News Voices: New Jersey launched in 2015 to bring together communities and newsrooms to tackle problems in cities and neighborhoods throughout the Garden State. Thousands of people, including journalists, activists, students, faith leaders, union workers and artists, have connected at our events to support the future of local news in their communities, discuss pressing local issues and collaborate to tell stories with impact.
In 2017, Free Press Action led the campaign to pass the Civic Information Bill, which was signed into law in 2018. The legislation allowed New Jersey to create the Civic Information Consortium, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit with the mission of strengthening local-news coverage and boosting civic engagement in communities across the state.
In 2021, Free Press co-founded the New Jersey Community Media Collective, a network of hyperlocal community-centered media projects addressing the news and information needs of underserved communities in the state. We are currently working together to develop solidarity and mutual aid among newer local-news outlets — many of which are newly funded by the Civic Information Consortium — and are launching a collaborative-journalism project about community health and access. Free Press is also a co-founder of the NJ Rebuild Media Now coalition, which is working to address the priorities outlined in the Collective Agenda for News & Information in N.J.
Learn more about our work in New Jersey.
News Voices began working in Philadelphia in 2019 when we collaborated with community and journalist partners on the Organizing for Neighborhood News project. In 2020, we co-launched the Shift the Narrative Project with our partners at Movement Alliance Project and the Media, Inequality and Change Center. The project aims to replace prevailing media narratives with complex stories about trauma, safety, and police accountability. Our goal is to co-create new journalistic models for covering crime and public safety that center the perspectives and needs of impacted communities. We’re also working to spur local newsrooms to adopt these changes and hold abusive systems accountable.
Learn more about our work in Philadelphia.
Our emergent project in Reparative Journalism sprang from the intersection between News Voices organizing and the Media 2070 project’s call for media reparations. This work begins with questions, not answers: What do we need to build power and solidarity toward a culture of repair in journalism? How do we create journalism that seeds repair? Who is already living in and creating this reparative reality? These questions will surface what kinds of storytelling, news and journalism can help forge paths toward media reparations and holistic repair.
News Voices: Colorado launched in Longmont in 2019 and expanded to other communities across the state in 2020. In February 2021, we co-launched the Black Voices Working Group and Latinx Voices Working Group to center the local-news needs and media dreams of Black and Latinx people throughout the state. Each group published powerful recommendations in 2021 as calls to action for the Colorado media system. Read the reports from the Black Voices Working Group and Latinx Voices Working Group.
News Voices: North Carolina launched in 2017, and we worked across the state to strengthen connections between communities and the newsrooms that serve them. We fostered stronger relationships among news organizations, linking them to community groups, colleges, universities and other stakeholders that care about local-news coverage. We provided research to guide statewide approaches to supporting civic information. We reached into rural communities to explore how misinformation reshapes local narratives and identities, and to examine what kinds of new approaches and interventions might rebuild trust with local media.