We launched a newsletter to help you localize national news stories

Welcome to The Local Connection.

We’re a few months into the second year of our local-national partnerships pilot program, where one of the goals is to help New Jersey news organizations localize national or statewide stories. The Center for Cooperative Media recently brought on former Bergen Record and New York Times editor Carla Baranauckas to lead the program, and last month she launched a new email newsletter called The Local Connection.

The Local Connection is a weekly newsletter, sent on Mondays, that features a handful of national and regional news stories with specific details about how to find a local connection or angle.

We want the Local Connection to be a go-to resource for NJ News Commons members looking to find new stories that will resonate with their communities. We also think the Local Connection could be useful for journalists outside New Jersey, too.

The breakdown of the newsletter is pretty straightforward:

  1. Carla scours various regional and national publications throughout the week, looking for interesting and applicable news stories.
  2. She selects the best and most relevant stories for that week, provides a quick summary and gives a little context for each story.
  3. Below each summary, she lays out some of the possible angles and other opportunities to localize the story.
  4. Sometimes the list will include datasets and other resources.

That’s pretty much it. It’s that simple!

From the latest edition of The Local Connection.

Last week, for example, Carla included stories on the amount of recess time that has been deemed beneficial for students, as well as the drop in the number of people covered by health insurance.

This week, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the sports betting case, we provided information and text from John Brennan, the only journalist who has covered the case from its inception, for our partners to use in their stories.

The beauty of most of these story ideas is that they will be newsy for some time, especially after you localize them. So you can look back through previous newsletters for stories that will resonate with your audience.

The newsletter’s format also makes it easy to forward on to another editor, reporter or freelancer on your team.

Click here to see newsletters from previous weeks. And if you don’t get the Local Connection newsletter, click the button below to subscribe to it.

Click the button above to subscribe to the Local Connection!

If you have any ideas about how we can make the Local Connection better, or if you want to pitch Carla an idea for it, email her at baranauckasc@montclair.edu.


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.

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