To New Jersey Lawmakers:

New Jersey is one of the most underserved states when it comes to local news coverage, thanks to years of bad policy decisions and runaway media consolidation. But you can change that: The state is selling its public broadcasting licenses and could receive hundreds of millions of dollars in return. We urge you to invest a portion of the proceeds in a fund that would support strong local journalism and the information needs of communities around New Jersey.

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    Let's Fix the Local News Crisis in New Jersey

    Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs.1 Television stations are going off the air.2 Fewer reporters are covering our schools and government meetings. Communities of color are stereotyped or ignored.3 If this crisis gets any worse, our communities will really be in trouble.

    It's not an exaggeration — there's a local news crisis in New Jersey and it's harming communities. But you can help fix it.

    Right now the state is selling its public broadcasting licenses, which could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. What if we took some of that money and created a public fund to support strong local reporting and community-information projects? This could help inform communities like yours for decades to come.

    At Free Press, we're launching a new campaign4 in New Jersey to do just that — we're pushing state leaders to use this windfall to create a permanent public fund that would spend millions to support serious local journalism and community-driven projects. We can make this happen. But only with lots of public pressure and your help.

    Tell New Jersey lawmakers to fix the local news crisis.


    1. “Mass Journalism Layoffs in New Jersey Couldn't Come at a Worse Time,” Free Press, Sept. 16, 2016: http://www.freepress.net/blog/2016/09/16/mass-journalism-layoffs-new-jersey-couldnt-come-worse-time

    2. “WMGM-TV 40 Goes Dark on New Year’s Eve,” The Press of Atlantic City, Dec. 31, 2014: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/northfield_linwood_somers-point/wmgm-tv-goes-dark-on-new-year-s-eve/article_f17f72e0-9128-11e4-9c04-8751dc6eefc9.html

    3. “What Would Atlantic City’s Story Be If It Were Told by — and for — the People Who Live Here?” Free Press, Dec. 7, 2015: http://www.freepress.net/blog/2015/12/07/what-would-atlantic-citys-story-be-if-it-were-told-and-people-who-live-here

    4. “An Auction That Could Transform Local Media,” The New York Times, Nov. 28, 2016: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/opinion/an-auction-that-could-transform-local-media.html?_r=0

    Original Photo by Flickr user Jon S