What do you do when your state is set to receive $332 million in proceeds from the sale of TV licenses?
You join with other community-minded citizens to lobby for a joint initiative of the state’s leading universities to invest in ideas to improve local news, community information, civic technology and civic engagement across the state. This is the case with a bill going before the NJ State Legislature, Bill S3303/A4933, The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium.
I spent my Monday doing exactly that and what an experience I had! Civic engagement is necessary ensure that our government representatives hear the voices of those they have been elected to serve. Organized by the Freepress Action Fund, this act of civic engagement sends a strong message to the citizens f New Jersey, “To fight for your right to connect and communicate.” And the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium (NJCIC) is designed to do exactly that…connect and communicate within and between NJ communities.
NJCIC goals (in order of relative importance to me personally)
- Train students, professionals and community members in the practice of community storytelling, journalism and media production.
- Nurture better civic engagement and dialogue inside and between New Jersey communities.
- Improve the quantity and quality of civic information in New Jersey communities.
- Improve the information needs of low-income communities and communities of color that have been underserved by the media.
- Give residents enhanced access to useful government data and publuc information through innovative applictions, platforms and technologies.
- Invest in research and practies that can help media outlets become more closely connected to their audiences and more sustainable without government support.