We mentioned in one of our recent newsletters that we would be hitting a pause on some of our reporting to focus on building a sustainable foundation for The Jersey Vindicator. In October we were accepted to the Google News Initiative’s Pre-launch Lab. We were so excited, because we know from others who have participated in the lab that the program has helped them build sustainable media organizations. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard to build a nonprofit news organization that serves the civic information needs of our diverse state as part of the Google program.
The work in the Google News Initiative Lab has been an intensive sprint, but we are so grateful to have this opportunity. It has helped us sharpen our focus and strive to learn from community members what kinds of stories we should be telling and how. We are also working on building new tools based on feedback from residents.
More than five dozen readers so far have offered to be interviewed for our community information needs survey. If we have not reached out to you yet to set up a time to talk, we will be doing so in the coming weeks.
We are also grateful for the readers who have supported our new nonprofit, nonpartisan effort to bring more accountability reporting to New Jersey. With your help, we have raised more than $2,000 so far for our end-of-year fundraising campaign. The Jersey Vindicator is part of a program called Newsmatch that enables us to have your donations matched by national and regional foundations. Due to the generosity of these organizations, your donation will be quadrupled through the end of the year. The $2,000 readers have donated so far will mean we receive $8,000 because of this wonderful program.
You can read the full announcement about the Google News Initiative program on the Google News Initiative website.
Thank you for all the ways you have supported us – through reading, sharing our website and newsletter with friends and colleagues, agreeing to be interviewed for our survey, and sharing your thoughts, news tips, and encouragement with us via email.
After the end of the lab and the holidays, we look forward to building more momentum and a foundation for success. We will be posting more stories before then and have more exciting news to share before the end of the year.