To New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney:

New Jersey is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the sale of its old public-media licenses.

I urge you to dedicate this funding to the creation of the Civic Information Consortium. Overseen by the state’s universities, the consortium would unite journalists, organizers, technology companies, and higher education by funding projects aimed at providing our communities with quality information and impactful reporting.

New Jersey’s media system has been suffering for years — newsrooms have shut down, many of the state’s local journalists have been laid off, and most towns get a constant loop of Philadelphia and New York City news instead of their own. New Jerseyans are powerless and in the dark, and we urge you to do your part to rebuild the state’s community media.

Use the money from the sale of the state’s public-media licenses to create the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium.

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    New Jersey Deserves Better Media

    New Jersey’s local media is in crisis and — if we act fast — the state legislature can actually do something to fix it.

    Right now the legislature is quietly deciding how to spend hundreds of millions in revenue from the sale of its old public-media licenses. Lawmakers are hoping you aren't paying attention, so now is the time to sound the alarm: These funds must go directly to rebuilding community media.

    The Civic Information Consortium would unite journalists, organizers, tech companies and higher education to fund projects aimed at providing our communities with quality information and impactful reporting.

    Every community deserves a voice. How can we improve schools, fix public works, hold elected officials accountable and be better neighbors when we don’t even know what’s happening on our block?1

    Local media — when it’s done right — makes it happen.

    But many of New Jersey’s local journalists have lost their jobs. Their newsrooms have shut down. Most towns get a constant loop of Philadelphia and New York City news instead of their own. Some get nothing at all.

    New Jersey deserves better media — tell the legislature to fund the Civic Information Consortium today.

     


    1. "Sale of NJ's Airwaves Could Address Local News Crisis," NJ Spotlight, March 15, 2017: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/03/14/how-sale-of-nj-s-airwaves-could-address-local-news-crisis

    Original Photo by Flickr user Jon S