Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Joins Consortiums, Labs, and Associations in the Fight for Local Journalism

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Joins Consortiums, Labs, and Associations in the Fight for Local Journalism

There really isn’t another word than “local” for what local news does (no, hyperlocal doesn’t count). Local news’ strength and mere presence has been threatened in the roiling journalism industry — but a number of initiatives are stepping up to help fill the void.

In the past few years, local journalism — especially the traditional models of TV news and newspapers — has struggled to adapt to the challenges of digital advertising and platforms, as national-level organizations have greater scale to soak up subscription dollars and chase heavy-hitting stories. It’s not a new tale, but as the media landscape (and the Facebook landscape, the political landscape, the news group ownership landscape, etc.) continues to shift and everyone remembers the importance of quality local news to democracy, there are a number of rising initiatives focused on (and with funding for) local news. There’s also a solid group of organizations that have already been working on amplifying local news voices. But the network of brains and bank accounts dedicated to local news can get confusing.

Center for Cooperative Media

Team: Stefanie MurrayJoe AmditisSarah StonbelyCarla Baranauckas

Funders: Montclair State University, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and more listed here

Participants: One of the Center’s arms, the NJ News Commons, is a network of news organizations, freelancers, and others across the state, who agree to “work on reporting projects together, share content through our story exchange, share best practices, attend trainings and seminars, and help keep each other informed as the news industry changes.” Find the full list of participants here. Many of the resources they develop, however, can be used in newsrooms beyond New Jersey and their events can bring participants from across the country.

“What was going to happen to news coverage once Gov. Chris Christie spun off the state-owned New Jersey Network (NJN) of radio and television stations?”

That question planted the seed for the Center for Cooperative Media, housed at Montclair State University, during a 2011 meeting in which a local co-op news model was suggested... Read More

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