Tell Gov. Murphy to Strengthen New Jersey's Local Media

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Local news and information is the lifeblood of my community. And in New Jersey, the decline in my community’s connectedness mirrors the decline in local news in our state.

Good governments and robust economies are fueled by the information we used to find in newspapers that were delivered to our doorsteps, and that have now shrunk in size or disappeared all together.

It’s as simple as knowing that the water main is being worked on so I know that I won’t be able to shower for a job interview; or that my neighbor down the street is fundraising to buy a wheelchair accessible van for their daughter; or that a new restaurant opened in town serving my favorite kind of food.

It’s these little pieces of information that let residents turn a town into a community. And those are all real information needs that would have made my life and the lives of neighbors a whole lot easier.

But New Jersey is a state full of go-getters. Hundreds of citizens have risen up to form community groups on Facebook, launch local news websites, and spend their free time in town council meetings taking notes to deliver to their friends and families.

Journalists have teamed up with tech innovators and academics to launch experiments that have proven their worth by delivering news and information that puts real economic and social power in the hands of our state’s citizens.

Now we ask Governor Phil Murphy to prove his commitment to “a stronger and fairer New Jersey” by spreading this innovation to every corner of the state so that every citizen can be that much closer to reaching their potential.

Governor Murphy can do this by including the Civic Information Consortium, a fund to support local news and information projects, in his inaugural budget.

The Civic Information Consortium would fund the advancement of new and existing local news and information projects driven by the needs of the citizens of New Jersey – not editors in distant newsrooms or the Philadelphia or New York media markets.

With Governor Murphy’s support, we can renew civic participation, combat political corruption, and bring vital resources to low-income communities.

In New Jersey, we know what we need. The Civic Information Consortium will give us a megaphone with which to amplify our voice.