News Voices: New Jersey

News Voices: New Jersey aims to build a network of people invested in local journalism.

We believe the future of quality local journalism lies in collaborations between newsrooms and communities. Deep connections between media outlets and readers benefit both groups: Newsrooms can expand their audiences, deepen local engagement and find new sources. Communities can call on reporters to cover the issues they care about most and help create the kinds of local media they need.

Why New Jersey?

When it comes to news coverage, New Jersey is one of the most underserved states. Sandwiched between the New York and Philadelphia media markets, New Jersey receives little to no coverage of its state and local governments. Reporters are out of work, TV stations are closing down and public media’s budget has been slashed. Meanwhile, local news startups are experimenting with business models, providing fresh voices — and struggling to gain a foothold in their communities.

New Jersey is a place of both great challenges and great opportunities. Journalists, academics, philanthropists and community leaders are joining together to make the state a model for the future of news.

What We'll Do

A healthy news environment brings communities together, represents its readers, holds the powerful accountable and enables everyone to participate in our democracy.

Over the next two years, Free Press will work with our local allies and thousands of Free Press members across the state to foster relationships between newsrooms and communities. We'll engage in this work in cities ranging from Atlantic City to Newark.

We will:

  • Meet with newsrooms and community groups to develop a deeper understanding of the state of local journalism.

  • Organize forums for journalists and residents to discuss challenges facing their communities and local news outlets.

  • Create tools to help newsrooms and communities collaborate on newsgathering.

  • Publish research on challenges facing New Jersey journalists and propose policy recommendations to support open government and quality newsgathering.

Join Us

For years, Free Press has helped lead the conversation about the future of media and technology. We’ve mobilized millions of people to stand up for Net Neutrality and fight attempts to cut federal funding for public broadcasting. Now we’re drawing on our organizing skills to spark the kind of public engagement that will strengthen both newsrooms and communities.

News Voices: New Jersey is designed to create conversation and respond to the needs of both journalists and residents. But we can’t pull any of this off without your help.

You can join the News Voices: New Jersey project by emailing Mike Rispoli at mrispoli@freepress.net. If you're a journalist, tell us about the stories you want to report on. If you're a member of the public, tell us how the media could better serve your community. Thanks for participating!

Blog Posts

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Press Releases

  • Asbury Park Residents to Gather for News Voices: New Jersey Forum with Local Journalists on March 23

    March 23, 2016
    ASBURY PARK — News Voices: New Jersey is bringing together local residents, journalists, media makers, activists and others in Asbury Park for a community discussion about the media on March 23 at 6 p.m. The event, “Asbury Park: The Whole Story,” will allow journalists to hear firsthand from residents about what life’s really like in the historic and diverse city.
  • ADVISORY: Free Press to Convene News Voices: New Jersey Event in Atlantic City

    December 2, 2015
    ATLANTIC CITY — News Voices: New Jersey is bringing together local residents, journalists, media makers, activists and others in Atlantic City for a community discussion about the media on Dec. 8. The event, “My Atlantic City,” will allow journalists to hear firsthand from residents about what life is really like in the city.
  • ADVISORY: Free Press to Convene News Voices: New Jersey Event in New Brunswick

    November 4, 2015
    NEW BRUNSWICK — News Voices: New Jersey is bringing together community members, journalists, media makers, activists and others in New Brunswick on Nov. 11. The three-hour forum is an opportunity to brainstorm about the future of local journalism and its role in our communities.
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News from Around the Web

  • Forum Promotes Asbury Park’s Untold Stories

    Asbury Park Press
    March 25, 2016

    "There are divisions here in Asbury Park, between mainly the East Side and West Side," said Mike Rispoli, director of News Voices: New Jersey. "Media coverage sometimes reinforces those divisions."

  • How New Jersey Newsrooms Are Working Together to Expose Local Contamination

    Center for Investigative Reporting
    January 7, 2016

    When news organizations team up to collectively investigate an issue in the public interest, big things can happen. For proof, look no further than New Jersey, where the Center for Investigative Reporting is facilitating a collaboration to explore the impacts of contaminated sites across the Garden State.

  • Real Stories, Real Problems, Real People, Real Journalism

    Channel Surfing
    November 13, 2015

    I attended a community forum last night on the state of local journalism sponsored by Free Press' New Voices project. The aim of the event was to connect journalists to community members in New Brunswick and to reinforce the importance that both play in maintaining an informed and engaged citizenry.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good