New Jersey-based News Coverage to Expand and Be Enhanced with New Funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Knight Foundation

(September 5, Morristown, NJ)--A new effort to expand coverage of New Jersey-focused news, increase collaborative news reporting, and spur civic dialogue and community participation throughout New Jersey received a boost from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation announced that it has been awarded a grant of $800,000 over two years as a part of the Knight Community Information Challenge. The grant supports Dodge and its two lead partners, Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media and New Jersey Public Radio (a part of New York Public Radio), along with other local and statewide partners and individual projects, to significantly expand coverage and access to high quality New Jersey-focused news.

The Knight Community Information Challenge encourages community and place-based foundations to develop news and information projects that inform and engage residents. The challenge grant supports the Dodge Foundation’s vision for building a strong New Jersey news “ecosystem,” providing the public with an abundance of New Jersey-focused news, and engaging communities around issues of importance to New Jersey.

Selected activities supported with this grant include: hiring reporters to focus on New Jersey news, coordinating small- and large-scale collaborative reporting projects, exploring new business models, and launching creative community engagement projects. The grant will also help foster the next generation of media practitioners by providing them with training in journalism, media and business practices.

“Funding from Knight Foundation will have a profound effect on the breadth, depth and reach of New Jersey news,” said Christopher Daggett, president and chief executive officer of the Dodge Foundation. “The grant will enhance collaboration and give essential support to media organizations in order to ensure that statewide issues, ideas, events and people are showcased more strongly.”

“Rooted in collaboration, the Dodge Foundation, Montclair State University and New Jersey Public Radio are creating a statewide model to help strengthen the voice of New Jersey,” said Bahia Ramos-Synnott, director of community foundations at the Knight Foundation. “We look forward to the impact they will have on creating more informed and engaged communities.”

As a part of the challenge, the Dodge Foundation and its partners have committed to raising $1.6 million to meet Knight’s matching grant requirements.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is a private foundation based in Morristown, New Jersey. Established in 1974, it focuses on issues critical to New Jersey in the areas of Arts, Education, Environment and Media and funds organizations that have a direct, meaningful impact on the state. The Dodge Foundation’s mission is to support leadership, collaboration and innovation for a better New Jersey. For more information, visit www.grdodge.org

Contact: Molly de Aguiar, Director of Communications, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation 973-540-8442 x156, molly@grdodge.org

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The Knight Foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit www.knightfoundation.org

Contact: Andrew Sherry, vice president for communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, sherry@knightfoundation.org, media@knightfoundation.org

Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media
Drawing on resources from Montclair State’s School of Communication and Media and School of Business, the Center for Cooperative Media will offer diverse professional development opportunities to working journalists and media organizations. It will also provide Montclair State students with valuable on-campus internship and other learning opportunities. Center partners will have access to Montclair State’s state-of-the-art multi-platform newsrooms, radio and television broadcast stations, workspaces and operating support services. For more information, visit montclair.edu.

Contact: Deborah Gaines, Executive Director for Strategic Communications, Montclair State University, 973-655-3123, gainesd@mail.montclair.edu

New Jersey Public Radio
Motivated by its strong commitment to New Jersey, New York Public Radio launched New Jersey Public Radio in January 2012 and is developing NJPR News, a new multi-platform editorial service focused on New Jersey news and public affairs coverage. New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC, WQXR, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio, as well as www.wnyc.org, www.wqxr.org, www.thegreenespace.org and www.njpublicradio.org. NJPR extends WNYC reach and service more deeply into New Jersey. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit www.nypublicradio.org.

Contact: Jennifer Houlihan, Director, Publicity, NYPR/NJPR, 646-829-4497, jhoulihan@nypublicradio.org