South Jersey Information Equity project launches, works to examine media inequity
Research process is under way, with a goal of presenting findings in fall 2020; Sarah Glover will lead the project
Earlier this year —before the global pandemic struck and the U.S. became embroiled in a long overdue reckoning with systemic racism— we conceived the idea for the South Jersey Information Equity Project.
Given all that has occurred over the last several months, it makes the project seem more urgent than ever.
The South Jersey Information Equity Project is a new initiative from the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University in partnership with the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists to examine news provided by and for communities of color in South Jersey, and to make recommendations about how the information needs of residents can be better met.
We announced creation of the effort in March and are thrilled today to announce its launch, thanks to funding from The Nicholson Foundation. We are working with Sarah Glover to lead the key first phase of the project, which will include research into the current information ecosystem in South Jersey paired with an assessment of information need gaps.
Sarah is a veteran journalist, leadership fellow with The Press Forward—a nonprofit initiative dedicated to advancing news culture through education, training and research—and immediate past president of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is also a resident of South Jersey, giving her a personal investment in this work.
“I”m excited to support an increase of news and information in South Jersey. My hope is that the South Jersey Information Equity project will pave a way for tactical solutions to improve the dearth of content that reflects what’s happening in local Black communities and other communities of color,” Sarah said.
“This research project will help encourage a media ecosystem that will actively work to solve lingering information gaps. I applaud the Center for Cooperative Media and PABJ President Manny Smith for taking an idea and molding it into this first phase equity research project. I’m honored to help develop solutions to help move the work forward.”
Over the next few months, Sarah will analyze the data that the Center already has on the news ecosystem in South Jersey, then survey and interview current journalists, former journalists and mediamakers there. She will also work with our partner Free Press to participate in virtual community listening sessions.
Our goal is to produce a report we can share with you by fall that outlines the state of the news and information ecosystem in South Jersey that serves communities of color, identifies some critical information need gaps and offers a set of recommendations to strengthen the landscape.
If you have any questions or want to be involved, let us know: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stefanie Murray is director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Contact her 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. 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, 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.