New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Hub marks a unique approach to environmental collaboration
The new Hub is based on a reporting fellowship model
The NJSR Hub, of which the Center for Cooperative Media is a founding partner, is a unique approach to climate journalism. Its goal is to produce solutions-oriented news and information related to environmental sustainability. It works by recruiting fellows in newsrooms around the state and putting them together in a cohort for the fellowship period.
The Hub is a project of CivicStory, a New Jersey news nonprofit, and it is currently supporting eight fellows. The Hub is funded by contributions from founding partners and individuals. (Additional fundraising is needed to enable another round of fellowships in 2020.)
Participating outlets include The Record (part of the USA Today network); The Press of Atlantic City; WBGO, Newark public radio; The Nubian News (a Trenton-based bi-weekly); Cape May County Herald; VillageGreenNJ.com (Maplewood-South Orange); Green Philly, and New Jersey Hills Media Group (15 weekly newspapers).
“The NJSR fellowship enables a frequency of sustainability stories that would normally be beyond our capacity as a local site,” said Village Green co-founder Mary Barr Mann in a new release the Hub published this week.
The content produced by the Hub is available for republication under a Creative Commons license. Recent stories include “Hey, Jersey, Do You Know Where Your Trash Goes?” and “Harsher climate a challenge to New Jersey tomato farmers. Here’s how they’re adapting.”
The Hub joins a (quickly) growing list of collaboratives in the U.S. that are focused on climate or the environment, an area where I expect to see even more growth in 2020.
Here are just a handful of those collaboratives:
- Covering Climate Now was so successful this fall that it’s going to continue.
- Ohio Valley ReSource, StateImpact Oklahoma and Mother Jones teamed up for “One Disaster Away.”
- Inside Climate News has lead several collaborations, including this one.
- The Invading Sea is an ongoing editorial collaboration in Florida.
- Climate Central is involved in several partnerships.
- The Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines program is funding several climate-related collaboratives.
- A group of Florida newspapers are covering climate change together.
- The NJ College News Commons is running a student-led statewide climate reporting initiative in New Jersey.
- A group of news organizations has teamed up to cover the Ohio River and its watershed.
- The Texas Observer and Quartz worked together on “Shallow Waters.”
- The New York Times and The New Orleans Times-Picayune worked together on climate change coverage.
And there are many more examples. There are so many examples, in fact, and so many more to come that the Center is studying climate collaboration for a whitepaper to be released in 2020. Let us know if you’ve been involved in such a collaboration or want to start one and are willing to participate in our research: email@example.com.
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Stefanie Murray is director of the Center for Cooperative Media. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. The Center is supported with funding from Montclair State University, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.