Annual reports

Below are links to PDF versions of the Center for Cooperative Media’s annual reports. The Center typically publishes its annual report in the summer, after the end of the university’s fiscal year. If you have any questions about anything contained in these reports, please contact the Center at [email protected].


As we turn the page on another remarkable year at the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, it gives us great pleasure to share our 2023 annual report with you. Over the past year, we shifted our attention away from the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic and tumultuous election cycles, focusing instead on key aspects of our strategic plan: enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion within the Center; strengthening and expanding our connections with current and potential local news and information partners; and growing our national influence to advocate more robustly for collaborative efforts.


After the chaos of 2020 and 2021, I wasn’t sure what to expect 2022 to bring. I did know that the Center for Cooperative Media was well-positioned for success, however, thanks to our strategic planning and constant discussion of how our programs align with our values, vision and theory of change. Unexpectedly, the year brought clarity. It was the Center’s 10th year in existence and it felt — finally — as though we hit our stride. Our team was clear on its mission, our programs were robust and we were able to look back on a decade of growth. I’m pleased today to release the Center’s 2022 annual report, reflecting on our work in the last 12 months.


The entirety of 2021 was another exhausting year for anyone working in the media, one that revolved around continued pandemic response, attacks on the U.S. democracy and massive storms resulting from climate change. The past year was no different for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Challenges abounded. Reading back over the application for funding that the Center submitted to Democracy Fund in the fall of 2020 is like going back in time. Such hope!


Like nearly every other journalism-adjacent organization, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University had to dramatically alter its work in 2020. Yet the Center had one of its best years ever in terms of its programming and fundraising. The organization spent much of the year responding to the coronavirus pandemic, which helped to focus its work narrowly on supporting its partners—especially ethnic media—in the midst of a crisis.


😬  In the midst of the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, we kind of forgot to put out an annual report for the previous year. However, we did produce a report about the steps we took to serve our partners and New Jersey residents as the virus continued to spread.


In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Center set a record for its fundraising efforts, executed more funded projects than ever before, expanded its profile in the national area, doubled the size of the NJ News Commons network, doubled its number of newsletters and published more than 120 stories about its work and the work of its NJ News Commons members. The Center also released its first full research whitepaper and hosted two national conferences.


Among this year’s accomplishments for the Center – which includes hosting two large national conferences in eight months, doubling its funding budget and launching a research agenda – perhaps the most notable is the renewed sense of purpose and buzz that was created. Several successes in conceiving, pitching and executing exciting projects energized the staff. Smart project management kept the trains running on time. And a focus on external networking gave the Center the marketing boost it craved.


Stefanie Murray joined the Center in April as its new director. We partnered with NJ Spotlight to raise more than $31,000 to fund a year-long series of stories about immigration in New Jersey. We used our share of the money to fund an initial round of $5,800 in grants to support nine immigration reporting efforts by ethnic, immigrant, community, and other small media outlets in New Jersey. We launched the NJ Mobile News Lab. We hosted our third annual conference.