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The awards are facilitated by the Center for Cooperative Media and funded by the New Jersey Children’s Foundation

The digital divide has had a major, detrimental impact on the lives of thousands of students around New Jersey since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year. Students without consistent Internet access or proper computer equipment at home have struggled. And it’s still unclear when students might be back to full in-person learning.

To enable additional reporting on how the digital divide is affecting New Jersey’s K-12 students and what solutions could help, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is pleased to announce reporting awards to 15 news organizations. …


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Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University will offer 15 awards of $1,500 each to local journalists

The digital divide has made virtual learning difficult to impossible for thousands of students around New Jersey throughout the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, as schools closed and delivered instruction online. Students without consistent Internet access or proper computer equipment at home have struggled.

To enable additional reporting on how the digital divide is affecting New Jersey’s K-12 students and what solutions could help, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is pleased to offer reporting awards to 15 news organizations or freelance journalists in the state. …


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The 2020 U.S. elections came at a time of deep partisan divide amid a global pandemic and a painful national reckoning with racism.

Misinformation and disinformation coursed through social media platforms. The stakes could not have been higher. The pandemic dramatically changed the way politicians campaigned and how people voted, adding more stress to an already chaotic-feeling time.

News organizations around the country focused much more attention on the voting process in 2020, as mail-in ballots became commonplace in many states. In New Jersey, it was the first time that every registered voter was sent a mail-in ballot. While coverage…


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Content sharing, translation and a large collaborative reporting project were key parts of 2020 work

The novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has deeply affected all aspects of daily life for millions of people around the world and disrupted economies in nearly every country.

The situation became dire in several hot spots, including the United States — and New Jersey, specifically. States began to lock down as the virus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, spread rapidly in February and March.

New Jersey instituted statewide lockdowns in March. Businesses and schools closed and much of everyday life went virtual as residents were asked to stay at home.

By mid-May 2020, more than 160,000 people in New…


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Download the guides using the links below or see them online at CollaborativeJournalismHandbook.org

Collaborative news efforts have continued to grow in 2020, especially those related to the coronavirus pandemic. And if the number of new collaboration managers being hired across the U.S. alone is any indication, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

We know this because we study collaborative journalism at the Center for Cooperative Media. We’re watching the space especially closely now as the global news landscape continues to shift.

Every week, we hear about new collaborative efforts. And many of participants ask us — and each other — for help and best practices. Thanks to a partnership with Heather…


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Program will support in-place peer-learning, mentoring and collaboration efforts, and keep its focus on people of color

The Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund was launched in early 2019 primarily to support peer-to-peer learning in the U.S. by funding travel for journalists and prioritizing people of color, women and those who identify as having a high financial need.

Throughout 2019 and into early 2020, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University awarded about $60,000 in travel stipends through the Peer Fund.

By late March 2020, it became clear this part of the program was no longer safe. …


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Strategic planning caps more than a year of reflection, research

The world was certainly quite different—much different—about 18 months ago when the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University began its first strategic planning process.

At the time, we were a busy operation with growing influence in a handful of areas. Our work, once confined to New Jersey, had grown to be national and even international in scope. Where were we going, our stakeholders wanted to know, and how were we going to get there?

I’m pleased today to share what I hope are answers to those questions and more.

Below you’ll find the Center’s mission, vision, values and…


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Outlier Media survey identifies severe information gaps in the city about COVID-19, food, shelter and energy/utilities

One of the things the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University has found through its work studying collaborative journalism is that small, one-time collaborative reporting projects are critical to the overall growth and development of healthy news ecosystems.

That’s because collaborative reporting projects not only generally produce good journalism that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, they build relationships, trust and muscle memory — and they usually lead to even better, deeper, longer-term partnerships.

Through the Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund, Center staff have organized workshops in select cities across the U.S. to discuss concepts of healthy, connected news ecosystems…


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During an Aug. 11 workshop, participants contributed their ideas to create Newark’s hierarchy of information needs. Drawing by Derrick Dent.

Survey to be followed by funding for Newark-based media, community groups to help fill information gaps it identifies

Last week about 55 people gathered for a workshop hosted by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in partnership with WBGO and Free Press.

The workshop was centered around understanding community information needs in Newark. The group—a combination of local journalists, mediamakers, community organizers and funders—together built its outline of Newark’s “hierarchy of information needs,” a concept based on this article from City Bureau. (You can see a graphic illustration of that hierarchy at the top of this article, or by clicking here).

Now we’re excited to announce that we’ll soon have a more nuanced understanding of…


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New report from Center for Cooperative Media documents how news outlets are partnering to cover climate change

One of the things we do at the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is track journalism collaborations.

It’s part of our collaborative journalism program and we’ve been doing it since late 2016. We catalogue as many projects as we can in a publicly-available database and pay attention to trends.

One trend we noticed anecdotally in early 2019 was the number of climate change-related collaborations seemed to be ticking upward. Covering Climate Now launched and quickly became the biggest such collaboration on record, and we were regularly seeing others, both large and small.

And since climate change is…

Stefanie Murray

Director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University.

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