Tag Archive: Monmouth University

How’s NJTV Doing?

NJTV, the only state-wide television network, rose out of the ashes of the highly-acclaimed state-funded New Jersey Network (NJN) in mid-2010. As a news junkie and amateur pundit, I’ve been a loyal watcher of NJTV’s 6 PM newscast.

Despite the fact that the level of funding for state-wide news has gone down significantly since the demise of NJN, I’m happy that the quality of the newscasts is getting better, albeit with much more room for improvement. Anchor Mike Schneider is an excellent interviewer and he usually presents a neutral tone on even the most contentious issues in Trenton. The extended interviews with New Jersey’s movers and shakers are something that no other outlet (except Blue Jersey) currently provides across the state. The network has invested in state-of-the-art equipment that enables it to report from remote sites over conventional telephone circuits, giving reporters the opportunity to go where the news happens. The major challenge that NJTV News faces is a small staff of reporters and technical people. With all that’s happening in the state, they can’t cover as much breaking news as they should.

Of course, the nightly newscast has to compete with other news outlets like the New York and Philadelphia commercial stations, the Internet, radio, and dead-tree newspapers. A recent poll conducted by Monmouth University reported that only 25% of the New Jerseyans they questioned had watched NJTV News in 2012, down from a high of 59% who had watched its predecessor, NJN, in 1999. But when Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray asked about the quality of the newscasts, the story was a bit different. “While there has been a significant drop in the visibility and brand identity of New Jersey’s public television outlet since the transfer to NJTV, the net impact on perceived quality has been negligible for most residents”, reported Murray.

The quality and quantity of the news reported on NJTV run rings around that of the commercial stations. Recently, researchers from Seton Hall University spent five weeks watching all of the local newscasts on NJTV and the highest-rated New York and Philadelphia commercial stations, WNBC and WPVI respectively. While NJTV devotes 81% of its 30-minute time slot to straight news, WPVI devotes only 50% and WNBC devotes a mere 42%. Also, 89% of the stories on NJTV were devoted to New Jersey news, while the numbers for WPVI and WNBC were 24% and 17%. The Seton Hall team also noted that the stories on the commercial stations emphasized crime, while NJTV’s coverage was more toward politics and government.

The reports from these two institutions are chock full of more statistics, but the bottom line is that despite Governor Christie’s evisceration of a New Jersey institution 18 months ago, and despite the fact that one of the Governor’s cheerleaders, Steve Adubato, is a principal in the new organization, the news division is improving. And while the ownership of the station is out of the state’s hands, the state still holds the broadcast licenses. So let’s keep NJTV’s feet to the fire – give credit when deserved, and speak out loudly and forcefully when we think it’s falling behind its mission to serve the citizens of New Jersey.

Below the fold: Nostalgia. The sign-off of NJN with Jim Hooker and Michael Aron

Monmouth University Poll

One of our own New Jersey state colleges, Monmouth University, has continued its tradition of public service by conducting a national poll on the Presidential race (PDF). It paints the same picture as other polls: Obama leads by three among likely voters (48-45) and seven among registered voters (48-41). Why isn’t Mitt Romney more popular?  

One interpretation is that put forward by the pollster:

“If the past week was Mitt Romney’s opportunity to show how he would handle a foreign crisis, the GOP nominee did not put his best foot forward as far as voters are concerned,” said Patrick Murray, director of the New Jersey-based Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Isn’t that a nice way to put it? I myself thought the same — voters think Romney would do a bad job — until another expert came forward. Mother Jones has discovered a video where Mitt Romney explains his view of America:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

See it for yourself:

Power&Politics lineup features BlueJersey Blogger Jay Lassiter

If you're one of those political junkie types who can't get enough of the redistricting debate, you simply must tune into this weekend's edition of Power&Politics on News12. The show airs Saturdays AND Sundays at 10am and 3pm.

Several segments discuss the state's new Congressional boundaries, and I get a chance to weigh in as well, debating my (mostly) friendly rival, Chris Russell from South Jersey. Monmouth U. Poll-meister Patrick Murray, Montclair State political scientist Brigid Harrison, GOP lobbyist Tom Wilson and PolitickerNJ's Alan Steinberg guest star as well.

Prominent New Jersey Pollster Falls Victim to Tea Party Propaganda

When you think of pollsters in New Jersey, one of the first names that comes to mind is Patrick Murray of Monmouth University. Yet, even an iconic figure like Murray has succumbed to the Tea Party propaganda. Check out this video snippet from his interview on NJ Today:

“Republican voters are against any tax hikes. Democratic voters are against any cost cuts.”

The first part of Murray’s statement is true, as we have seen with the so-called “super committee” and Governor Christie’s justifying his double veto of the millionaire’s tax based on the false assertion that it would drive wealthy people out of the state. But stating that Democratic voters are against cost cutting is just plain wrong and Murray should know better.

First, many Democrats are in favor of cutting the bloated defense and homeland security budgets, but have been stymied by the Republican minority. But even ignoring this obvious fact, Democrats have long been willing to compromise (some say too willing) on social programs to get the Republican votes they need to unjam the Senate filibusters that have been crippling our economy.

I can only assume that Murray has fallen victim to the biases about the economy that are pervasive within the mainstream corporate media.

Monmouth University invites Governor Christie to speak at graduation

Monmouth University students are up in arms after learning that the keynote speaker at their commencement next month will be Governor Christie.  Students have written letters to the president of the university and have taken to Facebook to protest the school’s decision.  



Many are looking to protest before the commencement ceremony, but are making plans for what kind of statement they will make at graduation if the university does not rescind their invitation to the governor.

I say more power to these students!  It’s refreshing to see young adults standing up for what they believe in and gives me some hope for this state.  What was Monmouth thinking?  Do they realize that Governor Christie is no friend to education?  The keynote speaker should be someone that inspires the graduates, not the person responsible for the fact that some of the graduates won’t even be able to find jobs.

Adler Behind Three Points In Poll

The Monmouth University Poll (careful: PDF) of the 3rd District race between Republican Chris Meyers and Democrat John Adler has Meyers leading 44-41.

Adler has vastly outraised Meyers for the campaign, but hasn’t really been spending his money all that much.  In an apparent decision to blitz the area with ads in the last month, Adler just went on the air with TV Ads last week.  Combined with the DCCC expenditures for Adler and his own resources, he is unlikely to be matched by Myers who has little money and only Freedom Watch to help out.

Another note is that there are thousands of new voters who are not in the pollsters’ databases right now, because they have either not been entered into the system or there has not been a data dump.  County election offices are struggling to keep up with the influx, and as a result there are lots of new and likely voters who are not being polled.

A last caveat is that the national environment is definitely moving towards the Democrats.  With only four weeks to the election, that momentum is likely to help Adler.

But you cannot assume any of that.  This is still a district that has gone Republican for a long time, and the poll still notes that Adler is behind.  

You can help by donating some money to the campaign’s coffers, or by volunteering.