SPJ: There is a better way of ranking journalists.

For those of you who think investigative journalism is dead… well, you haven’t been following a blog called Real Jersey City, where blogger-in-chief Michael Shurin has actually made a difference getting the bad guys removed from office and those in danger of going bad to straighten up and fly right.  Ideologically, Michael is a cross between Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul, so he doesn’t let ideology get in the way of ferreting out corruption and holding those responsible to account.  Check out his latest coverage of an important corruption trial that you won’t find anywhere else… https://www.realjerseycity.com/

Now you won’t find Real Jersey City or Michael Shurin on the pages of the recent InsiderNJ take on who’s who in New Jersey’s media.  No, you won’t find Michael sandwiched in between all those pricey advertisements from lobbyists, lawyer-lobby firms, vendors, greasers, and assorted politicians.  Yep, they paid for it.  And the firm paying for the whole thing – Fairview Insurance Agency – is so wrapped up in the Jersey City political establishment that they might as well use the Board of Education’s collective ass as its forwarding address.

You also won’t find the County Watchers blog – which keeps an eye on the critters who run Union County.  Yep, that’s everyone from his Lordship, the former Senator, Ray “Lord of Ass” Lesniak, to those magnificent Devanneys all bellied up to trough with both trotters stuck in.  Such nuggets as this are observed, investigated, and reported on by these citizen journalists…

With all the bombast over shared services we still have this in Union County:

2018-872: Authorizing the County Manager to award the proposed contract obtained through advertised public bidding in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, NJSA 40A:11-1 et seq: Engineering, Public Works & Facilities Management, Division of Facilities Management: T. Farese & Sons's, Newark, NJ, for the purpose of providing Waste Disposal Services at various locations throughout the County. The contract period shall be for twenty-four (24) consecutive months with the provision for one (1) twenty-four (24) month optional extension commencing upon contract extension. The contract will commence on November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2020, with a total contract amount not to exceed $424,728.91.

The amount was substantially higher than the last contract.
So why can't the municipalities pick up the county garbage at a little extra cost instead of having the county bill their taxpayers for this special pickup?


Of course, the folks who own InsiderNJ are themselves vendors working the grease machine of campaign contributions and contracts… so they have no interest in promoting at all those pesky citizen journalists who, unlike the paid-professional corporate types, are not forced to keep one eye on the want ads (and the government relations or public relations jobs, in particular).  You can’t blame someone for needing to feed a family (nevertheless it is sad when good people fall under the power of vendors, lobbyists, and political machines).

Now the old Editor of the once mighty PoliticsNJ – where the likes of Friedman and Kornacki and Moe of Moe got their training – is proposing to do his own “best of” series.  Will the media really take this? 

So here’s our proposal for rating the journalists who cover New Jersey politics and government.  Enter their names into one of the many awards given out each year by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).  Instead of highlighting the banal droolings of an Alan Steinberg… propose someone real for an honor that is reviewed and provided by other JOURNALISTS – not one handed out by the mouthpiece of some scumbag vendor.  Then, if they make it, or get runner up, or an honorable mention, it will mean something besides the lawyer-lobbyist-vendor-political machine Establishment imaginings about how they would like them to lick their arses. 

Here are some awards – real honors—to consider:

The Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award, made annually, honors a collegiate journalism educator and recognizes outstanding teaching ability, contributions to journalism, journalism education and contributions toward maintaining the highest standards of the profession.  Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019

The Ethics in Journalism Award honors journalists or news organizations that perform in an outstanding ethical manner demonstrating the ideals of the SPJ Code of Ethics. It also honors especially notable efforts to educate the public on principles embodied in the code or hold journalists ethically accountable for their behavior. The Society may present one Ethics in Journalism Award in any given year unless there are no worthy candidates. Nominations are open. Self-nomination is permitted.  Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019.

The Sunshine Award recognizes individuals and groups for making important contributions in the area of open government.  The SPJ board of directors selects honorees for the Sunshine Award based on recommendations from the national SPJ Freedom of Information Committee. There is no predetermined number of honorees for selection. Deadline for nominations: March 18, 2019.

The Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award to honor a person or persons who have fought to protect and preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.   Mr. Pulliam, who died in January 1999, was publisher of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News until his death and was well-known for consistently supporting activities which educated the public about First Amendment rights and values. The Foundation has established this annual award to honor those committed to the same goals and as a tribute to the professional contributions that he made to journalism.  Deadline for entries: June 21, 2019.

The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship was established to enable a mid-career editorial writer or columnist to have time away from daily responsibilities for study and research. The cash award allows Pulliam Editorial Fellows to: Take courses, pursue independent study, travel, pursue other endeavors that enrich their knowledge of a public interest issue. Deadline for entries: June 21, 2019.

Real Journalists critiquing the “best” journalism New Jersey has to offer… what a novel idea!