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5Questions
New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today

Monday Sep 26, 2016  |  0 comments

Every Monday, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of New Jersey local news publishers, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another. 

5Questions
New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Meg McGuire of Delaware Currents

Monday Sep 12, 2016  |  0 comments

Every Monday, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of New Jersey local news publishers, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another. 

5Questions
New Jersey Media: #5Questions with Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen

Monday Sep 05, 2016  |  0 comments

Every Monday, the Center for Cooperative Media introduces you to one of its partners in the New Jersey news ecosystem. The Center facilitates a network of New Jersey local news publishers, called the NJ News Commons, who collaborate together on projects, share content and ideas, and support one another. 

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Name: Matt Skoufalos
Title: Editor/Founder of NJ Pen
Age: 37
Current city of residence: Audubon, N.J.
Originally from: Philadelphia
Contact info: info@njpen.com


Tell us about yourself.
I’m a full-time journalist, part-time freelancer, weekend musician, and dad to a little boy. I am a casual fan of most sports, but love hockey above all else. I have a terrific girlfriend who has been the counterpoint to my existence since before starting my business and definitely during its day-to-day. She keeps me grounded, focused, and helps me walk some of the difficult lines that are drawn in this business.

Tell us about your business.
NJ Pen is a local news site dedicated to several of the inner-ring suburbs of Camden City. We cover about eight or nine towns within a five-to-10-minute drive of Philadelphia, and produce daily content across a variety of coverage areas, including local business, police and fire, government, human interest, schools, and the arts. Our readership is strong, particularly among our target communities, and growing. We write stories to length and trust that our readers will be willing to go on deep dives with us because the news we cover is important to them. We are frequently ahead of large news of the day in our coverage area, and when we’re not, we pride ourselves on telling a better story or creating a more useful public document for future reference.

What makes you get up and go to work everyday?
I love where I live. Community is important to me, and doing the news helps me connect with the people I live among in a way that I feel is useful and advances understanding and neighborliness. I have pride in my business and I want it to mean something to people. I like making space for a responsive and responsible independent publication, and I like working for myself on my own terms.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to journalism?
I hate a bad argument as much as I love a good story. I love meeting people and connecting with them, and hearing about their lives and their experiences. I also believe it’s important that media have responsible and open lines of communication with decision-makers in their communities, and I think that keeping the average person in touch with their government, educators, first responders, and neighbors is a necessity in an age of gossip and clickbait and commercialism. Our neighborhoods are not confined to our zip codes, and New Jersey is a wondrous and diverse place if people allow it to be.

What do you when you’re not chasing the news?
I love music and I love to perform. I have a reggae/soul/rock cover band called The Unstoppable Hack Beats, and we play bar, wedding, and corporate gigs all over the place. Getting onstage with my friends is a regular part of my life, and I always look forward to the opportunity to play out.

Is there someone you want to see profiled in an upcoming “5 Questions With” feature? Let us know! Email Joe Amditis at amditisj@montclair.edu.

Content Sharing
Content sharing is the future of public service journalism, and NJ Spotlight is already ahead of the game

Thursday Jun 09, 2016  |  0 comments

New Jersey voters took to the polls Tuesday to vote in the state’s  primary election. As the results trickled in, NJ Spotlight reporters worked well into the night to make sure the spreadsheets for their live election map were accurate and up to date.  

And not only was that election map featured prominently on NJ Spotlight’s website, but it was also embedded in nine other independent local news sites across the state – free of charge.

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Reboot: The Return of Peer-to-Peer Sessions

Thursday Mar 31, 2016  |  2 comments

It’s been a long time since we last held a peer-to-peer group session for NJ news entrepreneurs. We used to hold monthly meetings at Montclair State and via Zoom Conference where we’d bring together independent publishers and news entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges they faced. The goal was to get people in the same room to exchange best practices and hopefully find solutions that just don’t show up in a Google search.

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Cleaning Up New Jersey’s Toxic Sites

Wednesday Mar 30, 2016  |  2 comments

What’s being done to clean up contamination across New Jersey? And how are residents being affected?

Please join us for a discussion about the lingering impacts of New Jersey’s toxic legacy, inspired by reporting from Dirty Little Secrets, a collaborative series from news organizations across New Jersey.

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Thinking It Through: Using design thinking to connect with your community

Wednesday Mar 16, 2016  |  0 comments

This week, the students of the CUNY Social Journalism program descended upon the Sheraton Times Square Hotel to host a day-long innovation challenge using design thinking at NYC16, the College Media Association’s Spring National Media Convention.

The challenge was pretty straightforward: Use design thinking to come up with ideas to improve the media experience of women on college campuses.

Ask Us Anything – Social
We’re creating a FAQ!

Tuesday Mar 15, 2016  |  1 comment

Attention curious people!

Do you have a question about the ins and outs of publishing and media? Is there some skill or piece of information that you’ve always wanted to know, but you can’t seem to find the answer on Google? Use our new Hearken module below to ask us your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them. We might even turn your question into a video tutorial.

We’re looking for questions about legal issues, graphics, audio and video software, editing techniques, ethics, publishing guidelines, reporting tips, OPRA requests, and more. Whatever it is, there’s an answer out there somewhere and we’re offering to help you find it. If something has you stumped or confused, just let us know and we’ll investigate it.

Once we start receiving questions, we’ll begin the process of finding the answers. Questions that come up a lot will eventually be turned into video tutorials, training sessions, and workshops. The answers will be displayed on a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that we’ll be adding to our homepage in the near future, along with a list of additional resources and helpful tools to make sure you find the answers you’re looking for.

So without further adieu, ask us anything!

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Introducing Dirty Little Secrets: Investigating New Jersey’s Toxic Legacy

Wednesday Oct 14, 2015  |  1 comment

By SCOTT GURIAN, NJ Spotlight

You don’t have to go any further than late-night monologues to know New Jersey’s reputation as a toxic dump. We came by that reputation honestly. As an early leader in industry and manufacturing — much of it in the chemical sector — New Jersey provided a good standard of living for workers and has become one of the richest states in the union.

But not without a cost: Acres upon acres of toxic waste.

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Adaptive AC

Thursday Dec 18, 2014  |  0 comments

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New Jersey Watchdog

Monday Dec 15, 2014  |  0 comments

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