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MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY Members of the media are encouraged to both participate in and report on the News Voices: New Jersey event on Wed., June 1, at 6 p.m. in Morristown. This public forum will bring together local residents, journalists, media makers, activists and others who care about strengthening local media. The event, “Telling the Future of Morristown,” will connect reporters with residents and highlight the stories community members want the media to cover.

Morristown is rich in history, spirit and diversity. However, there are significant challenges and changes happening in the community. Many residents are concerned that ongoing and planned development will significantly change the makeup of the town, and those who are already on the margins are worried that they will be left behind or pushed out of the community. Some of the issues likely to be discussed at the event include redevelopment projects, the lack of affordable housing, inter-community relationships and the need to protect vulnerable populations.

“Every member of the Morristown community has a stake in its future. As the town undergoes changes, journalists can play an important role in making sure that all voices are heard and that the public has the information it needs to make educated decisions,” said Mike Rispoli, director of the News Voices: New Jersey project. “We’re holding this public forum to bring residents and local media together to discuss pressing issues. Together they’ll brainstorm story ideas and, most importantly, collaborate on ways to give every resident a voice in Morristown’s future.”

Event details:

WHAT: Telling the Future of Morristown: A public forum on how journalism can help communities grow together

WHEN: Wed., June 1, 6–8:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30; light refreshments will be served)

WHERE: Neighborhood House, 12 Flagler St., Morristown

RSVP: Michele Setteducato at or Christina DiPasquale at

These discussion forums are one way that Free Press’ News Voices: New Jersey project is helping newsrooms across the state deepen local engagement, find new sources and broaden their audiences. These events also help community members call on reporters to cover the issues they care about most.

The Morristown forum is the fourth in a series of News Voices events. The first, held in New Brunswick last November, engaged more than 120 attendees in a brainstorming session about underreported local issues. The second, held in Atlantic City last December, featured a rich discussion about the ways in which local journalism can help revitalize the city.  And the News Voices gathering held in Asbury Park in March brought together residents from opposite sides of the community to explore ways in which journalism can help unite the city.

News Voices: New Jersey is a state-based initiative deepening engagement between New Jersey communities and local newsrooms to make local journalism more responsive and relevant to residents. It is a project of Free Press, the nonprofit organization that works nationwide to defend press and Internet freedom.

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