To Gov. Phil Murphy:

When you signed the Civic Info Bill last year, you drew widespread praise in the media for being a visionary leader in the fight to address the country’s local-news crisis.

But the $5 million that you committed to the Civic Info Consortium last year went missing. Without sufficient funding, this groundbreaking project has little chance of success.

New Jersey has the chance to be a national leader in addressing one of the toughest challenges the U.S. is facing. The model offered by the Civic Info Bill could be replicated across the nation, but New Jersey needs to prove that the model works.

You have the chance to take bold action to address the local-news crisis. Fully fund the Civic Info Consortium in your FY 2020 budget.

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    Support the Civic Info Consortium. Stop the local-news crisis.

    Tell Gov. Murphy: The Nation is Watching. Fund the Civic Info Consortium.

    The story of local media in the U.S. has become predictable: consolidation followed by massive layoffs and less local coverage. Rinse and repeat.

    But this past year Free Press Action led the charge on an innovative solution that has the potential to revolutionize the way local media is created and funded around the country.

    The Civic Info Consortium, signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, would invest millions in projects that provide valuable local-news coverage in places that have become news deserts and elevate the voices of people of color and others who have been systematically ignored by many media outlets.

    Sounds great, right? Here’s the catch: Despite saying he supports the idea, Murphy has since pulled funding for this groundbreaking initiative, threatening its existence before it can even get off the ground. We have a chance to save the Civic Info Consortium — and create a model that could be replicated across the country. But only if Murphy makes this a priority.

    Creative projects like the Civic Info Consortium are the key to addressing the local-news crisis. Urge Gov. Murphy to secure his place as a national leader by dedicating $5 million to the Consortium in his FY 2020 budget.