Center for Cooperative Media announces six winners in collaborative reporting project open call

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017  |  0 comments

InvestigateWest, Kansas City PBS, NJ Pen, Quartz, Texas Tribune and USA Today Network selected for collaborative reporting project grants

When the Center for Cooperative Media first put out the call to fund collaborative reporting projects in May, we anticipated a couple dozen submissions. So we were thrilled to receive more than 70 proposals from news organizations of all shapes and sizes across the country, all pitching meaningful and important stories.

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Here are the 21 new hyperlocal and ethnic media outlets in NJ that will join Voting Block

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017  |  0 comments

New Jersey’s gubernatorial election is right around the corner, and there’s a lot riding on it. Because this is such a critical election, we’re proud to support Voting Block, a collaborative reporting effort focused on examining the governor’s race through the lens of local communities across the state.

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Facebook’s new journalism initiative puts spotlight on local news

Thursday Jan 12, 2017  |  0 comments

Facebook announced a new journalism initiative this week aimed at strengthening its ties with the news industry. The Facebook Journalism Project, as it’s called, will focus on better product collaboration and improved training, among other things.

The social media giant has long partnered with large news organizations, such as The New York Times, on such efforts. Now, as part of this new program, Facebook says it will give that same kind of attention to local journalists and smaller news outlets.

The Center for Cooperative Media will be one of the organizations working with Facebook and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to improve communication with local journalists, and to help give local newsrooms the kind of access to Facebook that they haven’t had before.

“We will help connect Facebook’s engineers, product developers and news partnerships team with our extensive network of local news leaders and organizations,” Jennifer Preston, vice president for journalism at Knight, wrote in a blog post this week that details the foundation’s support for the project. “The goal is to help them use this extraordinarily powerful platform to inform and engage people in cities and towns, big and small.”

Other groups involved in this push to connect with local news organizations so far include the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Local Independent Online News Publishers association and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

There are many more details to come as we work out how we’ll help move this project forward. If you’re with a local news organization and want to be involved, let me know — we’ll do our best to help coordinate. Email me at

Stefanie Murray is director of the Center for Cooperative Media. 

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit

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NJ Mobile News Lab launches, plans to award $15,000 in innovation grants; apply now!

Tuesday Nov 01, 2016  |  0 comments

We all know that news and information is going mobile—and has been for some time now. Mobile traffic, advertising revenue, and user engagement are on a fast-track to supplant desktop as the king of content delivery platforms in the digital world.

But the world moves fast, and keeping up with changes in consumer behavior as it relates to mobile devices and technology is tough. That’s especially true for small, local news publishers who don’t have R&D departments or innovation teams.

That’s why the Center for Cooperative Media is pleased to announce the launch of the NJ Mobile News Lab.

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Center for Cooperative Media to Launch Local/National News Partnerships Project

Tuesday May 31, 2016  |  0 comments

Have you ever read a national statistic in a publication like The New York Times and wondered how it applies to your community? Or have you seen the exhaustive data sets produced by ProPublica and wanted to know how the numbers break down for your region?

Localizing national stories like that has long been a hallmark of local journalism. And there are several national news outlets today that make their reporting and data sets available for such reuse and accessibility — including local campaign finance data, information on payments made to doctors by pharmaceutical companies, or workers compensation reform information sorted by state.

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In the Shadow of Liberty: A Year-Long Study of Immigration in NJ

Tuesday Feb 09, 2016  |  0 comments

Does New Jersey live up to Lady Liberty’s ideals?

New Jersey has historically opened itself to newcomers. After all, the Statue of Liberty stands on the New Jersey side of the harbor. With almost 2 million foreign-born residents, the only states with more immigrants per capita are California and New York.

Yet what makes New Jersey truly different is the diversity of our immigrant population.

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Stay with us as we report statewide election results in real time!

Tuesday Nov 03, 2015  |  0 comments

Who’s surged ahead? Who’s fallen behind? Who’s out of the running? We’ll be updating all Assembly races through the night.

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

Wednesday Oct 14, 2015  |  1 comment


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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NJ News Commons, NJ Spotlight Together Win SPJ Award

Tuesday May 05, 2015  |  0 comments

The New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recently announced the winners of their annual Excellence in Journalism awards, with top honors going to the Star-Ledger’s Christopher Baxter for his What Killed Kevin Garcia? series about the controversial condition called “excited delirium,” sometimes declared as a cause of death after physical encounters with police.

Jaimie Winters and Meghan Grant of The South Bergenite won first place in the O’Brien competition for weekly newspapers and local online publications for “Rutherford Releases Transmission From Police Shooting,” in which the Bergen County weekly, along with its parent The Record daily newspaper, sued for release of documents and transmissions from a deadly shooting by local police after they trapped a stolen SUV on a Route 3 overpass. One judge called it “amazing work,” commending the paper for standing up for open records and filing suit.”

Winning first place in the category of Online Deadline Reporting were NJ Spotlight and NJ News Commons, which collaborated on creating a live election results map last November. Colleen O’Dea, data cruncher for NJ Spotlight, got specific mention. For that story, NJ News Commons gathered a roomful of students, data junkies and journalist volunteers to update spreadsheets as election results came in, while O’Dea reported on the data. The collaborative results were made freely available to news sites throughout the state.

See the complete list of awards here (PDF).

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Grow & Strengthen: How We’re Helping Build Up the NJ News Ecosystem

Monday Feb 09, 2015  |  0 comments

Almost two years ago, the Center for Cooperative Media embarked on a project called Grow & Strengthen to expand and fortify the news ecosystem in New Jersey. We identified news entrepreneurs who were interested in starting new sites, gave them small seed grants and regular coaching, and made sure they connected regularly through monthly Peer-to-Peer meet-ups. We’re proud to report back on our progress, with a StoryMap snapshot of 15 news projects we’ve seeded and nurtured. Our business coach, Joe Michaud, has also reflected on the qualities that help make news startups successful — as well as those that lead to failure.

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Join Us for Pizza & Politics on Election Night!

Monday Oct 20, 2014  |  0 comments



The Center for Cooperative Media is teaming up with NJ Spotlight to host a night of pizza and politics on election night 2014! Together, we’re going to build and maintain a live election map as the results come in on election night – and we’re going to pay our volunteers in pizza!

This is an opportunity for students, faculty, hyperlocal publishers, freelancers, and pretty much any journalist without a newsroom to come together and report on the elections results as they’re released. Our open newsroom will allow you to work and interact with journalists, publishers, and folks of all different backgrounds and experiences who share your enthusiasm for the news. It’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

The event is open to the public, so anyone is welcome to drop by to see what we’re up to. But we do need a group of committed people who can promise to stick around until all the votes are counted. If that sounds like you, send an email to Debbie Galant and let her know that you’re interested in participating!

We’ll be setting up shop in Schmitt Hall, Room 311 at Montclair State University from 8:00 pm until the last vote is counted!

Click here to register!

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