New Jersey’s News Coverage Gets a Boost in Support from the Knight Foundation

September 5, 2012

Knight Community Information Challenge Winners Sept 2012.

Knight Community Information Challenge Winners Sept 2012

Today, the whole state of New Jersey got some great news.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced that it is investing in a growing collaboration among many partners, led by Dodge, to expand and improve New Jersey-focused news coverage and to spur more civic dialogue and community engagement throughout the state.

Through their Community Information Challenge, Knight awarded Dodge an $800,000 matching grant, which leverages our funding in New Jersey and supports the work of our two lead partners, New Jersey Public Radio and Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media, along with other local and statewide partners. We are one of 20 winners nationwide. You can see all of the winners here.

Why is this good news for New Jersey residents? Given the dramatic changes in media and technology in recent years, an opportunity exists to rethink the way New Jersey news organizations can work with one another, share resources and reach broader audiences. A strong and coordinated New Jersey news “ecosystem” could grow and thrive, with the full spectrum of for profit and nonprofit news organizations and journalists tackling the issues that are most pressing to our communities, and, importantly, reaching the public where and how they choose to engage with the news.

In turn, New Jerseyans would have access to an unprecedented abundance of New Jersey-focused news – the kind of information that citizens in our communities need to take action on issues that affect their lives, their health, and their prosperity.  The kind of information that is the foundation of a robust, participatory democracy.

As we’ve discussed here before (“Searching for the Future of Journalism“), Dodge has been developing a focus on Media grantmaking for the past two years, while also building a broad coalition of news organizations, nonprofits, philanthropic partners and media experts to establish a long term vision for the news in New Jersey. As we continue to reach out to individuals, organizations and others interested in strengthening New Jersey’s news coverage and addressing our community information needs, we hope that you will reach out to us too.

Are you interested in learning more about or joining the collaborative effort? We want to know: how do you receive your news? What news are you reading? Where are the gaps in news coverage? Are you interested in becoming a citizen journalist? If you could wave a magic wand, how would you change New Jersey’s news coverage?

You can leave us a comment in the comments section below, and/or send an email to Molly de Aguiar at Dodge.

Special congratulations to Dodge grantee NJ Spotlight, which provides high quality statewide news coverage, for also winning a Knight Community Information Challenge grant.

Image courtesy Knight Foundation