New Jersey-New York ‘Local News Lab’ Launches

By Richard Horgan Comment

Buffeted by a $2 million grant from The Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s latest expanded effort – “The Local News Lab” – has officially launched.


The effort encompasses six pilot websites. Four are in New Jersey, while another two cover New York:

Brick City Live
Jersey Shore Hurricane News
Morristown Green
New Brunswick Today
Sheepshead Bites
The Lo-Down

From a Nieman Lab item by Caroline O’Donovan:

“We want this to be a testing ground,” says Local News Lab director Josh Stearns. “I think one of the core premises here is there’s not going to be a silver bullet…”

Stearns is especially interested in pulling from community engagement strategies outside of journalism — for example, he’s been looking at things like political organizing and citizen science to figure out how they can be applied to local journalism.


Each site has a staff ranging from one to four; as a group, they span the spectrum of brand new to ten-years-old. Much more info on the project at

[Editor’s Note: A previous, accidentally posted draft-version of this item incorrectly identified The Local News Lab as being a Nieman Lab project. FishbowlNY apologizes for the error.]