The state of New Jersey appears to be on the verge of investing $5 million in taxpayer money to bolster local journalism. Under the bill, awaiting the governor’s signature, a special committee would be set up to distribute the funds with the goal of encouraging more local news coverage.
If signed into law, it is believed this would be the first time a state government has allocated public money to promote journalism in this way. It is not an entirely unheard of concept however and we are not talking about the BBC.
Several years ago, during a forum on the state of journalism at the Old State House in Hartford, Kevin Sullivan, the legislative father of CT-N, suggested news entrepreneurs thinking of new business models should not discount the idea of seeking public funds to make it happen.