NJ Civic Information Consortium public info session #3 (20SEPT2022)
6:11PM Sep 20, 2022
Hey, so good afternoon, everybody. Start this public hearing. My name is John Celock. I'm a board member of the jersey civic image Consortium. Glad you can all join us. And we're joined, joined here today by Chris Daggett, the chair of the board entries Edwards, the vice chair of the board. And also Stefanie Murray, who director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, who, to be quite honest without her and Joe, I don't think we'd be able to get anything done.
So, Chris Teresa, Stefanie, would you like to introduce yourselves or Joe, who always lingers in the background?
Just to say that this is one of three required hearings from the statute that created the Consortium, and is designed not looking forward so much in terms of grants that we are thinking about for fiscal year 23 Are the grants program for fiscal year 23 are really about grants that we've given in the past as well as just overall procedures? Is there anything that anyone wants to provide by way of feedback to us, or suggestions or criticisms, whatever it happens to be. We're here to discuss them and hopefully, be able to respond to them.
Trees, anything, anything else? No, I
just want to thank everyone for joining us here today to give their input and feedback so that we have good advice going forward.
Okay, so what everyone maybe just want to quickly introduce themselves.
Hi, my name is James, and with radio, red and blue at Credo that Joe was a blue. And I'd like to say thank you again for supporting the idea to make. Give a media to the Asian community and to give access to information in Korea. Thank you. It's not it's not easy, because right now, it's like climbing a mountain every time I pull the boulder on top, it's coming back it up to push it again. So it's a difficult task that I thought would be easy because it will be beneficial to the community. So it's going really slow. So I guess I did more than presenting myself. Sarah.
Hi. Hi, everyone. Sarah Stonbely, research director at the Center for Cooperative Media
is happy to join today. I've been following the Civic info consortium since before day one. So just wanted to join and keep up with everything that's going on. Paul?
Paul, you're muted.
There. Let's try that as much better. I'm Paul Avery. I'm the executive editor of their Ridgeview echo. We've been functioning now for about seven months. We're into issue 16. We we publish online every two weeks. We just got one out this last Wednesday. And we've been moving along pretty well. We've already gotten over 8000 users which means over 8000 people have login fresh as new as new viewers. And and so far and we're starting to try to build up our advertising base. And we're making some headway that way. It's it's slow going talk about slow going. Yeah, but but we're making we're doing pretty well.
He is listed as new media.
Yes, I would be us. My name is Pam Timpson on new media corporation does business under new Digi dot tech. We are a training and and project development nonprofit that works with community to help them tell their stories and use new media technologies. And we have a project called 26 blocks, which is a documentary. And so our crew is training on documentary filmmaking while making an important documentary on gentrification. So your your consortium is of real interest to us and I am a graduate of Rutgers Newark so I've worked with some of the people that you halfway through the consortium, including Dr. Lake, Dr. Clement Price, who was my my beloved mentor? Did you
just read the documentaries about?
Yes, a documentary looks at I'm sorry, somebody's grabbing a camera out of the car. It looks at gentrification, but at the time, half of it was filmed on there was no gentrification between 1997 and 2004. I followed several redevelopment projects that were community based in Jersey City, and the aftermath, how they were made to fail. And today, we come back to film where these projects are at, and we find they're really the cornerstone of the rapid gentrification that's taking place in here New Jersey City. So it does so everywhere from the streets, to the to the board rooms, to the to the port rooms. And the crew is training as they go. So they're not only learning videography, but they're learning politics, they're learning history. They're learning a lot of other aspects within
before we get to Simon Pam, if I may, I would just quick comment, I was also a huge fan of Clem price. He was a board member for the Dodge foundation when I was the president and CEO until his tragic death. It was um, on very unfortunate to lose him. He was just a terrific human being.
Well, I would have to say that this is what he taught me in my attempt to to implement it. He was he just was an amazing person that spread so much information for so to so many people.
Hi, y'all. My name is Sam Jabra and I run the Bloomfield information project in Bloomfield, New Jersey and as serving, the greater Bloomfield communities use information as a board grantee of the consortium. Excuse me. We're also a part of the community raishin cooperative, a broader national effort to democratize journalism in the public interest. Here to hear from people's feedback. I always love listening to these things to hear more about people's needs and like how the ecosystem can develop, so I could be more supportive of that. And also happy to answer any questions, if any members have anyone here wants to hear from a grantee always happy to do that. For the crew, if it's needed. Thanks.
Kay. And Amanda, we've just been going around introducing ourselves. So you want to introduce yourself?
Amanda, are you there? Hi. Yes, sorry. Everyone is frozen for me. I'm having internet issues. We can hear you. You're good. She really muted herself. Okay, there she goes. Well. You're muted again, Amanda.
The Yes, sorry. Everything's kind of go ahead. We can hear you. All right, next person.
Okay, that's it. Since two Mara was on then off, and we'll get back to Amanda, should she come back? And tomorrow? Should she come back? Um, probably first thing is, is there anything just in terms of the grant process, the application process that anyone has comments questions about? Do you find a good you find a bad just navigating that entire process?
Well, I think that the process was fairly easy to navigate. I thought it was I thought it moved well, and it was easy to make application into and to move forward with it. I haven't got any complaints with it. That's for sure.
Yes, I would have to say that was a very well well laid out process. And we were able to apply on last minute and I think that I appreciate that ability. I understand that there is a fair amount of work pitch should be done in advance of that application, developing relationships in advance which we are because we were late to come to it. We did not do in time. But Bond. Yes. I also agree it was very well laid out.
Okay, I'm just gonna skip back. Manda Are you able to? Is it working for you now you can introduce yourself?
Hi, this is Tamra, I'm Amanda's colleague. We're having trouble with our computers, but we're in the same place. So we're with the Corporation for New Jersey local media. We were founded about two years ago to build strong communities through journalism and civic engagement. And the spring, we just completed an acquisition of the 14 newspapers of the New Jersey Hills Media Group. So Amanda is the executive director, and I am the Chief of marketing and philanthropy.
Hey, welcome. So we were just asking everyone, you know, we were just discussing, if anyone how people thought the application process was, what they liked, what they didn't like, do you find it easy, hard, etc. So we were just discussing that if anyone else has any thing you want to jump in on that?
I mean, I think it was fairly. Not easy, I would say I mean, it was clear all the details that you needed to know, to, you know, lay out your plans, and to at least be one of the candidates, they were well laid out.
Can you guys hear me? Yes, yes. I might be back is that I felt like I wasn't sure. Exactly the level of detail, especially for the budget that was being requested. You know, I would have liked to just know, had more guidance on exactly how detailed everything should be, especially the budget.
Teresa's and Zeno, both of us are on the grants committee, would you want to jump in a little on that just commenting on Tamara's comments,
ya know, we appreciate the feedback, and maybe maybe we'll put a blurb or two in there about what level of detail on particularly for the budget, the more is detailed, the better. What you need to support the project, you know, in terms of technology, staffing, equipment, anything that the grant would go to support, obviously, different projects are different. So they don't all have the same line items. Um, so, you know, it wouldn't be practical practical for us to put up a template, but you know, your project and you know, your budget, so, you know, flesh it out, so that we have a full understanding of, of what's actually needed. So when I say equipment, it yeah, if you can break it down, but that's good. If you just put you know, $10,000 for equipment, without, you know, saying whether it's for cameras, or microphones or laptops or whatever, that leaves us, you know, kind of scratching our heads a little bit. So you don't have to necessarily, if you know what you're going to purchase, that's great. But you don't have to necessarily, necessarily tell us the brand and model. But if you know that great, if not, but at least give us some picture that that you have a full understanding of what this your project is going to take.
And I know just I know, this is something that's come up is if you're having, let's say a miscellaneous line item, and obviously that's completely normal things, there may be certain expenses that you don't want to You can't either detail at this point, or you're not quite sure. But if you could just maybe give a little explain or what you would consider that falling under. Just so we have a general idea that miscellaneous could be food or hotel rooms or something along those lines. We're not trying to guess that you're just you know, we know it could go in any number of directions, but just to gives us a little bit of a better idea than $5,000 miscellaneous. You have a general idea on that. And
Stefanie, Joe, I think that the comments you've made or make in the comments section make a lot of sense. Yes, absolutely. And as a quick follow up question to that a lot.
of the projects we proposed are very staff heavy. So do you have a, you know what percentage of staff time that you want budgets to fall below, like, you'll only fund 20% of staff time or something like that.
We have your staff or people you're hiring, both, you know, I don't think we have any, we've never really said any guidance along that line or have any preference, because we realize each project is very unique and very different. Just thinking of us, as we have got three of our couple grantees on this call. I know, you know, James, or Simon or Paul, their projects have a lot of differences and a lot of differences in terms of staff, or how things are accomplished. So we haven't really set that versus let's say equipment and other types of like categories in the budget. But I can't think of it you know, where there's no like, set thing because we realize that your application and your project is very unique. Versus what Simon's attempting to do etc.
Yeah, I'll just say that when we're examining these every one that I've seen that has maybe a higher percentage of of staffing lines than the others, that it makes sense. So when you're when you're putting things together, just as long as it makes sense, as long as it's, you know, you can support it. Yeah, we don't have a hard line number that if you hit this, you're out. We just haven't established establish those kinds of parameters.
Those responses answer your question timer.
Yes, that's very helpful. Thank you.
And just as one quick note is, we will come back if let's say we are looking at something and we have a question on that we have gone back to applicants during the review process and just ask them, could you please maybe elaborate on this a little bit or, you know, we just need to know a little we can just flush out something. So we just want to we will go back? If there is something? We have a question. We're we're just want to get a little more information for our decision making.
Anyone else have questions, comments? Anything?
Okay, sorry, I was typing. Can you please repeat what you said the last time last time because
we will go back to people applicants during our when we're reviewing projects. If we have questions about like something in the budget, specifically like a line item, or something along those lines, or even like something a detail on the application where maybe we just want to flesh it out a little bit. We have gone back and asked an applicant, can you just maybe give us a little more information, we sent this question or something because we just want to make sure that we have all the information. So we're not, you know, judging it based on incomplete information or something, were we really not incomplete. But we're we have a legitimate question that we just want to know a little bit more about before we make a decision.
A lot of times.
I'll also add for the for the transcript that in the chat, Stefanie and I have agreed that we should probably put a little more explainer text in the application form underneath the budget question particularly. And then Stefanie also recommended, which I think is a great idea to put a few sample budgets on the website, and that we can link to in the FAQ section. And that way, folks can go and see sort of what has been submitted in the past. And then I'll also just add that there are sessions we also offer at the center, we offer sessions and coaching.
And no, Stefanie and Joe, you also the senator sends out a newsletter that would have information has information about when we start doing grants and all of that as well, right? Yes, yeah. So if you, you can sign up for the New Jersey saving information consortiums email list. On the website, where you can sign up for the centers, we send an email every two weeks to all of our members. And yes, once we open the rat, once the board opens the application around, we usually will announce that it's open. There will be sessions where you can meet with board members and ask questions. The senator does one on one consulting, we'll read your application, we'll go over your budget with you. Because we've helped a lot of folks with their grant applications in the past and your habit want like part of our role is to make sure that that you have really strong applications and that that's a very difficult decision for the board how to spend its money. So that will all come out early next year. And sign up for our email list. It's a go to our website NJ civic info.org And how can they sign up for the center's newsletter?
I appreciate the opportunity in the future to have some more support, because we're probably going to need it. And this is encouraging to know that that's going to happen. We've been getting a lot of support from Stefanie and and our
association with the with the university. And that's been working out very well. So I'll be in touch with Stefanie to try to get make sure we're getting all the information we need. Good, Paul, and we we as you know, work closely. I'm gonna go again. Sorry. I can tell we're getting ready to disconnect again. I don't know what the why I can't
their website is news we need.org. Okay, thanks, Stefanie. Thank you. Yeah, no problem. Okay. And that link is also in there. So anyone else have any comments, questions? Teresa, or Chris, do you have anything else you'd like to add before we wrap up? No, thank you for everyone's time today. And I think we've said several times, please don't hesitate to reach out for us about any questions you might have, or any comments you might have about our work
did up for me.
I'll keep it brief.
Yeah, I really appreciate these opportunities to make contact and discuss the issues that are developing. So thanks for not for having this. And
you're welcome. And, you know, just a third of our annual three public hearings. I want to thank you and everyone who's joined us for all three of these hearings over the last week. We definitely while you know, I know Chris, at the beginning noted that these are required by state statute that set up the consortium even though they are you know, obviously required by statute We really do enjoy them. Because we really do want to hear feedback on what we're doing. We are a startup we think like a startup. And we want to always be nimble, like a startup and really be responsive to the feedback of all the stakeholders in the community across the state, by the way, Joe shared, be 26 projects
26 blocks project link in the chat. So we definitely want to hear from stakeholders across the state across the communities that we serve, because we're here to serve you and fund you know, you everyone who's been applying, you know, the projects, the applications we get are incredibly innovative projects, and we want to be able to work with you and grow local news and information around the state. So we are very excited to hold these forums. And please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us, or to Stefanie and Joe over and Center for Cooperative Media, with any questions, comments, etc. Because we definitely are here for you. So without seeing anything else, today well during this public hearing. Okay, well, thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks, everyone.