Published on Dec. 7, 2023
MONTCLAIR, NJ – The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, in partnership with Blue Engine Collaborative, is excited to announce the selection of 21 news organizations for its inaugural program. These New Jersey based organizations will be a part of a nine-month, team-based experience to find a better path toward sustainability by improving their digital revenue efforts, growing their audiences, and developing a stronger technology platform.
The selected organizations — all of which are news outlets committed to serving their communities — represent a diverse range of communities. Accepted organizations will work with expert coaches at Blue Engine Collaborative to assess and upgrade the technology that supports their operation before tackling major business challenges.
The 21 news organizations participating in this first cohort are:
Atlantic City Focus
Atlantic City Focus is a new hyper-local news platform to encourage the African American community to share its voice with the world and promote civic engagement. Atlantic City Focus provides a safe space where residents and natives can tell their own stories in their own way.
Black In Jersey
Black in Jersey is an upstart social media storytelling and programming hub specializing in restorative narratives about communities of color. Black in Jersey informs people about what’s happening around New Jersey, trains citizen journalists, connects people to their neighbors and resources, and produces entertaining multimedia content.
coLAB Arts works with the Latino-majority Esperanza and Unity Square neighborhoods in New Brunswick. coLAB directly serves trauma-informed and vulnerable populations through residencies, workshops, and its community story archiving project Teatro Esperanza.
70and73, based in Marlton, provides comprehensive coverage of schools, local government and more to communities along Routes 70 and 73 in southern New Jersey.
Front Runner New Jersey
Front Runner New Jersey brings a new perspective on the people, events and issues making an impact on African Americans in Atlantic City and South Jersey. Front Runner highlights the stories and people of Atlantic City to bring a restorative perspective to news and information reporting.
Heady NJ is an independent news site that focuses on providing coverage of cannabis news in New Jersey. Launched with a mission to spotlight individuals unjustly marginalized by the federal prohibition of marijuana, Heady NJ is dedicated to bringing attention to their stories and experiences.
Hopeloft’s Follow Local News project actively recruits, trains, and equips youth/citizen journalists to write for its local news site, FollowSouthJersey.com.
MorristownGreen.com is an online newspaper serving Greater Morristown. Created and led by former Star-Ledger reporter Kevin Coughlin, Morristown Green covers a robust range of topics that include local government, arts and entertainment, crime, and sports. Morristown Green is a trusted source of information for the greater area of Morristown.
Latino Spirit Media
Latino Spirit Media empowers the Latino community through tailored content for targeted markets, provides information services on digital platforms to educate on sustainable development, and utilizes social media and multimedia to tap into underserved markets.
MercerMe provides the news – hyperlocal, independent, reliable, and digital — to Hopewell Valley in New Jersey. The platform is run exclusively by members of the Hopewell community.
Montclair Local informs, engages, educates and empowers readers through its coverage of government and school issues around budgets and funding, amplifying the voices of residents, students, parents and other stakeholders. Montclair Local, through watchdog reporting, helps ensure government transparency and accountability and encourages residents to engage in relevant issues.
Muslim news provides coverage impacting Muslim communities of NJ. Muslim was created with the intention to expand coverage about Islamophobia in New Jersey and across the United States.
New Jersey Urban News
NJ Urban News is dedicated to covering New Jersey’s vibrant African American community through informative stories and thorough coverage. Founded in 2018, NJ Urban News covers stories often overlooked by mainstream media, impacting the 1.3 million people that make up New Jersey’s Black community.
NJ Pen Media Group, LLC
NJ Pen is a local, online news site covering the issues, events and people of suburban Camden County. NJ Pen believes the residents of suburban Camden County need a watchful eye on the institutions that spend their tax dollars, educate their children, and drive their local economies.
Public Square Amplified
Public Square Amplified is a community newsroom whose reporting centers on social and economic justice, racial equity and equality, the climate crisis, and the immigrant experience. It covers issues impacting and concerning citizens in Newark and surrounding areas.
Ridge View Echo
The Ridge View Echo News works to keep residents informed and engaged in the community of Blairstown. The publication updates residents and property owners on vital and timely government announcements regarding their health and safety, provides them with an outlet to advertise community events, and welcomes opinion pieces.
TAPinto.net Fair Lawn & Glen Rock and TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro
TAPinto.net is a network of more than 90 franchised online local news and digital marketing platforms. Each site is franchised to a local owner and provides original objective daily local news reporting.
The Targum is a student newspaper focused on providing news coverage for the Rutgers audience spanning campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden, with a focus on New Brunswick. Historically, the Targum served as the daily paper for the city of New Brunswick and its non-Rutgers communities,
The Jersey Vindicator
The Jersey Vindicator is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom dedicated to high-quality investigative and public-service journalism about New Jersey government and urgent statewide issues, including elections, voting, public records, education, economic development, health, housing, the environment, criminal justice, human trafficking, and more.
Trenton Journal focuses on addressing the disparities faced by Black and brown communities in Trenton. Trenton Journal amplifies local voices and perspectives through news posts, solutions-based journalism newsletters, and community engagement.
“We are thrilled to welcome these 21 exceptional news organizations to the New Jersey Technology & Sustainability Accelerator,” said Chris Daggett, Board Chair and Interim Executive Director of the Consortium. “Through this accelerator, we aim to provide them with the resources, mentorship, and collaborative opportunities needed to amplify their impact and strengthen the local news ecosystem in New Jersey.”
The selected news organizations will have access to a robust support network, including mentorship from industry experts, workshops, and tailored coaching. The accelerator program is geared toward fostering collaboration and innovation to address pressing challenges in the technology and sustainability space within the local news sector.
“The entrepreneurs at the heart of these organizations work tirelessly for their communities. It’s an honor to support them, help them find technology that will make their work and business better, and coach them toward their goals,” said Tim Griggs, Blue Engine’s founder and CEO. “We’re grateful for these organizations investing their time and talent with us and can’t wait to get to work.”
You can find more information about the accelerator here: https://njcivicinfo.org/press-release-technology-sustainability-accelerator/
For more information about the Consortium, please visit our website at njcivicinfo.org.