NJPP Monday Minute: 9/28/09

What effect is the decline of the newspaper industry having on New Jersey?
Is there a link between corruption in the state and a media deficit?

These questions and more regarding New Jersey’s shrinking media are examined by Scott Weingart in the new NJPP report, Less News Is Bad News: The Media Crisis and New Jersey’s News Deficit. The report was made possible with support from the Sandra Starr Foundation.

In his findings, Weingart notes that New Jersey’s peculiar geographic and economic conditions have been contributing factors to a chronic news deficit in the state for many years and that the problem has been aggravated in recent years by the financial crisis in the media industry. The evidence of this, he says, is that people in New Jersey know less about their state than people elsewhere in the country. And, he claims, the lack of available information distorts state elections and may be a contributing factor to political corruption.

Weingart will present his findings at Thomas Edison State College on Monday, October 5, 10:00 a.m. TESC is co-sponsoring the report release. Following the presentation there will be a panel discussion with the following experts:

Paul Starr
Paul Starr is professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University and co-founder and co-editor of
The American Prospect. He holds the Stuart Chair in Communications and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School. He received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and Bancroft Prize in American History for The Social Transformation of American Medicine and the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize for The Creation of the Media.

Ingrid Reed
Ingrid Reed directs the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ New Jersey Project, an initiative to reinforce and expand the contributions of the Institute to the governance and politics of New Jersey. Among its initiatives are programs on campaign and election activity, women and politics, welfare reform, and governance. Ms. Reed is chairwoman of Governor Jon Corzine’s government ethics task force.

Charles Layton
Charles Layton is senior contributing writer at
American Journalism Review and a former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. As managing editor of The Inquirer Sunday Magazine, he supervised three reporting projects that won Pulitzer Prizes.

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Filed under New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective, News Media, Sandra Starr Foundation, the American Prospect

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