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Local Journalism

News Voices brings together communities and newsrooms to reshape journalism’s future.

Tell the New Jersey Legislature to Pass the Civic Info Bill

To members of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly
The state of our local media reflects the health of our communities and democracy. In New Jersey newsrooms are disappearing and our communities are struggling to get what they need to stay engaged. We need new thinking and big ideas to give people the news and information they need. The Civic Info Consortium — which the Civic Info Bill (S2317/A3628) would establish — has the potential to incubate some of the most innovative journalism and storytelling collaborations in the country. The Civic Info Consortium would unite journalists, organizers, tech innovators and higher-education institutions to partner with communities and create quality information and impactful reporting. New Jersey needs to invest in its information infrastructure. The need for the Civic Info Consortium couldn’t be more urgent. Please strengthen New Jersey’s media by passing the Civic Info Bill (S2317/A3628).

Local journalism plays a critical role in our communities.

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It shapes our lives

Our communities rely on local journalists to tell our most important community stories — stories affecting our homes, education, health and jobs.

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It holds leaders accountable 

Local journalism helps us hold our leaders accountable so they apply resources where we need them most. We need reporters keeping an eye on those in power.

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It connects our communities

When journalists are connected to our communities, we become more connected to each other. This helps us work together to address local problems like gentrification, under-resourced schools and racial injustice.

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It creates positive change

For our communities to thrive, we need to work closely with journalists to report our most important stories and use those stories to create positive change. This means working together.

News Voices is bringing communities and newsrooms together by:

Increasing community access to and engagement with local newsrooms

When our communities are missing from discussions about journalism, we aren’t involved in shaping its future. The stories told about us fail to include our voices. The more engaged we are with local media, the more local journalism reflects us, lifts up diverse voices and serves our needs.

News Voices organizes events, workshops and collaborative projects to build power with communities seeking a stronger voice in local news.

Strengthening news and information supporting our civic needs

We must find new ways to create and support local news and information. To do this, we must strengthen existing outlets that serve community needs while investing in new ideas meant to keep people civically engaged. The only way to accomplish that is by collectively taking action to support journalism in innovative ways.

At News Voices, we organize to supercharge community engagement, highlight underreported issues and build trust between journalists and the communities they serve. We also run advocacy campaigns to support local media and find new ways to fund it.

Question and Answers

    Q:

    Where is News Voices working?

    A: While we have staff in New Jersey and North Carolina, we train and support newsrooms and dedicated community members around the country who want stronger local journalism.
    Q:

    Why is this a racial justice issue?

    A: People don't always feel like the media works for them — and for good reason. Local news outlets have long misrepresented and maligned communities of color. Our work seeks to amplify the voices of people of color so they have a role in to setting the news agenda and changing coverage of their communities.
    Q:

    How can journalists connect with communities?

    A: Adapting strategies that organizers use allows journalists to build trust with communities and uncover untold stories. We've created resources to help reporters adopt an organizing mindset and deepen their community engagement.

Our Work on Local Journalism

The future of journalism and the future of our communities are intertwined. News Voices is bringing communities and newsrooms together. Here's how:

Locations

  • New Jersey
    News Voices

    New Jersey

    News Voices: New Jersey launched in 2015, and we’re working in communities across the state — focusing on connecting people with their local newsrooms.

  • State North Carolina
    News Voices

    North Carolina

    News Voices: North Carolina launched in April 2017, and we’re working across the state to make stronger connections between communities and the newsrooms that serve them.

Add Your Voice

What does Local Journalism mean to you? Use #NewsVoices to share your thoughts.

    Download Tools

    • Creating an Engaged Newsroom Toolkit pdf

      This guide will show you how newsrooms can engage the communities they serve using techniques that help journalists better understand and address residents’ needs and concerns.

    • Why North Carolina? pdf

      We launched News Voices: North Carolina in 2017. Learn why we're working there and how you can get involved.

    • Collaborating with Community: A Starting Guide pdf

      We’ve pulled together this guide to help local news organizations examine how they interact with those outside the newsroom. We encourage reporters to think about the power they hold and how they can share that power with the people they serve.

    • News Voices: New Jersey Forum Report pdf

      Free Press Action held 10 community forums across the New Jersey in 2017. Here's what residents had to say about New Jersey media and the Civic Info Bill.