NJ News Commons, NJ Spotlight election night ‘open newsroom’ grows, deepens partnership with Montclair media
The School of Communication and Media’s News Lab hosted 26 media professionals and more than 70 students for collaborative coverage of the election
For the last few years, the Center for Cooperative Media has teamed up with NJ Spotlight and members of the NJ News Commons network to host an open newsroom on Election Night. The recurring statewide reporting partnership brings together journalists, freelancers, and publishers from all over the state to cover elections and electoral politics in New Jersey.
This year was a little different, in a great way.
First, this year’s election night open newsroom was our biggest yet, with 26 journalists and media professionals representing more than 22 different organizations across New Jersey. They were either on hand in the newsroom to help populate our shared statewide live results map and do their own reporting, or they served as remote correspondents at various locations from around the state.
We also partnered with the heads of all Montclair State University’s campus media properties — Wired Jersey, WMSC 90.3 FM, Carpe Diem and The Montclarion — as well as the Montclair State University Broadcast and Media Operations team to host a two-hour live broadcast. We were also joined by six visiting students from NJIT, along with their professor, Miriam Ascarelli. All together, more than 70 students participated in the effort.
The broadcast was complete with in-studio interviews with experts and commentators, as well as roving reporters in the field and on the ground at the election parties of each major candidate. The show also featured a series of pre-produced interviews and video packages, all of which were created by student journalists and media-makers.
The entire production was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook Live, and simulcast on the radio at 90.3 FM.
Click here or check out the video below to watch the show via Facebook:
Click through the YouTube playlist below to see clips and interviews with various Center partners and NJ News Commons members:
You can also browse through the short album of photos below, all shot by Montclair State University student Natalie De La Rosa.
This was also the fourth year that the Center and NJ Spotlight collaborated to power a statewide live results map during the open newsroom.
The live results maps and graphics are powered by a series of Google Sheets, which are populated by Center partners and members of the NJ News Commons network who gather at the open newsroom on election night to input data and check each other’s work. (The NJ News Commons is a network of nearly 200 news organizations around New Jersey, and is the Center’s flagship project. Click here to learn more.)
As soon as the data is entered into the shared spreadsheets, the information is instantly reflected on the interactive maps and charts. Those maps are then embedded and republished by several news outlets, partner pages and websites from all over the state — free of charge.
The full list of news organizations that republished or embedded the maps includes TAPinto New Brunswick, TAPinto Nutley, TAPinto Bloomfield, TAP into Newark, Village Green, NJ Pen, Glen Rock News Today, Brick City Live, Morristown Green, and more.
If you’re interested in participating in a future open newsroom, or if you have ideas about how we could make it better, let us know! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media. Contact him at email@example.com.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.