Tell New Jersey Legislators: Fund the Civic Info Consortium
While Gov. Murphy signed the Civic Info Bill into law last year to great fanfare, he’s since pulled all the money for it and hasn’t said how he plans to fund it in the future. This is despite the calls from thousands of people in New Jersey and around the country to support local news and information.
But this fight is far from over. It’s up to lawmakers to craft and pass a budget, and now more than ever we need funding for this innovative project.
New Jersey media are in crisis. Journalists are losing their jobs on a regular basis and the threat of even more media consolidation looms large.
And the threat isn’t just to journalists. Studies have shown that when local news disappears, fewer people vote, fewer people volunteer, political polarization increases and people feel disconnected from their communities.1
The threat of a barren media landscape is why New Jersey lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike — passed the Civic Info Bill in 2018. It’s why thousands of New Jerseyans supported the bill by participating in public forums, brainstorming ways to better inform their communities and lobbying their elected officials.
The governor’s decision — while disappointing — isn’t the end. Urge legislative leaders in the statehouse to keep their promise to New Jersey residents and dedicate $6 million to the Civic Info Consortium.
1. “The Death of Local News Is Making Us Dumber and More Divided,” Motherboard, Feb. 21, 2019: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/panqb8/the-death-of-local-news-is-making-us-dumber-and-more-divided