The bi-partisan Legislative Task Force On Public Broadcasting released the report on the future of NJN, laying out a series of findings that will allow the network to evolve and emerge a strong, vibrant and diverse public media outlet that will continue to serve the informational needs of the residents of New Jersey.
The report is the culmination of a comprehensive review of public broadcasting in New Jersey, in which the panel gathered information from a wide array of stakeholders, media experts and members of the public during three public hearings in Trenton, Pomona and Montclair.
Since existing state laws do not authorize any governmental body to do so, the task force recommended creating an entity with the power to inventory the Authority’s assets, negotiate with Federal entities, and receive, negotiate and approve any proposal to transfer the state’s television and radio licenses.
The task force concluded that the newly-organized body would determine what entity, or entities, is best equipped to take over New Jersey’s main source of media. In doing so, however, the task force recommended that it follow certain principles, and consider which entity is best able to provide New Jersey-centric programming, operate statewide, avail itself of new technology and provide independent, civic journalism.
The panel was created following a provision in the FY 2011 budget that drastically reduced state funding to the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, the operator of NJN.
Members of the task force who endorsed the report findings include: Senators Nia H. Gill (D-Essex), Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May), Sean T. Kean (R-Monmouth) Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), and Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris), and Assemblyman John Amodeo (R-Atlantic).