NJ Civic Information Consortium now accepting grant applications for first round of funding

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2021

Joe Amditis
3 min readMar 3, 2021

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At long last, the first-in-the-nation New Jersey Civic Information Consortium is accepting grant applications for its first round of funding. This step has been years in the making.

The Consortium is an independent non-profit organization created by the State of New Jersey in 2018, tasked with growing and improving access to civic information statewide and sparking innovative media projects in communities that lack access to news and information. Montclair State University is the host university for the Consortium, providing back-office service and support mostly through the Center for Cooperative Media.

Three years since it was created, the Consortium is finally ready to hear (and fund!) your ideas for growing and strengthening local media in New Jersey.

The Consortium will consider applications from all parts of the state, but it’s especially interested in proposals that focus on better serving communities of color, immigrant communities and rural communities. Note that all proposals must include a university partner, chosen from among the five university Consortium members: Montclair State University, Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rowan University. If you have an idea but not a university partner, no worries; the Center or the Consortium can help match you with one.

For this first round of grants, the Consortium is focusing on three key areas, based on the current and pressing information needs of New Jersey residents:

  • News and information that promotes community health, including information surrounding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our communities.
  • Reporting and civic technology projects that make government information more accessible and hold public officials accountable.
  • Diversifying New Jersey’s journalism pipeline, media education and journalism/storytelling training in communities that lack trusted news sources and/or where coverage is one-dimensional and doesn’t meet community needs.

The deadline to apply for this first round of grants is Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

You can visit the grants page on the Consortium’s website to find the application and view the full list of eligibility and other grant requirements, as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

The Center for Cooperative Media is committed to helping as many applicants as possible submit strong project proposals. In our role supporting the news ecosystem across New Jersey, we think it’s imperative that this first round of grants be the best they can be!

To help, we’ve scheduled three informational sessions with a handful of Consortium board members over the next few weeks to help you iron our your proposals and get answers to any questions you might have that aren’t covered in the FAQ section. Additionally, Center staff is available to review your application before you submit it to give feedback or help you workshop your ideas. To schedule a time, email us at info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Contact him at amditisj@montclair.edu or on Twitter at @jsamditis.

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.

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Joe Amditis

Associate director of products + events, Center for Cooperative Media; host + producer, WTF Just Happened Today podcast.