Center for Cooperative Media launches 3-month pilot to get NJ News Commons access to legal help

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017  | 

Finding and being able to pay for legal assistance is a tough hurdle for many news entrepreneurs.

Not only is it expensive to hire an attorney, it can also be difficult to find a lawyer who specializes in media law and who is willing to work with smaller, local and often independent news organizations.

At the Center for Cooperative Media, we get a lot of requests for legal counsel from members of our NJ News Commons network. We provide a page on our website with a list of legal resources, but it’s often not enough. That’s why today we’re launching a three-month pilot program intended to provide some basic legal guidance to NJ News Commons members and help us understand the most common legal questions that are coming up so we can design future programs to be built around the true needs of our news ecosystem.

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Copyright 2017 NJ News Commons
Tech assistance, WordPress coaching available for local New Jersey news outlets as part of pilot project

Monday Jul 24, 2017  | 

One of the most common requests we get from partners of the Center for Cooperative Media and members of the NJ News Commons is this: I need tech help!

Connecting New Jersey news outlets with the resources they need to be successful is important to the Center’s mission of growing and strengthening local journalism in the Garden State. In the past, we’ve hosted workshops and webinars to address questions like this, and we’ve connected journalists directly with technologists for one-off requests.

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Copyright 2017 NJ News Commons
Wrap-up: Collaborative Journalism Summit links, resources and presentations; here’s what you missed

Friday May 12, 2017  | 

We hope you enjoyed attending the Collaborative Journalism Summit. And if you weren’t able to be there, well, then, this post is especially for you.

Below you will find links to all the presentations, videos and articles that were mentioned during the conference. If we missed something, please let us know! We are also in the process of building all of these resources and much more into over the coming weeks as we transition that site from an event listing to a resource hub. If you haven’t yet taken our survey about the event, please take a moment to do so.

In the meantime, happy collaborating!

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Sign up for our daily newsletter!

Monday Jan 23, 2017  | 

Want to know what’s happening in New Jersey?

You’ve come to the right place. The NJ News Commons daily newsletter is a statewide, no-frills roundup of the most pressing and important issues facing New Jersey residents. It’s filled every weekday with links to trusted news sources in the Garden State.

A quick read and you’ll be up-to-date on what’s happening in our state. 

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Basic Data Tools for Local Journalists

Monday Apr 11, 2016  | 

Data is all the rage these days, but most local newsrooms simply can’t afford the cost of hiring a data journalist or maintaining a full-time data team. Luckily, there are plenty of free online alternatives out there that local, entrepreneurial, and freelance journalists can use to spruce up their content and add context to their stories.

Below is a list of a few data tools and services that backpack journalists can use in a pinch — without breaking the bank. The list isn’t even close to exhaustive, but it should contain enough information to get you started. I’ve also included a list of helpful tutorials and online resources at the bottom to help you navigate your way around some of the tools and concepts mentioned in this post…

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

Wednesday Mar 16, 2016  | 

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.

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

Tuesday Nov 03, 2015  | 

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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Copyright 2015 NJ News Commons
Need Video? Try Our Wired Jersey Crew

Thursday Oct 23, 2014  | 

wired jersey crew

Videos are great additions to news and feature stories, but most niche and local news sites don’t have the time or resources to create them. That’s where our Wired Jersey news production class might be able to help. Led by Emmy-award-winning network TV producer Steve McCarthy, the class is looking for stories to produce — and is willing to travel within the state. Please submit your ideas for stories to Debbie Galant. We’ll work with McCarthy and his crew to prioritize requests. Here are some examples of student work.

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Copyright 2014 NJ News Commons
Join Us for Pizza & Politics on Election Night!

Monday Oct 20, 2014  | 



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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