This year’s gubernatorial race in New Jersey is a critical contest. No question. That’s why we are supporting Voting Block, a collaborative reporting initiative to cover the race through the lens of neighborhoods across the state and inspire citizens to get engaged and vote.
Voting Block started with four 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 initial stories introduced us to neighbors in Paulsboro, Westwood, Long Valley and West Orange and subsequent articles followed the neighbors as they met over a meal to talk politics.
Last week we announced the first expansion of Voting Block with the launch of a statewide campaign encouraging New Jerseyans to host their own “Political Potluck” and add new neighborhood perspectives to our reporting.
Today, we’re announcing yet another expansion.
Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Center will add 15 additional news organizations to Voting Block. Our partner New America Media is also receiving funding that will allow them to add six ethnic media organizations to the project.
This funding means that, in total, more than two dozens news outlets across New Jersey will participate in Voting Block. That level of participation will not only strengthen the project, it will greatly expand its reach and impact.
We intend to recruit hyperlocal and independent media to join Voting Block with this latest grant and will announce those news outlets in early August. Look for their first stories to be published and broadcast in September.
If you’re a journalist interested in joining Voting Block, let us know: email firstname.lastname@example.org with Voting Block in the subject line. If you’re a citizen who wants to host your own Voting Block “Political Potluck,” click here to fill out a form and send us your contact info so we can send you a discussion toolkit.
In the meantime, to read the latest stories in Voting Block, visit votingblocknj.com.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.