A big thank you to everyone who has shared the news about our new volunteer program to document county meetings across the state. We are calling this program “county chroniclers.”
Coverage of county commissions has declined over the past decade as newspapers have slashed jobs. We interviewed more than three dozen residents across the state so far about their information needs, and one of the number one requests was for county commission coverage. Residents belive many stories that call for accountability reporting happen at the county level.
We are looking for at least two more county chroniclers in several counties, including Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, Salem, Sussex, and Union.
We are looking for at least one more chronicler in each of the following counties: Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, and Warren counties.
You will cover one county commission meeting per month in your county. You will take notes, record the meeting with your phone, and submit a written report. No prior reporting experience is required and you will not be expected to write a newspaper-style story. Your submission, which will be posted on The Jersey Vindicator, will read more like minutes or notes. An example of formatting for the reports can be viewed on the Fresnoland website. You will also suggest to us items that might be worth in depth reporting or investigating.
We will have a Zoom meeting with people who are interested in being chroniclers in late January. Prior to that meeting we will provide you with training materials.
Chroniclers will be provided with a $500 volunteer stipend for our PILOT program. After the PILOT program is over, we would like to continue with the program if it is successful, and pay chroniclers who would like to be compensated for their efforts.
If you are interested in becoming a chronicler or want more information, please fill out the form below. Or if you just want to give us feedback about your information needs, please reach out. We look forward to connecting with you.