray, who is the director for the center for cooperative media in the state of New Jersey, she’s coming in and doing a whole half day seminar on content and, in particular, how franchises can better listen to readers in their town and produce news that’s of most interest to the residents of the town.

How do you define participatory practice?
Groundsourced | April 17, 2019

The Membership Puzzle Project commissioned Joe Amditis of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University to examine measuring the value of membership and participation. Here is a taste of what he found…

Brooklyn Eagle announces Ned Berke as Editorial Director, will be partner in Newspack program
Brooklyn Eagle | April 3, 2019

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.

The Streetlight receives award from the Center for Cooperative Media
The College of New Jersey | March 28, 2019

“I think the way that Streetlight reporters and editors have gone out of their way to lift up the stories of people from some of the most vulnerable and neglected sectors of their community is incredibly endearing,” says Joe Amditis, associate director of the Center of Cooperative Media.

Celebrating women who are making democracy stronger
Democracy Fund | March 18, 2019

As we commemorate Women’s History Month at Democracy Fund, we also want to take some time to celebrate our incredible women-led and women-focused grantees who today are continuing this long tradition of public service and leadership.

How 6 newsrooms in Charlotte are trying to create a local news ecosystem
Poynter | March 14, 2019

That kind of local partnership, which includes big and small local newsrooms covering different communities, “is by far one of the most solid ways to start developing a culture of collaboration in a city or a region,” said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media.

While Trenton passes the buck, local journalists pass the hat in Madison
Morristown Green | March 8, 2019

“Journalism is public service and I would argue that you should fund it like one,” Amditis said. “I mean, we have things called Special Improvement Districts in our communities which allow us to fund the public services that we deem necessary that the municipal government doesn’t already provide.”

“You can’t do it alone any more”
Cronkite News Lab | March 7, 2019

Why don’t TV news people play more nicely in the sandbox? “Journalists are competitive, but TV news journalists are ultra-competitive,” says Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media.

Community project seeks ‘Stories of Atlantic City’ tonight
Press of Atlantic City | March 6, 2019

Stories of Atlantic City, a collaborative effort between community organizations and local journalists, is seeking nominations of individuals whose lives reveal the rich history of their communities and the city.

Use it or lose it: Can local journalism survive?
Morristown Green | March 1, 2019

Local newsrooms are disappearing in America. According to a 2018 survey by the University of North Carolina Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media, half of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. now have just one newspaper.

Why is no one questioning the program that countless communities, foundations, and media makers are banking on to rescue local investigative journalism?
Chris Faraone | February 25, 2019

Outside of the critical foundational support of trade organizations like the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and Local Independent Online News (LION), plus the democratic NewsMatch campaign and select university-based outliers like the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, there isn’t close to enough proactive assistance for the scrappy local outlets that so many claim to value.

Local TV is still the most trusted source of news. So how do you collaborate with a station?
Nieman Lab | February 20, 2019

“What’s driving [the growth of collaborations] are business models — papers are smaller and trying to look for ways they can still produce quality journalism,” Stefanie Murray, the Center’s director, told me. “Many local TV stations don’t see the value they would get out of collaboration.”

Newsrooms are finally focusing on loyalty over pageviews. Here’s how to actually measure it.
Poynter | February 18, 2019

Enter: The Center for Cooperative Media and its game-changing (really) audience explorer dashboard. This thing plugs into Google Analytics and, in minutes, splits audiences into “Brand Lovers,” “Prospective Loyalists” and “Casual,” providing meaningful numbers for each.

What is a news ecosystem?
Local News Lab | February 15, 2019

In New Jersey, the infusion of investment follows successful experiments begun by the Knight Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The funding is helping to continue that momentum and broaden the work there beyond newsrooms to other civic information networks and institutions.

Six years later, the jury is still out on Advance newspapers’ abrupt swing to digital
Poynter | January 31, 2019

The company-wide rollout began in 2012, but the plan took shape much earlier — in Ann Arbor in 2008. Stefanie Murray, now director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, was part of the small team detached to the project (two others are now top Advance Local executives and a fourth, Amalie Nash, later became editor of The Des Moines Register and now executive editor of local news for Gannett’s USA Today Network.

Camden residents & reporters meet to strengthen local coverage
Free Press | December 18, 2018

During our event, community members first paired up with reporters from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, the Courier PostNJ Advance MediaNJ SpotlightState Broadcast NewsTap into CamdenWHYY, local independent journalists, and reporters from City BureauHearkenResolve Philadelphia, and Temple University, who were in town for a conference.

Colorado Media Project: Key Insights and Recommendations
Gates Family Foundation Report | September 2018

Taking a more strategic, ecosystem approach to strengthening local news is gaining steam nationwide. Examples include The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey, the North Carolina Local News Lab, and a recently announced expansion of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative that may include non-legacy newsrooms.

Local News Is Dying, and It’s Taking Small Town America With It
Bloomberg | September 5, 2018

Stefanie Murray, the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Monclair State University, works with so-called hyperlocal media outlets in New Jersey that focus exclusively on providing news to small communities. But Murray said these bootstrap organizations are a long way away from filling the overarching local news gap that plagues the U.S.

Where can you find funding for that local journalism project? Here’s a quick guide
Poynter | August 28, 2018

This list was created with suggestions from Democracy Fund’s Teresa Gorman, the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Sue Cross, Stefanie Murray from the Center for Cooperative Media and Local Independent Online News Publisher’s Matt DeRienzo.

News From Your Neighborhood, Brought to You by the State of New Jersey
New York Times | July 30, 2018

“We need to do something,” said Joe Amditis, an associate director for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, one of the schools involved in the effort. “We just can’t sit around and expect it to get better.”

NJ takes chance on unique effort to boost local news
Current | July 19, 2018

Going forward, “we will certainly do everything we can to support the mission of the consortium, as well as our partners and other New Jersey news organizations and entities” that will apply for funding, Amditis said.

As local newsrooms shrink, college journalists fill in the gaps
Poynter | July 16, 2018

There’s a lot of potential for student journalists to cover their communities in partnership with local outlets, said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media. The center’s mission is to strengthen local journalism in New Jersey with a focus on collaborative journalism.

$5M New Jersey Civic Info Bill Survives Budget Battle, Heads to Murphy’s Desk
NJ Pen | July 2, 2018

Montclair State is also the home to the Center for Cooperative Media, an academic working group that provides technical, organizational, and financial support to local news-gathering organizations in New Jersey. Its associate director, Joe Amditis, said the Civic Info Consortium will help the center build more and greater partnerships statewide.

Facebook’s Screening for Political Ads Nabs News Sites Instead of Politicians
ProPublica | June 15, 2018

“This could be really confusing to consumers because it’s labelling news content as political ad content,” said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

How can mainstream and ethnic media team up to produce better journalism? Learn these lessons from facilitators 
American Press Institute | May 4, 2018

The Center for Cooperative Media, which published a study on different models of collaborative journalism in 2017, has found teaming up with ethnic media poses particular challenges.

Who’s who in local news: A guide to the biggest brains and bank accounts in the fight for local journalism
Nieman Lab | Apr. 25, 2018

The Center for Cooperative Media strives for collaboration across all levels of news organizations but through its NJ News Commons and other initiatives has a special spot for local projects, too.

NJCASA awards 2018 Visionary Voice Award to Stefanie Murray
NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault | Apr. 23, 2018

“We’re thrilled to honor Stefanie as our 2018 Visionary Voice awardee,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of NJCASA. “Her expertise helped shape NJCASA’s Media Toolkit into the most successful resource it could be. NJCASA is grateful for her continued collaboration and enthusiasm for the project and we’re delighted to recognize her contributions with this award.”

Collaboration and the creation of a new journalism commons
Columbia Journalism Review | Mar. 30, 2018

The latest report on the current estate of collaboration, published in 2017 by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the current state of collaborative journalism.

An investigative journalist and a stand-up comic walk into a bar: The role of comedy in public engagement with environmental journalism
Journalism | Mar. 23, 2018

As investigative journalism organizations innovate to engage the public, leveraging comedy may be worth considering, given comedy’s ability to attract attention and encourage public sharing. To explore this proposition, an investigative reporting collaborative project about toxic environmental contamination in New Jersey, Dirty Little Secrets, worked with stand-up comics to translate investigative news material into stand-up comedy routines performed in front of two live audiences.

Combining investigative journalism with stand-up comedy can improve public engagement
Journalism Research News | Mar. 22, 2018

“Dirty Little Secrets” was a project from 2015 bringing together New Jersey news organizations, comedians, two universities, and a national investigative journalism organization CIR. The project turned investigative news material about New Jersey’s toxic contamination areas into stand-up comedy routines.

How Digital News Startups Choose Between For-Profit and Non-Profit Status
MediaShift | Mar. 12, 2018

Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, works with many hyper-local newsrooms in New Jersey. She said there is often a perception among for-profit journalists that “if I could just be non-profit it would be easier, but once they start getting into the weeds, they realize it’s not easier by any stretch.

How WTF Just Happened Today? is rethinking membership
Solutions Set from The Lenfest Institute | Mar. 8, 2018

Amditis’ day job is as associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, but on the side, he produces the WTFJHT podcast (more on that later) and helps Kiser run the site. Amditis takes the early shift because he lives in New Jersey, which is three hours ahead of Seattle.

Could local news driven by residents who pay fees in a special service district…work?
Nieman Lab | Mar. 5, 2018

The goal for the project at the Center for Cooperative Media is “to help test the idea of community information district out in a few New Jersey communities,” said Stefanie Murray, the center’s director and a former business reporter who has covered special service districts before.

How a Midwest Collaboration Helped Uncover Tax Shortfalls in Kansas Schools
MediaShift | Mar. 1, 2018

Funded by a Center for Cooperative Media grant, the two-part series took nearly a year to execute but produced immediate results upon its December 2017 launch. State officials started using its original reporting to spark new negotiations with wind turbine companies.

Journalism and Media Grantmaking: 5 Things You Need to Know and 5 Ways to Get Started
Media Impact Funders | Feb. 21, 2018

The Center for Cooperative Media has been researching and showcasing successful collaborations that involve multiple outlets. They have identified six variations of partnerships ranging from temporary, in which organizations coordinate but work separately, to ongoing partnerships in which multiple organizations share resources.

Investing in Local Journalism, Public Media, and Storytelling: Examples from place-based organizations
Wyncote Foundation | Feb. 21, 2018

“Through 30 potluck dinners, an election-themed game show, and crowd-sourced texting campaign, Voting Block demonstrated new ways journalists can report on issues by putting their communities at the center of their work and reaching new audiences.”

Robot rights: 5 ways to manage the AI moral dilemma in the workplace
Mobile Business Insights | Feb. 13, 2018

“Users need to know that the questions they ask and the interactions they have with your bots will remain private and secure,” writes Joe Amditis.

Local People Will Create the Future of Local News
Democracy Fund | Feb. 7, 2018

In New Jersey, we will build on our previous work in partnership with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Knight Foundation by establishing the New Jersey Local News Lab Fund with $1.3 million over two years. New Jersey has become a bold laboratory for new models of collaboration, revenue experiments, and community engagement.

How To Write For MetricShift
MediaShift | Feb. 6, 2018

But they aren’t the only ones talking about listening. News outlets of all sizes are considering how they develop closer, two-way relationships with their communities.

How a Boston nonprofit newsroom starts its listening by popping up where people live and play
American Press Institute | Jan. 30, 2018

The inspirations at Engage Local came from speakers representing Montclair State University’s NJ News Commons and the Philadelphia-based Billy Penn, both of which had organized election night press hubs in public spaces. I took their ideas back to Boston, brainstormed ways to shape them for our readership, and got to popping up.

Newsrooms welcome Facebook’s new local news emphasis, but remain wary of its effect
Poynter | Jan. 30, 2018

Last year, Facebook put energy and resources into working with local newsrooms. One of those projects included Stefanie Murray and the Center for Cooperative Media. She coordinated a project that worked with nonprofit and independent online publishers and the social media company.

MediaShift20: Recognizing 2017’s Top Digital Innovators
MediaShift | Jan. 8, 2018

First up on our list is Stefanie Murray, the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

How can local and national work together better when big news breaks?
Poynter | Dec. 28, 2017

Organizations such as ProPublica and Chalkbeat are doing it right, he said. So are The Guardian and the Marshall Project, said Stefanie Murray, director at the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

From New Delhi to New Jersey: How an Indian newsroom workflow scheme is helping US journalists work smarter
IJNet | Dec. 18, 2017

Although southern New Jersey is located within the Philadelphia market area, citizens face a drought of local news access and coverage. SNJ Today was built on the idea that good news stories about our communities were not getting told. Just under three years old, SNJ Today boasts the only television news broadcast for southern New Jersey, in addition to radio news and local cable shows.

Top 6 Journalism Collaborations of 2017
MediaShift | Dec. 18, 2017

Over the past year the conversation around editorial collaboration has strengthened. That’s thanks in parts to efforts like the Collaborative Journalism Summit, funding for collaborative ventures, more conference discussions about collaboration and the launch of companies and technologies aimed at making collaboration easier and more effective.

How to fill the void in local news
Asbury Park Press | Dec. 14, 2017

We could not be more grateful to have the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State serving in that capacity in New Jersey. The Center’s team has their fingers on the pulse of the New Jersey and broader news ecosystem, and view their role as much in service to the people of New Jersey as to news outlets.

How Voting Block used collaboration, potlucks to bring together newsrooms and communities
MediaShift | Dec. 1, 2017

To manage a project of this scope, it was necessary to roll it out in stages. The project consisted of four foundational reporting partners that were brought on in the beginning: WNYC, WHYY, NJ Spotlight and The Record. The project’s coordinators at the Center for Cooperative Media, Stefanie Murray and Joe Amditis, worked with the partners to design the scaffolding for the project.

How to rethink teaching broadcast journalism in a digital age
MediaShift | Nov. 29, 2017

And everything was utilized on election night. Control Room C was busy and buzzy, with students throwing to live shots, cueing talent and rolling pieces. The studio was jamming with professional journalists affiliated with the School’s Center for Cooperative Media, working alongside the student journalists.

This is what happens when you turn a governor’s election into a dating game
Reveal | Nov. 6, 2017

To help the public get to know the gubernatorial candidates better, CIR, WFMU and the Center for Cooperative Media commissioned Firestone to conceptualize a comedic game show drawing from facts and issues at the core of the election. Firestone devised Electorama as a dating show to spotlight the candidates’ platforms.

Block by block, New Jersey news organizations are hosting potlucks and telling voters’ stories
Poynter | Oct. 31, 2017

Solomon, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC, thought of that walk and those neighbors when she sat in on a conference call with the Center for Cooperative Media and several other news organizations that cover New Jersey. CCM wanted to help those organizations work together to cover the upcoming election for New Jersey’s governor.

Building bridges across the editorial divide
The Toronto Star | Oct. 7, 2017

How to strengthen journalism? Collaborations in Montreal and New Jersey promise more voices, more expertise and deeper understanding.

Dawn of a new hope for journalism
The Toronto Star | Oct. 7, 2017

The future of journalism — the facts and stories that bind communities and build trust — can be found in creating new information networks.

How can collaborations between ethnic and mainstream outlets serve communities in the digital age?
American Press Institute | Oct. 4, 2017

A Nigerian chief, a Chinese activist, and a Muslim Republican shared their perspectives on the hotly contested 2017 New Jersey governor’s race. The stories and more than a dozen others like them are part of Voting Block, a unique, statewide collaboration between more than 20 ethnic, hyperlocal and mainstream news outlets.

Tip: Use these platforms to collaborate on stories and projects | Oct. 3, 2017

Working with multiple teams or organisations? Check out this list of resources for collaborative journalism from the Center for Cooperative Media.

Morristown High star ready to test ‘Hollywood East’ at Montclair State
Morristown Green | Sept. 29, 2017

The [new] building also houses the Center for Cooperative Media, overseeing the New Jersey News Commons, of which is a proud member.

The 4 things successful newsroom collaborations share
Poynter | Sept. 29, 2017

A new report from the Center for Cooperative Media looks at the growing movement of collaboration among newsrooms. It’s one that, according to the author and editors, “is now being practiced on a scale that constitutes a revolution in journalism.”

6 types of collaborations between news organisations and their benefits and challenges | Sept. 29, 2017

A report published today by the Center for Cooperative Media looks at examples of different editorial partnerships, as well as the benefits and tensions they present.

Morristown High star ready to test ‘Hollywood East’ at Montclair State
Morristown Green | Sept. 29, 2017

The [new] building also houses the Center for Cooperative Media, overseeing the New Jersey News Commons, of which is a proud member.

The 4 things successful newsroom collaborations share
Poynter | Sept. 29, 2017

A new report from the Center for Cooperative Media looks at the growing movement of collaboration among newsrooms. It’s one that, according to the author and editors, “is now being practiced on a scale that constitutes a revolution in journalism.”

Here are 6 different kinds of collaborative journalism and the good and bad things about each
Nieman Lab | Sept. 29, 2017

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media has spent a bunch of time studying the rise of cooperation among news entities, and on Friday published a report outlining what it’s found as collaborative journalism has “evolved from experiment to common practice.”

USA TODAY NETWORK launches groundbreaking project, ‘The Wall’
USA TODAY Network | Sept. 20, 2017

The project received a $28,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google News Lab. ‘The Wall’ was also selected for a grant by the Center For Cooperative Media for collaborative engagement efforts.

Quartz is partnering with a local newspaper in Texas to investigate the effects of climate change | Sept. 15, 2017

The collaboration between Quartz and The Monitor is supported through a grant from the Center for Cooperative Media.

Center for Cooperative Media partnerships engage New Jersey voters
Montclair State News | July 19, 2017

As New Jersey’s fall gubernatorial election approaches, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media has received funding to spearhead a project that aims to encourage civil political dialogue and more informed voters in neighborhoods across the Garden State.

Voting Block: New Jersey neighbors dare to talk politics
NJ Spotlight | June 19, 2017

For the first time in 12 years, New Jerseyans will choose a governor this fall without an incumbent in the race. It’s a critical moment for the future of the state, and it comes at a time when conversations across the political divide are increasingly difficult.

Media Projects Aim to Break Bread and Political Barriers
MediaFile | June 19, 2017

NPR structured the idea of conversation with a new project called Voting Block, created by Nancy Soloman, managing editor of New Jersey Public Radio. The project is a collaboration between WNYC, WHYY, WBGO, NJ Spotlight, The Record of the USA Today Network and New American Media. Some of the projects partners include the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal and the Center for Cooperative Media.

Why local and national newsrooms should collaborate on projects | June 6, 2017

In this week’s podcast we speak to digital media consultant Tim Griggs, who recently researched local and national collaborations for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, about the best ways to approach editorial partnerships and the different types of collaborations that can happen between organisations.

After Fits and Starts, Collaborative News Is Finally Making Headlines
StreetFight Mag | May 18, 2017

Numerous examples of new and productive partnering are happening seemingly everywhere. Success stories — with the not few bumps along the way — were presented at the recent Collaborative Journalism Summit put together by the Center for Cooperative Media under Director Stefanie Murray at the Center’s home base at Montclair State University in suburban New Jersey.

In North Carolina, these 2 women are bringing journalists closer to the public
Poynter | May 9, 2017

Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media has become a national leader in talking about how to do collaborative journalism, but more than that, their NJ News Commons is a hub for journalists and news outlets of all kinds across the state.

The Collaborative Journalism Summit Explained Using Lyrics from ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyoncé
MediaShift | May 9, 2017

The Collaborative Journalism Summit happened last week in Montclair, N.J., at the Center for Cooperative Media. The room was full, the attendee swag was clever and the schedule promised to deliver the best sharing of lessons around journalism collaboration and news partnerships we could ask for.

Here are some takeaways from Electionland, a 1,000-person effort covering Election Day voting issues
Nieman Lab | May 4, 2017

A comprehensive new report debriefing the Electionland initiative released Thursday at the Collaborative Journalism Summit at Montclair State University examines every step in the collaboration, from the selection of newsroom partners, to the legwork done before Election Day itself, to the technical effort that went into setting up social verification and communication tools, to the physical layout of the Electionland newsroom hosted at CUNY, to a post mortem on the voting issues captured and stories written at the end of it all. (Just naming all the people involved in Electionland takes up five full pages at the end of this report.)

Electionland: The Inside Story – A case study about our Electionland project was published today.
ProPublica | May 4, 2017

The 66-page report was researched and written by Cassandra Lord, a writer and consultant based in London. It’s being released​ on the first day of the Collaborative Journalism Summit, a conference taking place this week at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Hands across America: How to make local/national journalism collaborations work
Nieman Lab | May 4, 2017

What if there were creative ways to give both national and local news orgs access to some of the resources they lack and, in turn, help produce more meaningful journalism that reaches broader audiences? Such is the goal of the local/national news partnerships initiative by the Center for Cooperative Media (graciously funded by the Democracy Fund and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation): to evaluate and foster more and better collaboration between national and local news organizations.

Collaborative Journalism Summit Showcases the Future of News — and the Future Is Now
Evrybit | May 3, 2017

Collaboration in journalism is more important now than ever. The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University understands this reality and organized the Collaborative Journalism Summit to promote it. Led by Center for Cooperative Media director Stefanie Murray and associate director Joe Amditis, the summit takes place May 4-5 at Montclair State in New Jersey, bringing together journalists, media executives, scholars and technologists to discuss how collaboration can produce more meaningful journalism, better community engagement and more sustainable business models.

New Report Documents Devastating Impacts of Consolidation on Four New Jersey Weeklies
Free Press | April 28, 2017

Newsrooms across the country are much smaller today than they were even five years ago as the news industry has struggled to reshape its beleaguered business model. That’s no secret. New rounds of layoffs seemed to be announced every week. What isn’t as well known is what kind of impact these layoffs and consolidation moves are having on the volume and type of information available to local communities. We can assume it’s causing harm, but we don’t really know.

With Push, small publishers have a cheaper, quicker way to develop their own mobile apps
NiemanLab | April 7, 2017

Last month, the Center for Cooperative Media announced plans to help five New Jersey news organizations (Banana Tree News, Delaware Currents, Hudson County View, Route 40, and Planet Princeton) develop their own apps using Push’s software. The project is part of NJ Mobile News Lab, which the Center for Cooperative Media started in an effort to “bridge the innovation gap” between large and small publishers, said Joe Amditis, the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media.

Analysis without benchmarks: An approach for measuring the success of innovation projects
NiemanLab | April 3, 2017

Newsroom innovation initiatives like our mobile lab in the Guardian U.S. are springing up everywhere. Projects are being funded by philanthropies and tech companies through smaller programs in New Jersey and larger ones at the BBC…

Software Engineer Starts Unlikely Business: A Weekly Newspaper
New York Times | March 27, 2017

The Local, for some, has been a welcome move in the opposite direction, even if media analysts say it faces long odds of financial success. “That can have an amazing impact, putting more reporters on the street,” said Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

RBR Holds Forum on “Fake News”
Red Bank Regional High School | March 18, 2017

On March 16, the RBR Student Public Policy Group welcomed Joseph Amditis, Associate Director for the Montclair State Center for Cooperative Media, (affiliated Montclair University) to give a presentation on “Fake News.” His audience was composed of approximately 250 students including AP English and Journalism students.

Gannett’s push into New Jersey saps local coverage
Columbia Journalism Review | March 17, 2017

Content analysis of four of the weeklies now owned by Gannett found they included fewer and less substantive news articles about their respective communities after the sale, in addition to an increase in pieces shared across newspapers. Researchers from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, which is in northern New Jersey, also observed a shift in attention from local board meetings toward crime.

Hundreds of local reporters in New Jersey were laid off this past year. What does that mean for the state?
NiemanLab | March 17, 2017

Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media has a new report out today that puts a few hard numbers on what we all already know — that many of the reporters laid off in the past decade in New Jersey have decades of local news reporting experience under their belts, and a decline in articles published as well as a marked decline in articles explicitly about and for the local communities.

How U.S Publishers Are Using a New App to Reach Mobile Users More Affordably
International Center for Journalists | March 16, 2017

Using Push (as opposed to building an app from scratch) can save an organization an estimated $50,000, according to recent ICFJ Knight Fellow Christopher Guess, who created the project. Guess is teaming up with the Center for Cooperative Media (CCM) to bring “Push” to five New Jersey newsrooms. Each will receive a custom mobile app to help it more effectively distribute content.

In 2017, Journalists Have to Partner, Not Parachute
Democracy Fund | January 18, 2017

In 2016 the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University launched a local/national reporting partnership, staffed by Tim Griggs who has worked for New York Times, Texas Tribune and Wilmington Star News. The project is based in part on the success of an earlier project — Toxic NJ — a collaboration of ten local newsrooms working with the Center for Investigative Reporting to report on small toxic sites across the state.

Facebook Journalism Project Announced to Tackle Fake News
PC Quest | January 12, 2017

Facebook is going to collaborate with Knight Foundation, Detroit Journalism Cooperative, Institute for NonProfit News, Local Independent News Online (LION), Institute for Journalism in New Media, Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media and more for providing training at scale for local newsrooms.

In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left
New York Times | January 3, 2017

When New Jersey lawmakers blocked a vote last month on a bill backed by Gov. Chris Christie that would have ended the requirement that legal notices be published in newspapers, it was a rare good news story for the state’s press corps.

Here’s A Fabulous 2016 Charitable Donation Idea: Saving Journalism
Forbes | December 23, 2016

There is a long list of important causes worthy of your charitable contributions this time of year, but I’d rank saving the future of journalism pretty high on mine. I spent some time this week speaking to several folks that would never refer to themselves as saviors, but are all playing a part in building a more solid foundation for journalism’s future. And not surprisingly, money is a critical part of the equation.

The Media is the Message at Montclair State University
Hispanic Outlook | November 22, 2016

Montclair State University (MSU) has been making great strides to further develop their School of Communication and Media to reflect the exploding media industrial complex that it has become. Its Center for Cooperative Media is just one example of the way this university is embracing a high tech future.

Community News’ Fight to Succeed: ‘Sustain Local 2016’ Put It All Together
Street Fight Mag | November 10, 2016

Local news sites have encountered a big disconnect in the digital world. Readers browse the sites’ content, but too often don’t get very engaged with it. In response, local businesses are increasingly seeking out alternative ways to connect with consumers more directly — like Facebook and other social media — and they generally say they’re more satisfied spending their ad dollars on those platforms.

22 Medium publications about journalism and technology | November 9, 2016

If you have just discovered Medium, if your reading list could use a refresh, or if you’re interested in following as many sources of media news and commentary as possible, here is a list of Medium publications that cover the industry. The list is by no means exhaustive – it’s a collection of publications we follow at and others that have been recommended by our readers on Twitter.

Liar, liar, pants on fire: NPR editor on Trump, truth and the media
Morristown Green | October 10, 2016

Should news organizations call out politicians as liars? The New York Times thinks so, and has been accusing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of lying with increasing frequency. But the editorial director of National Public Radio considers that a mistake.

Collaborate or die: A new initiative wants to make it easier for national and local outlets to work together
NiemanLab | September 28, 2016

If you want an idea of what it’s like to get news organizations to collaborate, try herding cats. That’s how Tim Griggs describes it, anyway, and he would know. Over the past ten years, in big roles at The New York Times, the Times-owned Wilmington Star-News and, most recently, as publisher of The Texas Tribune, he’s spent a lot of time navigating what he calls the “sticky, complicated process” of getting big and small newsrooms to work together on projects. And while the process isn’t easy, it’s clearly worthwhile — even vital — for many.

Introducing Reveal Labs, a new engine for local investigative reporting
Reveal | September 15, 2016

It’s no secret that extensive downsizing at newsrooms across the country over the last decade has struck a blow to local and regional investigative journalism. Many news organizations have lost the resources needed to report big, important stories in their backyards. Finding sustainable models for journalism that spotlight injustice and empower citizens doesn’t come easily.

How to turn toxic contamination into stand-up comedy
Reveal | September 6, 2016

“A guy with lead poisoning, a guy with respiratory disease and a guy with polychlorinated biphenyl exposure walk into a bar …” Thus began the first-ever comedy event dedicated to environmental contamination. It was a stand-up night with a special twist: On July 29, 12 comedians each performed original material at WFMU’s Monty Hall in Jersey City inspired by tales of toxicity in the Garden State.

A Promising New Start on News Collaboration, but There’s Another Non-Starter as Well
StreetFight | August 25, 2016

But next week the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in suburban North Jersey will launch a local/national news partnership project that will show community sites in Jersey how, for example, they can produce the same eye-catching data visualizations that are routinely published by national publications.

Finding humor in toxic contamination. Seriously.
Reveal | July 6, 2016

What happens when you pair stand-up comedians with journalists to explore the effects of local pollution? The Center for Investigative Reporting and WFMU are about to find out. In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, CIR and WFMU are teaming up to launch a new initiative exploring New Jersey’s toxic legacy through comedy. Yes, comedy.

NJIT Journalism Students Take First Place in Environmental Contest
NJIT News Room | June 30, 2016

Twenty-two NJIT students have won first place in a student journalism contest on the environment. A cash prize was awarded for the winning entries, which were included in a collaborative investigative reporting project on the local effects of New Jersey’s toxic environmental legacy and published on, a Newark website.

Local news publishing on Medium: Exploring pros & cons
Knight Digital Media Center | June 14, 2016

Meanwhile, at Rutgers Univ. in N.J., Muckgers launched on WordPress in 2013 — but they’re currently shifting all of their publishing to Medium. Joe Amditis, acting Associate Director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, was involved with the launch of this venue for investigative campus journalism. The new Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab also launched recently on Medium, and the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism also relies on this platform.

How a New Jersey couple’s battle with a leaking oil tank became theater
Reveal | June 10, 2016

Flanagan’s reporting was part of Dirty Little Secrets, a collaborative series facilitated by CIR to investigate New Jersey’s toxic legacy with media partners across the state, including New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC, WHYY, NJTV, NJ Spotlight, Jersey Shore Hurricane News, WBGO, New Brunswick Today and the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies. The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University helped CIR coordinate the project, made possible by a grant to CIR from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

A new play explores a real-life environmental battle in Teaneck
NJ Advance Media | May 31, 2016

“Terra Incoginta,” the latest production at the George Street Playhouse, tackles this issue by drawing upon incidents from real-life investigative reporting. It’s part of an ambitious new series of productions, called “Dirty Little Secrets,” initiated by the Center for Investigative Reporting, a California-based nonprofit news organization.

Dark Comedy STORYWORKS: TERRA INCOGNITA Premieres at George Street Playhouse
Broadway World | May 25, 2016

An absurd, dark comedy about a New Jersey family who finds themselves suddenly dealing with an environmental cleanup in their backyard – literally – makes its debut at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., with a pair of 8pm performances June 3 and 4, with post-play discussions to follow each night.

TV and radio stations, working together? It’s possible — and potentially powerful
Current | April 21, 2016

The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University coordinated reporting among nine news entities, including NJTV and dual licensee WHYY in Philadelphia.

Montclair State University presents panel on Italians and media
The Montclair Times | April 9, 2016

Fiore, originally from Sicily, is the first holder of the Inserra endowed chair. Inserra, named for Larry Inserra, is dedicated to the promotion of Italian and Italian-American studies. The panel is co-sponsored by the Global Education Center, the Department of History and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and in collaboration with the Center for Cooperative Media and the Amici Italian Club at Montclair State University.

Thinking outside the (newspaper) box: The Local News Lab seeks to revive community news
NiemanLab | February 17, 2016

Professional networks like NJ News Commons and the Institute for Nonprofit News are critical for sharing lessons, testing ideas, and leveraging economies of scale while retaining the unique character of each individual community site.

In the Shadow of Liberty: NJ Spotlight’s year-long study of immigration in New Jersey
NJ Spotlight | February 8, 2016

Through our partnership with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State, we will reach into these communities via ethnic media. These publications — targeted at New Jersey’s Arab, Brazilian, Chinese, Filipino, and Latino communities, among others — will give voice to their stories and experiences.

How New Jersey newsrooms are working together to expose local contamination
Reveal | December 30, 2015

Over the past six months, reporters and editors from newsrooms around New Jersey have been digging into the state’s toxic legacy. Dubbed Dirty Little Secrets, the collaborative series has included participation from a diverse group of media partners, including New Jersey Public Radio/WNYC, WHYY, NJTV, NJ Spotlight, Jersey Shore Hurricane News, WBGO, New Brunswick Today and the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies. The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University helped CIR coordinate the project, made possible by a grant to CIR from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Investigative local reporting has a future—but it won’t look like the past
Columbia Journalism Review | December 18, 2015

The collaboration is being facilitated by The Center for Investigative Reporting, which is taking the story national, with help from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State. That is a huge number of organizations, coming together to lend their strengths and share their work in service of local communities. But what is important about this project is not just who is doing the journalism but how they are doing it.

CIR to convene investigative collaboration in New Jersey
Reveal | July 23, 2015

With help from the Center for Cooperative Media, which already has been instrumental in organizing a share-alike culture among New Jersey news organizations, we’re beginning to map this investigative quest and identify the topics and stories we’ll pursue.

Learning About Messy NJ Data through Hacking at Hack Jersey 2.0
New Jersey Tech Weekly | April 14, 2015

This hackathon, Hack Jersey 2.0, held at Montclair State University on March 25th and 26th, is the brain child of Baristanet founder and associate director of the NJ News Commons at Montclair State, Debra Galant, and data journalist at The Marshal Project Tom Meagher.

Be the Best Journalist Your Hackathon Has Ever Seen
The Digital Cycle | Match 27, 2015

This weekend I’m going to participate in a journalism hackathon, Hack Jersey 2.0. at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. The selected focus of Hack Jersey 2.0 is to explore better data journalism as well as new tools for storytelling.

Dodge makes community the hub of NJ Journalism Sustainability Project
Knight Digital Media Center | December 15, 2014

The Dodge Foundation’s Journalism Sustainability Project has a dizzying number of moving parts. Community is the steady hub at its center.

Journalists Gather to Discuss, Rebuild the Business of Local News
NJ News Commons | April 29, 2014

Marc Andreesen, an Internet pioneer and venture capitalist, tweeted in early February that he’s bullish on the growth of the news business in the next 20 years. “Will grow 10x-100x,” he wrote.

In Post-Patch Era, Local Media Watchers Pin Hopes on Smaller Operations
Street Fight | April 28, 2014

“Hi, I’m Larry Kramer, and I like to make money,” said the president and publisher of Gannett-owned USA Today (and an early investor in Street Fight), during introductions at a conference on the future of local media held at Montclair State University Friday.

Ecosystems aren’t just for biologists, Dodge president tells digital journalists
Morristown Green | April 28, 2014

New Jersey, long overshadowed by the media glare of New York City and Philadelphia, is poised to re-make the face of news. It can’t happen soon enough, according to Chris Daggett of the Morristown-based Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, which is leading a philanthropic drive to transform the Garden State into a test-bed for journalistic ventures to augment “legacy” media ravaged by changing economics.

Like a phoenix from the ashes: How some local reporters are sticking it out post
Nieman Lab | March 12, 2014

Wealthy, suburban, outer-metro areas have always been financial strongholds for local journalism. That’s why, back in 2009 when Patch launched, they seeded the network with sites in the New York suburbs of Connecticut and New Jersey. It’s also why local news reporters in that region who found themselves unemployed after after Patch came crashing down aren’t all throwing in the towel.

Reconsidering Anniversaries for Reporting Tragedies
PBS Media Shift | Nov. 14, 2013

For all the talk of journalism’s noble past and uncertain future, the truth is that journalism’s day-to-day is a lot like slinging hash. Everyday journalism is produced quickly, in massive quantities, in front of a live audience.

Recaps and Handouts: It Takes a Village–Working Together Online
Citizens Campaign | Nov. 4, 2013

This Saturday we co-hosted “It Takes a Village: Working Together Online” with our friends from New Jersey News Commons and Jersey Shore Hurricane News. For this event we departed from the usual journalism basic training — and shifted gears and focused on new media skills and tools. At the end of the day you probably heard chattering about RebelMouse, Feedly, WordPress, Google Maps Engine, Document Cloud, and so much more! Guests left saying, “I have a lot of new words to go home and google.”

New Jersey Now 11/3 | November 3, 2013

A preview of Tuesday’s Gubernatorial Election between incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie and Democratic Challenger State Senator Barbara Buono! Also, a debate on whether Republicans can win a majority in the Democratically-controlled Legislature, as well as a look at the ballot question to raise the minimum wage. Guests include Democratic Strategist Adam Silverstein, Republican Strategist Steven Some, Mary Mann of NJ News Commons, and John Schoonejongen of the Asbury Park Press.

Just Your Average 10-Foot High Neighborhood Totem Pole
NJPR | Nov. 1, 2013

A totem pole. In Chatham. Right there on Edgewood Road. As part of our “one-year-after-Sandy” coverage we have a story about a New Jersey artist who saw a golden opportunity in his Sandy-ravaged neighborhood. That damaged tree? Surely it’s a future totem pole.

New Jersey Now 10/27 | October 27, 2013

A look at the legalization of marriage equality in the Garden State, Senator-elect Cory Booker’s future in Washington as well as the future of Newark without him, and the latest in the Governor’s race! Guests include Democratic Strategist Adam Silverstein, Republican Strategist Steven Some, Mary Mann of NJ News Commons, and John Schoonejongen of the Asbury Park Press.

At September Hack Jersey, Political Finance Laws, Campaign Spending Get Hacked
NJ Tech Weekly | October 21, 2013

Journalism is becoming increasingly technology-dependent. Half the political stories require spreadsheet skills, and coders and reporters need to learn how to talk to one another. There was plenty of Excel spreadsheet training and more as Hack Jersey hosted its second hackathon Sept. 21, 2013. On this sunny Saturday, some 40 participants tried to ferret out stories by analyzing campaign finance data. They also sought to build a news app.

New Jersey Now 10/20 | October 20, 2013

A look at the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and the devastation left behind, including homes destroyed at the Jersey Shore and flooding in towns such as Hoboken! Also, a look at recovery efforts one year later and the road ahead! And, the latest on the Archbishop John Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark and the naming of the Most Reverend Bernard Hebda as Coadjutor Archbishop!

Parking in Princeton and Hecklers in Montclair
NJPR | Oct. 17, 2013

Mary Mann with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University joins New Jersey Public Radio host, David Furst, to highlight the work of two local news reporters. One covers the news for the web site, Planet Princeton – the other is a freshman working for the student radio station at Montclair State University.

New Jersey Now 10/13 | October 13, 2013

New Jersey Now focuses on some of the biggest issues in the Garden State including the latest surrounding a nameless NJ Transit supervisor blamed for the damage to rail cars during Superstorm Sandy, the battle over appointments to the State Supreme Court, and a judge’s ruling over marriage equality! Also, our roundtable tackles the latest in the special Senate and Governor’s race!

Announcing: Now a Member of NJ News Commons
Muckgers | September 13, 2013

About a week ago, we received an email from the deputy director of a roughly year-old experiment in local news collaboration called NJ News Commons, inviting us to join their team as a partner. The invite was pretty unexpected and, being the lowly and relatively young campus publication that we are, we were flabbergasted at the prospect. Today, however, we’re incredibly excited (honored, really) to announce that Muckgers is now an official NJ News Commons partner.

“This Trenton Life”
NJPR | October 10, 2013

“This Trenton Life,” a play created by high school students and the Passage Theatre Company, was performed this summer in in a revitalized vacant lot in Trenton. A mini-documentary about the experience now appears on the web site, State of the Arts. Mary Mann is with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University. She speaks with New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst about the collaboration.

The New Jersey News Desert
Free Press | July 12, 2013

In recent years the news coverage on WWOR-TV in New Jersey got so bad that local residents started a campaign to have the Federal Communications Commission take away the station’s broadcast license. And now the station has canceled its remaining newscast. This means the only major commercial broadcaster in New Jersey has no news on its airwaves.

What Happened to the Poison-Ivy Eating Goats?
NJPR | October 3, 2013

From civilian employees facing furloughs at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to the closure of national parks in New Jersey, we’ve been hearing about the many ways the partial government shutdown is affecting people in the state. But New Jersey bloggers have been doing a good job calling our attention to some of the less obvious impacts.

Rutgers Changes a Few Lyrics — New Jersey Takes Notice
NJPR | September 26, 2013

During the Rutgers-Arkansas football game last Saturday, some new lyrics were unveiled for the university’s alma mater. The idea was to drag Rutgers into the 21st century and make the words more gender-neutral.

Wanna Pray? There’s an App for That
NJPR | Sept. 12, 2013

Orthodox Judaism meets high-tech innovation. “Wanna Pray” is the sassy name of a new app designed by Linden, New Jersey-based app creator, Josh Weiss. He’s also vice president of his Orthodox synagogue. New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst speaks about the new app with Mary Mann, with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University.

Cake Boss in Westfield
NJPR | Sept. 9, 2013

The ‘Cake Boss’ opens a new joint in Westfield… and the blogs go wild. Mary Mann with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University joins New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst to talk about the new Carlo’s Bakery location – and how the Cake Boss has gotten involved with making political endorsements in New Jersey.

The “Best Tasting Water” in New Jersey
NJPR | August 29, 2013

This month, Livingston was presented with an award for having the “best tasting water” in the state by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Water Works Association. And earlier this summer, Facebook called Livingston one of the top-10 “fittest” cities in America. Mary Mann with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University joins New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst to talk about Livingston’s new bragging rights.

Back to School — With a “Shooter Drill” in West Orange
NJPR | August 22, 2013

It’s sobering that one of our first back-to-school stories this August is all about a “shooter drill” in New Jersey. But that’s the reality of back-to-school, 2013-style. This was a major school shooting simulation that took place at Liberty Middle School in West Orange on Tuesday. The story was reported by West Orange Patch.

A Shark Panic in New Jersey — From Over 90 Years Ago
NJPR | August 15, 2013

We may have missed ‘Shark Week’ on the Discovery Channel but we’ll make up for it with a terrifying New Jersey story. This gruesome slice of state history appeared on It all started in Beach Haven in July of 1916. Debbie Galant is with New Jersey News Commons at Montclair State University. She speaks with New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst about a true story that MAY have inspired author Peter Benchley to write Jaws.

Pesticide-Free Zone
NJPR | August 8, 2013

It’s the latest suburban showdown. Barista Kids recently reported on the growing divide between neighbors who spray their lawns with pesticides… and those who do not. Debbie Galant with New Jersey News Commons speaks with New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst about a new program to encourage pesticide-free lawns in Montclair.

Business Slow at the Beach
NJPR | August 1, 2013

It’s standard practice around this time of year. As we head into the home stretch of the summer beach season, it’s expected that shops and restaurants along the Jersey shore will grumble about the weather and its impact on their bottom line. But this year, obviously, is very different.

Jellies Thrive in Barnegat Bay
NJPR | July 25, 2013

According to several reports, the stinging jellyfish in Barnegat Bay are worse than ever this year. New Jersey Public Radio’s David Furst speaks with Mary Mann of New Jersey News Commons about the bothersome jellies – and a study underway looking into why they are now here in such abundance.

In New Jersey, a university teams up with local news orgs to collaborate for impact
Neiman Journalism Lab | July 10, 2013

Montclair State’s Center for Cooperative Media is betting there are returns on getting newspapers, broadcasters, bloggers, and wire services all in the same building.

Creating a Unique New Jersey Media Hub

The germ of the idea came at a 2011 meeting in Newark, N.J. What was going to happen to news coverage once Gov. Chris Christie spun off the state-owned New Jersey Network (NJN) of radio and television stations? As the group of funders, journalists, academics and public broadcasters from New York City and Philadelphia mulled various possibilities, a voice piped up: “What we probably need here is a co-op, sort of like the Associated Press.”

NJ News Commons Poll Finds Majority of Residents Say Undocumented Immigrants Should Stay
NJTV | July 3, 2013

While a new poll finds that most New Jerseyans believe undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S., it also shows a significant percentage believes they should be deported. NJ News Commons Director Debbie Galant told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the poll results surprised her.

Charting the Shared Road Ahead
Dodge Foundation Blog | June 24, 2013

“World Café” lunch-time conversations with designated table leaders enabled Conference attendees to engage in in-depth group discussions on specific topics. I chose to sit with Mary Mann, deputy director of New Jersey News Commons based at Montclair State University, a project spurred and supported by the Knight Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation as a means of creating a robust media sector in the state. A concrete model of effective philanthropy, NJ News Commons will no doubt serve our state well as a key resource for rebuilding efforts.

Tending to the Business Side
Dodge Foundation Blog | May 29, 2013

When I started Baristanet, one of the first hyperlocal news sites in the country, in 2004, I didn’t realize I was starting a new industry. I barely understood that I was starting a new business. I didn’t have a business plan. And while I’d sketched out page designs with places for ads, and had vague hopes about what they might be worth, there was no science behind it — and it took months before anybody handed me a check.

Getting News to New Jersey
Reporter’s Roundtable/NJTV | December 6, 2013

John Mooney of NJ Spotlight, Ken Schlager of New Jersey Monthly, Anthony Birritteri of New Jersey Business Magazine and Debbie Galant of NJ News Commons discuss how they get news to a New Jersey audience.

In a Fragmented Media Market, New Jersey Hopes to Thrive with Mobile, Collaboration
PBS Media Shift | May 23, 2013

At a conference at Montclair State University titled, “New Jersey: A Laboratory for Media Innovation,” sponsored in part by the Knight Foundation, newsrooms large and small weighed the current problems and opportunities in New Jersey’s current media market, laying out a microcosm of the challenges facing the American news business and how they’re evolving in the digital age to meet them.

Twitter Was Leading Place for News During Boston Shootout
NJTV | April 19, 2013

When the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were engaged in a shootout with police, it was the middle of the night and cable news operations were rerunning some of their earlier programming. So journalists took to Twitter to spread the news about what was happening. NJ News Commons Director Debbie Galant told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that she and many others were getting the latest information from the social networking site.

Media Blitz: A New Communication And Media School At MSU
New Jersey Monthly | April 8, 2013

Montclair State University has spent the past school year rolling out an ambitious plan to become a major center for media education—at the same time defining what that might mean in the digital age.

With NJ News Co-op, Professor Deb Galant Keeps to Her Hyperlocal Roots
Street Fight | February 28, 2013

Debra Galant was the quintessential hyperlocal entrepreneur, co-founding in 2004 (on the strength of her credit card) the lively, news-filled, deeply engaged and now profitableBaristanet in suburban New Jersey. Then, in July 2012, shedecamped for the nearby groves of academe – to the new Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Not surprisingly, Galant stayed true to her entrepreneurial spirit. She’s the director of the NJ News Commons, the first initiative to spring forth from the center. Street Fight caught up with Galant recently to find out more about the news co-op, and why the project is important for hyperlocals.

Hack Jersey: Programmers and Journalists Work Together to Shine a Light on NJ
NJ Tech Weekly | February 20, 2013

Hack Jersey — which took place from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, 2013, at Montclair State University — was a unique event to the N.J. tech scene and one that cemented Montclair State’s reputation as a cutting-edge institution at the intersection of journalism and digital information.

Interview with Debbie Galant
Carpe Diem | November 29, 2012

Marc Rosenwig sits down for an interview with Debbie Galant on Montclair’s premiere interview and public affairs program, Carpe Diem.

Hack Jersey Enters Homestretch
Baristanet | January 27, 2013

Hack Jersey, a 24-hour contest to develop the best journalism-related app over a weekend, is in full swing at Montclair State University. Sponsored by the NJ News Commons in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University and Knight-Mozilla Open News, the contest ends at noon today; presentations, which are open to public and live streamed, begin at 1:15 p.m.

NJ Journos, Techs Team Up at Hackathon | January 29, 2013

Montclair State University over the weekend hosted New Jersey’s first ever journalist-tech hackathon, titled “Hack Jersey.” The event — sponsored and hosted by the NJ News Commons at Montclair State University, in partnership with Knight-Mozilla Open News — was a 24-hour competition, allowing groups of journalists and software coders to team up to create projects that could transform the way New Jersey residents use data and experience news.

Montclair Tech and Media Startups to Discuss Creating Makerspace
Baristanet | January 29, 2013

What’s a “Makerspace” you ask? It’s a community-operated, physical space where people with common interests in computers, technology, science, and digital or electronic art can meet, socialize and/or collaborate.

#HackJersey Pairs #Coders and #Reporters for Creative Media Apps | January 31, 2013

Reporters and coders will band together at Hack Jersey this weekend in the service of journalism. Their task: create new apps, media tools and data visualizations. In addition to a tour of The New York Times’ R&D Lab or lunch with Jeff Jarvis, the team that creates the best work related to Hurricane Sandy wins a (still undisclosed) special prize. The idea for the hackathon arose after a conversation between Debbie Galant, founder of Baristanet, and Tom Meagher, data editor of NY-based Digital First Media. Galent told The Star-Ledgerthat, “The important thing is to get people to start thinking creatively.”

North Jersey journalists, computer coders team up to create new tools | January 27, 2013

A database allows consumers to quickly look up the widely varying costs of radiology services throughout New Jersey. A map permits members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to identify towns where they’ve been harassed or assaulted. Those websites and applications were among 11 created during a frenzied 24-hour period at “Hack Jersey,” the first so-called hackathon in the Garden State to team up local journalists and computer software coders.

Opinion: It’s time for journalists to learn math
NJ News Commons | February 1, 2013

Watching someone like Matt Ericson of the New York Times show off the fabulous data visualizations that his department makes is a little like watching a master magician. What is there, after all, to pulling a rabbit out of a hat? Bubble maps of the words most used at the Democratic and GOP national conventions? What’s the big deal about that? A graphic of every male 100-meter sprint Olympic medalist ever, showing how much faster athletes have gotten over time? Ok, that’s pretty impressive. And the two-and-a-half minute video with pitch-by-pitch visualizations of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera? Well, that’s kind of like sawing a lady in half. Still, even when lifting the curtain and showing what went into these pieces of data visualization, it still looks easy – it’s not.

Watch President Obama’s inauguration here, complete coverage, Jan. 21
Morristown Green | January 21, 2013

Follow President Obama’s inauguration here, on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, from 9 am to 5 pm. Coverage by the Associated Press; our thanks to the NJ News Commons for sharing this news feed with

Hack Jersey: An exercise in decoding the news
Star-Ledger | January 25, 2013

Hack Jersey. It’s not what it sounds like. Far from some call to breach state security systems, it’s a gathering of news reporters and coders in the name of journalism. Who, yes, will be staring at screens for hours on end — 24 hours, specifically.

CrashDataNJ Wins Hack Jersey
Baristanet | January 28, 2013

Wonder what’s the most dangerous stretch of the Garden State Parkway? Check outCrashDataNJ, winner of Best Overall Project at the first ever Hack Jersey, is a tool that analyzes car accident data along New Jersey’s major highways (130 to 140 has the highest number of accidents).

Conference Finds NJ Public Radio and TV Faring Well in New York, Philadelpia
NJ Spotlight | January 23, 2013

A year and a half after the state turned over its public radio and TV stations to organizations in New York and Philadelphia, station operators said they have seen New Jersey audience and membership grow to varying degrees. What’s more, the public radio stations are investing in news about the state. And NJTV, the new TV station operated by WNET/Thirteen, said it is on the forefront nationally of finding ways to deliver news economically, a necessity since it is working with a budget two-thirds that of its predecessor, WNJN.

#HackJersey: Transform Storytelling with Data and #News | January 7, 2013

Hack Jersey is New Jersey’s first 24-hour hackathon to invite both journalists and coders to work together and build innovative products that transform the way people use data and experience news in the Garden State. The hackathon, held at Montclair State Universityon Jan. 26 and 27, will be preceded by a social event on Friday evening, Jan. 25. Sponsors include Montclair University NJ News Commons, Knight-Mozilla Open News, NJ Star Ledger, The Record and CartoDB.

Jersey’s First ‘Hackathon’ Comes to Montclair State
The Montclarion | January 24, 2013

This weekend, Montclair will host the first ever “hackathon” in New Jersey. Coined as “Hack Jersey,” the event will begin on Saturday afternoon. Teams of journalist and computer coders alike will have 24 hours to create something for one of five categories. The event was co-created by Debbie Galant, director of the NJ News Commons and Tom Meagher, data editor at Digital First Media.

HackJersey to bring Coders and Journalists Together
Planet Princeton | December 10, 2012

Have an idea for an app, data visualization or new media that will organize newsworthy data or deliver important stories to readers in a better way? Then you’ll want to take part in Hack Jersey, the first hackathon in the state to invite journalists and coders to collaborate on teams to build projects that could transform the way people use data and experience news in the Garden State.

NJ News Commons helps residents vote, track results in wake of Hurricane Sandy
Knight Foundation | November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy created havoc in many seaside communities in New Jersey, and also caused damage with downed trees, powerlines and flooding in inland communities. The New Jersey News Commons, a new project to pump up the amount of civic news and information for New Jersey residents, got an early test of their collaborative model with Sandy.

Storm Poses First Big Test for NJTV News Coverage
New York Times | November 4, 2012

During his 6 p.m. newscast Thursday, the NJTV anchor Mike Schneider got a little cranky on the air, after twice trying, unsuccessfully, to interview Representative Frank LoBiondo, Republican of New Jersey, over a patchy cellphone line.

NJ News Commons Live Blog: Tracking Voting Problems
NJ Today | November 6, 2012

The NJ News Commons, joined by news organizations across the state, is running a public service campaign to provide real-time voting information following the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, and to monitor voting problems in the state.

NJ News Commons at Montclair State: An Experiment in Sharing Content, Resources
New Jersey Tech Weekly | October 26, 2012

An experiment in digital journalism is taking place at Montclair State University, where Debbie Galant, director of new media initiatives, is leading NJ News Commons in an effort to help N.J. online and offline news organizations “survive the seismic shifts in the economics of journalism and create better journalism by working together.” Reporters for news outlets will be able to partner with each other to cover large stories — hurricanes, elections, trials — and share information.

NJ Online News Resource Group joins Montclair’s NJ News Commons
The Citizens Campaign | December 13, 2012

Last summer, the Center for Cooperative Media, which resides in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University, launched the NJ News Commons, through extensive grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. NJ News Commons is directed by Debbie Galant, founder and former editor of Baristanet, one of the first hyperlocal news sites in the United States.

NJ News Commons Post-Christie Keynote Hangout

Statewide coverage of Frankenstorm from NJ News Commons
Morristown Green | October 28, 2012

Here is statewide coverage of Hurricane Sandy from our friends at NJ News Commons, a program at Montclair State University supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Analyists from NJ News Commons, Twitter Abuzz on Christie’s RNC Speech
Jersey City Independent | August 29, 2012

Governor Chris Christie’s speech at the Republican National Convention was called a “proud” moment for New Jersey. It was to be an exciting spotlight on all things local when Christie nationally celebrated Republican governance at its self-described best: supposedly reining in taxes that were seen as out of control and forcing steep concessions from powerfully entrenched unions, all in a place where Democrats outnumber Republicans by the better part of a million voters.

NJ News Commons to hold Internship Fair November 27
Montclair State University | November 20, 2012

The NJ News Commons will sponsor an Internship Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Multipurpose News Room (Room 311) in Schmitt Hall to introduce communication and journalism students at Montclair State University to news organizations across the state.

Debbie Galant Leaving Baristanet for Role at Montclair State
Street Fight | July 9, 2012

Debra Galant, who co-founded Baristanet, the New Jersey network of indie hyperlocals, is leaving management of the site to take a role at Montclair State University, where she’ll join “an ambitious effort to nurture digital and hyperlocal journalism in New Jersey.” Liz George, who will take over day-to-day operations at Baristanet, has been running the site alongside Galant for years.

Big news in Hyperlocaland
Buzz Machine | July 9, 2012

Debbie Galant, co-founder of Baristanet and the Queen of Hyperlocal, is moving to a new gig at Montclair State University, where she will share her experience and help nurture and grow the local news ecosystem of New Jersey. In short, she will spread her hyperlocal fairy dust over the Garden State. Baristanet continues under the strong and loyal local leadership of Liz George, who has been there almost from the start. The queen has left the building. Long live the queens.

Can Local Newspapers Collaborate with Blogs?
PBS | December 6, 2012

J-Lab recently released the results of its Networked Journalism pilot project, a three-year initiative that “called for eight newspapers and one public radio station to network with local blogs,” resulting in “nine different models of collaboration,” J-Lab reports.

Hyperlocal Hotbed Thrives in New Jersey | November 8, 2012

If there is one word that defines New Jersey’s digital media scene, it’s synergy. Whether it’s network news sites like the Advance Publications-owned and operated, which includes original active content from 12 area newspapers including The Star-Ledger and The Times of Trenton, or the profusion of hyperlocals, some of which have partnered up (and were instrumental in aiding residents with breaking updates and information related to Hurricane Sandy), consolidation drives the Garden State’s local news apparatus.

A New Approach to News
Montclair State University | September 17, 2012

When Tropical Storm Irene barreled through New Jersey in August 2011, it left independent “hyperlocal” journalists up a creek. “It’s tough to cover a story like that without support. I wasn’t sure exactly when it would hit, whether I should stay up and wait for it or get some sleep,” recalls Debra Galant, former editor of Montclair’s hyperlocal news website, Baristanet, and now the director of the New Jersey News Commons for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State.