Thank you for attending the 2022 NJ Local News Summit!




Sessions marked with 🎥 will be recorded.
Sessions marked with [CC] include closed captions.
Sessions marked with 🌐 will include live Spanish interpretation.

10:00 a.m. — Welcome and introductions 🎥 [CC] 🌐

Stefanie Murray of the Center for Cooperative Media and P. Kenneth Burns of the NJ Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will give opening remarks and officially welcome everyone to the 2022 NJ Local News Summit.

10:05 a.m. — Keynote conversation 🎥 [CC] 🌐

The New Jersey Monitor has broken significant stories and made a splash since it launched during the pandemic as one of the newest nonprofits in the state. Editor Terrence T. McDonald will discuss what it’s been like to helm the organization in the midst of a pandemic and intense political polarization, and share what he sees for the future of Jersey’s media landscape. 

10:45 a.m. — Listening session 🎥 [CC] 🌐

Investing in New Jersey media: Discussion with the NJ Civic Information Consortium. What funding priorities would you like to see the NJ Civic Information Consortium address? Members of the Consortium’s board and grants strategy committee will join this session to hear from you about what funding opportunities you’d like the Board to prioritize as it seeks to deepen its investment in New Jersey media and civic engagement.

11:15 a.m. — Panel discussion 🎥 [CC] 🌐

Holding newsrooms accountable. A conversation about newsroom equity, representation, and accountability with the Journalism Accountability Watchdog Network (J.A.W.N.) Coalition.

  • Speakers: Tauhid Chappell, program manager, Free Press; Ernest Owens, president, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists; Jingyao Yu, president, Philadelphia Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association; Vanessa Maria Graber, president, Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists

11:45 a.m. — Lunch + networking break

Stretch your legs and get a snack!

  • You can also stay on the Zoom and join one of our networking breakout rooms!

12:15 p.m. — Workshops [CC]

Participants can choose between one of two workshops:

✍️ Workshop #1: How to bring a community together to build a podcast
This 40-minute session will provide a comprehensive review of how you can bring a community together to build a podcast and why audio content can be valuable to local communities. Participants will learn how to create a local news podcast from scratch. We’ll discuss how to: Create a mission statement, begin a series of task force meetings throughout neighborhoods in settings relevant to the discussion, and welcome locals to attend these meetings to come and share their ideas and insights for stories that the podcast should tell about their community

Speaker: Jordan Gass-Poore’, producer, NJ Hazard Podcast

✍️ Workshop #2: Time management for local journalists
In this workshop, Jeremy Caplan of the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY will go over tips, tactics, strategies, and techniques for managing your time and workflow as a local journalist.

Speaker: Jeremy Caplan, director, Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at CUNY

1:00 p.m. — Panel discussion 🎥 [CC] 🌐

Cultivating community scribes in South Jersey: Community engagement MAGIC. That’s what happens when a community foundation, a humanities nonprofit, and a journalism program come together to explore the local news scene in South Jersey! The New Jersey Council for the Humanities, together with the Community Foundation of South Jersey and Journalism + Design at The New School, will discuss their spring 2022 Democracy and the Informed Citizen community scribe program, which trained over 15 community members from Downe, Hammonton, Salem, Willingboro, Winslow, and Woodbury in the basics of citizen-driven journalism.

  • Speakers: Valerie Popp, Director of Strategic Initiatives, NJ Council for the Humanities; Debbie Esposito, NJCH Community Scribe, Winslow Township; Erik Estrada, Community Foundation of South Jersey; Cole Goins, Journalism + Design, The New School

1:45 p.m. — Research update 🎥 [CC] 🌐

What does the news cost in New Jersey? Hear the early findings from research led by Dr. Sarah Stonbely, research director, Center for Cooperative Media, about what people in the Garden State are asked to pay to get full access to digital and print news. 

2:00 p.m. — Lightning talks 🎥 [CC] 🌐

Hear from a variety of people from across the New Jersey local news ecosystem talk about projects they are working on, ideas they have and support they can offer. Presentations will each be ~5 minutes long. Presentations include:

⚡ Bloomfield’s newest nonprofit news site: Engagement coordinator for the Bloomfield Info Project, Nikki Villafane, will talk about her journey from subscriber to staffer and how the nonprofit is building a sustainable movement for local news and civic engagement in Essex County.

Going it alone: How the solopreneur journalism space is creating room for a more inclusive New Jersey news ecosystem, presented by Ambreen Ali, founder of Central Desi, and Tennyson Donyéa, founder of Black In Jersey.

Arts coverage as the ‘great unifier’: The arts and entertainment industries are considered by many to be the great unifier. Flisadam Pointer, music news writer for UPROXX, will talk about the importance of arts and entertainment coverage and why it’s crucial for local publishers to consider it a vital part of their revenue strategies.

Stormwater Matters: How the Northern New Jersey News Collaborative is using solutions journalism to report on the topic of flooding and stormwater management, presented by project manager Amanda Richardson of the Corporation for New Jersey Local Media.

Follow South Jersey: We’ll hear from Melissa Helmbrecht, founder + CEO of the nonprofit Hopeloft, about the work her organization has done after receiving a grant from the NJ Civic Information Consortium.

South Jersey strong: How Stories Invincible and the South Jersey Information Equity Project are working to improve the quality and quantity of local news and information produced by and for people of color in South Jersey, with Cassandra Etienne and Reet Starwind of the Center for Cooperative Media.

Slice of Culture: Founder Neidy Gutierrez will explain how Slice of Culture provides a platform for people of color to share their stories while also working on highlighting and informing the diverse community in Hudson County.

Don’t sleep on planning board coverage: How land is used is always a HOT topic for local communities; in this talk, Neill Borowski, editor of, will discuss how to cover this topic and own it for your site on social media.

NJ News Commons Spanish Translation News Service update: Presented by Anthony “Oni” Advincula, ethnic media coordinator, Center for Cooperative Media.

Disability-focused coverage: Lens15 Media, founded by Jason Strother, is New Jersey’s first disability-focused news agency, telling stories for and about this diverse community and distributing content at no cost to other local news platforms.

3 p.m. — Wrap-up

Have a great afternoon!