NJ governor to sign bill dedicating $5M to help local media
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is approving a bill that dedicates $5 million to strengthen local media outlets in the state.
The state legislature passed the “Civic Info Bill” late last month, according to news website NJ.com.
The bill created the Civic Information Consortium — a unique nonprofit developed with five universities — to promote the spread of news and information throughout the state. The bill was conceived by the Free Press Action Fund, an advocacy group on media issues
The effort is led by The College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University and Rutgers University.
The consortium will share the $5 million with local news organizations, emphasizing “underserved communities, low-income communities and communities of color,” the Free Press Action Fund said.
The money was included in the fiscal 2019 budget, which Murphy signed into law on Sunday. He is expected to formally sign the legislation creating the consortium soon.
State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) and State Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D) sponsored the bill, NJ.com reported.
“Local news is the lifeblood of a community. It adds local context to stories and keeps those in power accountable. Supporting it is undoubtedly in the public’s best interest,” Greenwald said last week.