After the pandemic: Reporting on NJ underserved communities

Six-month fellowship will support up to 10 New Jersey journalists

As the COVID-19 pandemic finally wanes, big challenges still lie ahead of us. New Jersey’s vaccination rate has still not reached herd-immunity threshold while threats of the Delta variant of the coronavirus looms large. The economic fallout from the pandemic continues to batter communities of color in the state, which will be greatly exacerbated once eviction restrictions end. This fall the state will have gubernatorial and congressional elections, as well.

In these challenging post-pandemic times—when it is more important than ever for journalists to play a role in disseminating reliable information— the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is launching a new six-month reporting fellowship, “After the pandemic: Reporting on NJ underserved communities.” This fellowship program aims to support up to 10 journalists from New Jersey’s community and ethnic press.

This fellowship will run from July to December 2021. Monthly news briefings on various topics of timely interest and general relevance will be provided, along with access to experts and public officials in the state, translation services and fact sheets. Fellows will receive stipends of $2,000 each and opportunities for potential reporting partnerships with a large mainstream New Jersey media organization.

Each fellow will be encouraged to produce at least one story per topical briefing, or at least a total of six stories within the six months of the fellowship. For any fellows paired with a general market reporter, stories produced from the partnership are counted as part of the required number of fellowship stories.

For six months, fellows receive guidance and mentorship from the Center and its partner media organizations. The fellowship is supported with funding from the Democracy Fund.

All reporting fellows are required to adhere to the Center’s professional ethics and corrections policy.

List of current fellows:

  1. Phillip Han, Miju Weekly News NJ (Korean)
  2. Aleksandra Slabisz, Nowy Dziennik (Polish)
  3. Maricarmen Amado, NJ Hispano (Latino)
  4. Kleibeel Marcano, Reporte Hispano (Latino)
  5. Selcuk Acar, Turkish Journal (Turkish)
  6. Mohsin Zaheer, Urdu News (Pakistani)
  7. Gregg Morris, NJ Urban News (African American)
  8. Joseph Clyde Hughes, Jr., Frontrunner New Jersey (African American)
  9. April Xu, Sing Tao Daily (Chinese)
  10. Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News (Filipino)

Latest reporting from our fellows:

Child COVID hospitalizations are rising amid Omicron surge in New Jersey

As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has spread rapidly across the country, child hospitalizations in New Jersey have grown four-fold in the past two weeks, new CDC data shows.

By April Xe
January 7, 2022
Sing Tao Daily

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Blacks, Latinos affected by Omicron spread in New Jersey

Dr. David Adinaro, deputy commissioner for public health services at the New Jersey Department of Health said Wednesday that while statistics are still being gathered, he suspects Blacks and Latinos are being significantly impacted by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the state.

By Clyde Hughes
January 7, 2022
New Jersey Front Runner

NJ renters who missed application deadline for state aid find ray of hope with city funding

For renters who missed the state rental assistance deadline and experienced financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a ray of hope for rental aid from cities and municipalities in the state. Over $230 million in federal stimulus money was provided to 14 counties and two cities for rental assistance.

By Maricarmen Amado
December 17, 2021
New Jersey Hispano

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Gov. Murphy: ‘I will reduce the economic inequalities in the state’

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy promised that he will continue to fight for immigrants and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, to reduce wealth disparities in the state.

By Selcuk Acar
December 17, 2021
Turkish Journal

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Rent relief: What Pakistanis in New Jersey need to know about the eviction moratorium

Very few members of the Pakistani-American community in New Jersey knew that the coronavirus epidemic in New Jersey caused financial hardship for tenants, or that they were eligible to apply for financial rental assistance.

By Moshin Zaheer
December 15, 2021
Urdu News

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As NJ eviction moratorium draws to an end, advocate says state rental aid applications remain ‘surprisingly low’

For thousands of New Jersey low-income renters, who missed rental payments during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the last day to apply for the state’s rental assistance program is today, December 15.

By April Xu
December 15, 2021
Sing Tao Daily

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Post-pandemic evictions could hurt NJ people of color disproportionately

While the coronavirus pandemic, other business closings and various moratoriums have hit New Jersey residents negatively across the board, minority renters and people of color who are landlords have faced some unique circumstances, Renee Koubiadis, with New Jersey Citizen Action told journalists last week.

By Clyde Hughes
December 14, 2021
Front Runner New Jersey

NJ renters have until Dec. 15 to apply for rental aid program as state’s eviction moratorium sunsets

All people who are at risk of being evicted from their homes for not paying rent during the COVID-19 pandemic have until December 15 to fill out the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) self-certification of income form and legally protect yourself from being evicted from your home.

By Kleibeel Marcano
December 13, 2021
Reporte Hispano

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Do 15 grudnia w New Jersey można ubiegać się o fundusze na zaległy czynsz

New Jersey residents who are only behind December 15 rent due to a pandemic can apply for state financial assistance. Simultaneously with this application, you must submit a Self-Certification Form, which will protect against eviction for rent arrears accumulated in 2021.

By Aleksandra Słabisz
December 13, 2021
Nowy Dziennik

Celebrating 130 years, this NJ Hungarian weekly has endured wars and pandemics — and is thriving

For 130 years, Amerikai Népszava has survived the test of time: World War I and II, the Holocaust, the Great Depression and global pandemics that ravaged humanity. In 2019, Amerikai Népszava ended its print edition and shifted completely to digital — a move aimed at expanding its audience base.

By Oni Advincula
December 1, 2021
Center for Cooperative Media

As pandemic eases, mental health issues on the rise among Koreans in New Jersey

While COVID-19 pandemic may be winding down, there has been an uptick in the number of Koreans who have been suffering from mental health disorders, according to a Korean community group in New Jersey.

By Phillip Han
November 8, 2021
Miju News (Korean Business Journal)

For NJ Polish Americans, reunions are finally in sight as U.S. lifts travel ban on European citizens

Polish Americans in New Jersey will finally be reunited with their family members, loved ones and friends who are visiting from Poland. The White House finally announced that the United States will reopen the border for vaccinated travellers from the Schengen area countries, including Poland.

By Aleksandra Słabisz
November 8, 2021
Nowy Dziennik

WATCH: Meet the Fil-Am behind NJ governor’s reelection campaign

New Jersey’s gubernatorial race has kicked into high gear, and behind the reelection campaign of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is a young Fil-Am. Get to know her in this report from Don Tagala.

By Don Tagala
October 26, 2021
ABS-CBN News

For NJ Korean immigrants, economic recovery is still out of reach

If the coronavirus recession is practically over, why are thousands of Korean immigrants still suffering? That was the question asked by Koreans—especially among undocumented immigrants—in New Jersey.

By Phillip Han
October 26, 2021
Miju News (Korean Business Journal)

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As COVID takes toll on mental health of NJ Chinese immigrants, Gov. Murphy vows to get the help they need

“Mental strains are felt the most at a very high level due to the pandemic, and are overwhelmingly [prevalent] in communities of color and immigrant communities,” Murphy said during a virtual news conference with ethnic media in New Jersey, organized by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University earlier this month.

By April Xu
October 25, 2021
Sing Tao Daily

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Gov. Murphy reiterates commitment to narrow racial wealth gaps in New Jersey

Murphy acknowledged that the stark disparities in income between white and people of color have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, pushing Blacks, Latinos and immigrants over the edge.

By Kleibéel Marcano
October 22, 2021
Reporte Hispano

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Pandemic lays bare widening inequalities for Polish immigrants in New Jersey

Health disparities among immigrants have long been documented. But the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the role that immigration status plays in health and economic disparities among immigrants—and it is prevalent in the Polish community in New Jersey.

By Aleksandra Słabisz
October 13, 2021
Nowy Dziennik

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No papers, no assistance: Chinese undocumented immigrants in New Jersey continue to struggle amid the pandemic

Immigrants advocates in New Jersey pointed out that despite immigrants’ contributions to the economy, undocumented immigrants and their US-citizen kids and spouses were excluded from COVID-19 aid.

By April Xu
October 9, 2021
Sing Tao Daily

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Gov. Phil Murphy: We must address racial, ethnic disparities in NJ

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy acknowledged Wednesday the inequities African-Americans, Latinos and other people of color face in the state, which has only grown with the coronavirus pandemic and explained how his administration is fighting to narrow those gaps.

By Clyde Hughes
October 8, 2021
Front Runner New Jersey

NJ Fil-Ams among immigrants disproportionately affected by pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted immigrant communities in New Jersey. They include members of the Filipino community especially those who have been working on the front lines.

By Don Tagala
October 8, 2021
ABS-CBN News

More than 3 million New Jerseyans, including 335,000 Asians, remain unvaccinated, report says

While 5,898,479 (63.5 percent) of the total population in New Jersey have been fully vaccinated as of September 7, more than 3 million people—including an estimated 335,200 Asians—in the state are still unvaccinated, according to the New Jersey Department of Health Covid-19 tracking report.

By April Xu
September 24, 2021
Sing Tao Daily

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Meet the Latino immigrants in New Jersey who are fully vaccinated — but want a booster shot to be more protected

More and more Latinos in the state are now seeing the importance of getting fully vaccinated to contain the spread of the coronavirus, some Latino community leaders said. Despite the continuing threats of vaccine disinformation, the surging Delta variant has been driving them to get the shot.

By Maricarmen Amado
August 25, 2021
New Jersey Hispano

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They waited and hesitated. Finally, with Delta raging, Pakistani immigrants in New Jersey are now getting the shot.

In the New Jersey and New York areas, at least, there are two groups of unvaccinated Pakistani Americans: those who still refute the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines and the other are those who say they are willing to get vaccinated but are procrastinating.

By Moshin Zaheer
August 23, 2021
Urdu News

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For some Korean restaurants in New Jersey that received millions in federal aid, uncertainty still looms as new COVID-19 cases surge

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund has served as a lifeline to a number of Korean restaurants hit hard by the pandemic. But optimism may be threatened again by the surging coronavirus cases from the spread of the Delta variant in New Jersey.

By Phillip Han
August 13, 2021
Miju News (Korean Business Journal)

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A stark divide on COVID-19 vaccinations leaves many Polish Americans in New Jersey at risk

“There’s no Delta. It’s all a scam,” said Marlena K. Despite the warnings about the Delta variant and assurances that the vaccines against COVID-19 have been sufficiently tested and are safe, some Polish Americans in New Jersey remain skeptical.

By Aleksandra Slabisz
August 13, 2021
Nowy Dziennik (Polish Daily News)

Read the English version.

As COVID-19 cases rise, vaccine hesitancy still high among Latinos in New Jersey

Mistrust of the effectives and safety of COVID-19 vaccines deters many Latinos in New Jersey from getting vaccinated. Latest census data shows that Latinos represent 20 percent of New Jersey’s total population.

By Kleibeel Marcano
August 8, 2021
Reporte Hispano

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Black, Latino vaccination rates improve as Delta variant dominates NJ

In South Jersey, Camden City, which has a majority African American and Latino population, has one of the highest percentages of unvaccinated people in the state, with 45 percent still not vaccinated.

By Clyde Hughes
July 30, 2021
Frontrunner New Jersey

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism and support an informed society in New Jersey and beyond. The Center is supported with funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationDemocracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.