Podcast Art NJ News Commons

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By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to all the new subscribers. Send tips and feedback by hitting reply to this email or find me on Twitter @jcstearns. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news, starting with one good idea…

One good ideaCo-create stories with your audience and with journalistic integrity. That’s the pitch behind WBEZ’s Curious City project which starts each day with a question to its audience: “What should we investigate next?” Check out this wonderful testimony from one local resident who got involved and read more here.

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By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

West Orange PharmacyWe’ll start with the sad stuff, but I promise it’ll get better toward the end. In West Orange, head pharmacist Leonard “Lenny” Stefanelli and his twin counterparts Robert and William Carlucci were arrested and sentenced to 37 months in prison for illegally selling oxycodone painkillers out of the longstanding West Orange Pharmacy, reports Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange. The team of pharmacists had also been filing fraudulent bills to healthcare providers like Medicare and Medicaid in an attempt to cover up their illegal activities.

In South Plainfield, Jane Dornick, a journalist and the “Busy Busy Mom” columnist for the South Plainfield Observerplead guilty to one out of three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, according to Darlene Tedesco Cullen of TAP into South Plainfield. In 2010, Dornick coerced a female minor to perform sexually explicit acts in front of a webcam and broadcasted them live over the Internet to former South Plainfield Police Captain Michael Grennier. Grennier would then view the images on his laptop in his home in South Plainfield.

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Podcast Art NJ News Commons

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By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news.

One Good Idea: Survey your users. Yeah, I know, surveys are nothing new. But Quartz recently took surveys to a whole new level. In a post on Medium, Quartz’s Mia Mabanta details how they got 940 of the world’s business leaders to tell them how they consume news and respond to advertising. There’s many good lessons here for local publishers to think about how they can creatively use surveys to listen to their stakeholders. (more…)

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By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

The videos came pouring in this week. First up, Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green published an article on Jens and Erwin Velasquez, otherwise known as the “VeeBros.” The VeeBros are a renowned competitive frisbee duo who were recently inducted into to the International Frisbee and USA Guts Hall of Fame. RJ Meyer, a student at Morristown High School, made this video about the freestyle frisbee legends.

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By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we’ll look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. Sign up to get the Local Fix delivered each week.

One Good Idea: Unbolt Your Newsroom. Steve Buttry has posted “a manual for unbolting your newsroom from print culture and processes,” which is full of ideas and concrete examples of innovative local news experiments from around the country. It is a great resource, even if you are a digital-only newsroom without any print history. (more…)

Podcast Art NJ News Commons

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Telvin Sign

By JOE AMDITIS

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Brendan TevlinThe town of Livingston, NJ was struck by a horrible tragedy last week as news continued to surface about the murder of Brendan Tevlin, a 19-year-old University of Richmond student who was found dead in his car. Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange first broke the story last Thursday, and the community responded with an outpouring of support and coverage from the surrounding towns.

TAP into Livingston published several stories on Tevlin’s death and memory as the community grieved, offering emotional and financial support to the victim’s family. They also published a beautiful eulogy for Tevlin written by Chuck Granata titled, “A Fragile Thread (for Brendan Tevlin).”

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By DEBBIE GALANT

This post was originally featured on the Dodge Blog. The original post can be found here.

Lincoln Statue

The Abraham Lincoln Statue outside the Essex County Courthouse in Newark, NJ. Photo Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonythemisfit/

In just the last few days, the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found in the West Bank, a teenager from Livingston was gunned down in West Orange and another teenager leaving a party in Maplewood was shot multiple times in his legs.

People die by the hundreds in storms, wars and famines, but put a face to a senseless death, and make it a teenager’s, and it’s just heartbreaking.

These, at least, were all valid news stories for me to know about. The first is a story of international proportions. The latter two took place within 10 miles of my house.

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Geolocation

By JOSH STEARNS

Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we’ll look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. Each week we’ll look at key debates in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. Sign up to get the Local Fix delivered each week.

Over on LocalNewsLab.org this week we looked at what coffee can teach us about building local news networks. We are just getting started, so feedback is welcomed and encouraged. Leave a comment to send tips and suggestions (or just to say hello). 

Here is One Good Idea: Make school budgets understandable. KPCC in LA created a good, simple resource for parents to see how their school was planning to spend the $4.6 billion LA school budget.

Beyond the Funny Pages: Engaging new audiences with graphic journalism

Everyone loves the funny pages, but today digital journalists are doing amazing work with hard hitting graphic journalism that immerses audiences in the story. Writing in Nieman Reports this month Erin Polgreen, the founder of Symbolia (an iPad magazine of illustrated reporting) argued that comics can “enhance reader engagement and bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction.” And if needed proof of that, just check out the incredible new graphic novel published by the Center for Investigative Reporting last week. The Box is based on an investigation by CIR, and tells the story of a teen in solitary confinement. ProPublica also used illustrations recently to show people how kids were being physically detained in schools and comics journalist Susie Cagle often gets huge page views for her reporting at Medium. On a lighter note, WHYY just launched a great summer comic series on their Newsworks blog.

Want to explore a graphic story for your site or just experiment with adding more illustrations to your reporting? Just reply to this email and I can connect you with a number of terrific illustrators who have worked with newsrooms large and small.

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