New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Jay Lustig of NJArts.net
Each week, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of New Jersey local news publishers, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another.
Tell us about yourself:
I’ve been writing about the arts in New Jersey for more than 30 years. For most of that time I was the rock critic and then the Arts and Entertainment Editor for The Star-Ledger. In 2014, after taking a buyout from The Star-Ledger, I started NJArts.net. I also do some freelancing for The Bergen Record, The Star-Ledger’s Inside Jersey magazine and other outlets.
Tell us about your publication:
NJArts.net covers all the arts throughout New Jersey, via previews, reviews, interviews, news items, listings, on-sale notifications and more. We tend to be focused on the Northern half of the state, and most of our coverage focuses on popular music and theater. But our goal is to grow broader, both geographically and in terms of forms of art.
What makes you get up and go to work every day?
There is an incredible amount of art going on in New Jersey, and most of it is underreported by the mainstream media. Not everything is great but every so often you come across something that is truly inspiring.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to journalism?
The arts have always been a big part of my life. So journalism, to me, is an opportunity to immerse myself in that world, and constantly be learning — talking with artists, and experiencing new things and growing to appreciate them.
Why do you think arts and culture coverage is such an important part of local news?
What it basically comes down to, to me, is that art is a big part of many people’s lives, and the media, both locally and nationally, should (but rarely does) reflect that. For New Jersey in particular, there are many great things going on, all over the state, and many people who live close enough to attend have no idea they are even happening. There should be one central web site to give you all that information, and my goal is to make NJArts.net that web site.
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