Shout-out to NJ Spotlight

I just want to give a shout-out and congratulations to NJ Spotlight, which just secured funding for something I think is going to be a cool tool.

If you do a daily news roundup like we do here at Blue Jersey, you end up reading just about everything, and certain opinions form. Who’s good, who just transcribes the establishment line, who does in-depth work. And since their 2010 launch, we’ve come to admire the work of NJ Spotlight’s team, and particularly their focus on three areas almost nobody is paying enough attention to; healthcare (via reporter Andrew Kitchenman, who we’ve just lost to Alaska Public Media – follow him on Twitter), on poverty (via Hank Kalet) and on the important numbers, figures and digits that define our lives in New Jersey (under two of its Founders, John Mooney and Lee Keough). But it’s not just those folks; NJ Spotlight reads like a tight operation, with a not-large staff, competing it seems to me, less for breaking headlines and more for readers who want depth and analysis along with the facts of the day. NJ Spotlight builds on all this with explainers that walk readers through how government works, with webinars, and with roundtable discussion events.

We admired NJ Spotlight even before our Jersey Jazzman (A/K/A Mark Weber) began writing about education there. But we like that too.

NJ Spotlight – Winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data – So we cheered Spotlight when we heard this week they’re one of 17 winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data. This was Knight’s challenge: How might we make data work for individuals and communities? NJ Spotlight answered by developing this:

Legislation Tracker: Beyond the Bills by NJ Spotlight (Project leads: Colleen O’Dea and Lee Keough; @njspotlight, @colleenodea, @leekeough | Trenton, N.J.): Bringing more accountability and transparency to state lawmaking by creating a tracking tool for all major bills passed in New Jersey that would provide information on whether the law was enforced and milestones were met.

Cool, right?


Comments (3)

  1. Lee Keough

    Thanks so much for such lovely note of congrats! Your kind words made our day — it certainly made mine. And you are spot-on about our mission.

    Thanks again,

    Lee Keough
    Editor in Chief
    NJ Spotlight

  2. Tara Nurin

    Thanks so much for this lovely write-up. I just want to share that not only is the staff at NJSpotlight smart and professional, it’s also a joy to work/freelance there. The editors treat reporters with a great deal of respect. I’m honored to be part of the team.

  3. CreedPogue

    Another point of light for an area that was getting darker for too long!


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