Published on July 12, 2022
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium has announced today that the newly-adopted FY2023 Budget for the State of New Jersey contains a $3 million appropriation for the Consortium, a rise from the state’s $1 million appropriation in the FY2022 Budget.
The Consortium has seen several raises in state funding since its first grant of $500,000 from the state in the budget adopted in 2019. The funding from the state is used by the Consortium to fund grants to grow access to local news and information across New Jersey. In two rounds of funding the Consortium has awarded approximately $1.5 million in grants. Most of the grants were funded by the state appropriation, with $140,000 coming from the New Jersey Health Initiatives, a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These funds were used to partially fund four health related grants this year.
“We would like to thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, along with the full Legislature, for their show of support in the Consortium and our work,” Consortium Board Chair Christopher J. Daggett said. “The funds from the state will go toward grants to fund new and innovative ways of growing access to local news and information. Such access helps residents across New Jersey, betters our state’s communities and grows the journalism pipeline.”
The previous state appropriations have also been used to fund training cohorts for grant recipients and administrative needs of the Consortium.
The Consortium’s grants have focused on a number of important projects across the state including: an effort to teach journalism skills to foster children and children of the incarcerated in Cumberland County; a civic education program for youth in Trenton; a project to expand news coverage to neighborhoods across Jersey City; a Spanish language online radio program geared toward seasonal agricultural workers in South Jersey; a statewide Creole language online radio program for the Haitian community; innovative hyperlocal sites in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Blairstown, Bloomfield, Newark and Trenton; growing the high school digital journalism program in Cranford; a statewide mental health reporter; and a project to tell the oral history of efforts to clean up Newark’s drinking water.
The Consortium was created by the state in 2018 bringing together New Jersey’s six public research universities — Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and The College of New Jersey — to grow access to local news and information.