Podcast Art NJ News Commons

TAPintoLogoJoining us in our studio today is Mike Shapiro, founder and publisher of The Alternative Press, which has branded itself lately as “TAP into,” and thinks it may just have the answer to scaling local news. We’re also joined by Elizabeth Clee and Susan Bonnell, co-owners of TAP into Clark.

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Toms River Indian Football

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

THE OTHER FOOTBALL SCANDALS IN NJ
Jaws are dropping across NJ and the country at the lurid details from Sayreville revealed yesterday, but Sayreville doesn’t have a monopoly on local football scandals. In Lakewood, a pack of gridiron stars have been charged with a series of armed robberies. And in Toms River, a parent was arrested Sunday for a tackling a youth football coach who decided to cancel that team’s season. The coach has now been suspended by the league for the tone he used in lecturing 13- and 14-year-olds in the lecture that preceded the fight. Also from Shore News Network: a story on an interesting footnote in Toms River football history from 1968.

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MONK1

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

WANT A STATE SONG? HOW ABOUT 350 OF THEM?
State legislators are finally batting around the possibility of designating a state song — or five — for NJ. A brand new arts news site in New Jersey, NJ Arts, can do them 345 better. Have they considered, for example, Thelonious Monk’s “Hackensack”? Ok, maybe an instrumental isn’t the best choice. But former Star-Ledger arts editor Jay Lustig is offering up one Jersey-themed song a day for 350 days, in honor of New Jersey’s 350’s birthday.

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By JOE AMDITIS

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 3.50.04 PM

Frank Cahill, main writer and chief editor of Parsippany Focus, an online newspaper serving the Parsippany-Troy Hills community.

In a victory for press freedom and online journalism in New Jersey, a Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of Frank Cahill, the chief writer and editor of his local online newspaper, Parsippany Focus. The ruling affirms that Cahill and the Focus are protected under New Jersey’s Shield Law.

Shield laws are meant to protect journalists from being forced to reveal their sources, and New Jersey’s Shield Law is often heralded as one of the strongest in the country. With the advent of the Internet, however, some people claimed that the lines between journalism and personal blogging had become blurred; that there was an inherent different between print and online journalism – and that’s where Frank Cahill and Parsippany Focus come in.

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Josh Stearns Profile Picture

By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news, starting with one good idea… 

One Good Idea: Share What You Are Reading. The New York Times is putting curation on the homepage. With its new “Watching” feature it “will keep an eye on developing and breaking news from The Times and other sources.” From Billy Penn to the BK Bridge, more newsrooms are becoming trusted curators, helping their communities find the most relevant and important information and stories from beyond their own pages.

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feature-pipeline-construction

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

This week we decided to do a little experiment. Instead of asking our partners to submit their own stories, we asked them to step out of their comfort zone and submit exceptional local stories from other publications – perhaps even from their competitors. A few participated, most didn’t. To those who did participate, thank you! We’ll be continuing this and other experiments in the future, so keep an eye out for the next call for best local reporting. Now, back to the news!

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Josh Stearns Profile Picture

By JOSH STEARNS

In 1950 William Faulkner wrote “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past,” in his novel Requium for a Nun. However, the quote gained renewed attention in 2008 when then-candidate Obama gave a major speech on race in America. Obama was tapping into the archives of American culture to add context to the news of the day and connect that moment to the long and troubled history of race in America.

The Internet has made this idea of the past living alongside – and interwoven with – the present more true now than ever. Today, even relatively new newsrooms have vast and quickly growing archives of work to tap into and build upon. These archives hold huge potential to add context to current events, fuel community engagement and even serve as a new revenue stream. In fact, the New York Times innovation report said that taking advantage of archived content was one of the big missed opportunities for the Times.

On September 18, Debbie Galant, Joe Amditis and I did a training at the NJ News Commons on how to tap into news archives for “fun and profit.” Below are our notes and presentations from the training, with links to additional tools and readings.

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Podcast Art NJ News Commons

Conductor JoshWe’re joined in the studio by Josh Crandall, founder and CEO of Clever Commute, an 8-year-old online service for suburban commuters in the New York Metro area. Josh started with the realization that people carrying mobile phones could inform each other when there are problems with their trains and buses.

Crandall started with an email service that allowed commuters to give each other tips, but he’s grown more sophisticated over the years. Now he’s using a multitude of data services and his own algorithms to advise people ahead of time whether they’ll have trouble getting to work or getting home.

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Josh Stearns Profile Picture

By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news, starting with one good idea… 

One Good Idea: Be Optimistic. The Washington Post has a new weekly newsletter, “The Optimist,” that features “part feel-good, part success-against-all-odds” stories. The topic aside, what stood out for me is how many different newsletters the Post has developed around various themes. Each of themes emphasizes meeting the specific needs of their readers.

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5K Run

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Community fundraisers are a staple of local reporting. But here’s an interesting twist: Several participants in the Downtown West Orange 5K run filed complaints this week regarding the politicization of what was supposed to be a charitable event to raise money to combat ovarian cancer, according to Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange. Participants claimed that several political candidates, including mayoral candidate Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., were campaigning “during, before, and after the race.”

NA Rudy of TAP into North Plainfield/Green Brook reported on a developing controversy surrounding allegations of racial taunting before a high school football game between Summit and North Plainfield. The incident is currently under investigation by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA).

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NJ News Commons Featured Image Template

The Story Exchange

The NJ Story Exchange is an initiative to facilitate sharing within the New Jersey news ecosystem. This free-content network was originally built using tools from a company called Repost.us, which ceased operations in July 2014.

That being said, fear not! We are rebuilding the Story Exchange using a platform created by iCopyright, which allows news organizations to offer their content for embedding on other sites for free (with ads) or for payment (without ads). iCopyright also helps publishers brand and sell reprints of their stories.

Signing up is especially easy for WordPress users and can be done just by going to iCopyright. Those with other operating systems, or anybody with any problems installing iCopyright, can contact Chip Schafer. Once iCopyright has identified a news organization as being part of the NJ News Commons, it will grant access to an ad setup page that lets you both set your ad sizes and choose your ad network. You can get more detailed instructions here.

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