Strengthening local journalism to build an informed and civically engaged Bridgeton
United Advocacy Group
Strengthening local journalism to build an informed and civically engaged Bridgeton
United Advocacy Group
Grant Award Amount

Follow South Jersey (formerly SNJToday Digital), a nonprofit news outlet, and Rowan College of South Jersey are partnering in this one-year student journalism project to measurably increase the production of original local stories in the city of Bridgeton that address the community’s critical information needs to boost civic engagement, address barriers to good health, and increase health equity.

Through this project, 10 Rowan College of South Jersey students will address critical information needs by developing original local stories focused on environment, health, economy, education, citizenship/elections/local politics, social services, and culture. Using an embedded journalism approach, students will be placed at key agencies and organizations that represent the community’s leaders and key influencers, including City Hall, the Board of Education and leading healthcare organizations and nonprofits. The students will be supervised and instructed by the Follow South Jersey Desk Editor and a Rowan College of South Jersey Co-Op professor.

By the end of this project, the student journalists will have produced approximately 100 stories designed to rebuild public trust in the media and engage residents of all ages as community advocates in conversations about policy and accountability to improve health. Over the long term, these student journalists could pursue careers that impact health and equity by meeting critical information needs in their own communities.

Bridgeton Local News
Grant Recipient

Melissa Helmbrecht
Project Director
(856) 243-5810

Domenic Merendino
Project Co-Director
(856) 243-5810

Counties Served

Read and watch a selection of the Follow South Jersey news coverage developed by the student journalists through this project:
Gov. Murphy Signs Legislation to Cover Mental Health Screening Expenses for New Jersey Teens
Follow South Jersey/ Armstrong, O. News Reporting Intern (2021, May 6).

Rowan University Researcher Wins Science Center Award for Innovations in Cornea Injury Repair
Follow South Jersey/ Armstrong, O. News Reporting Intern (2021, February 5).

Atlantic City Convention Center, RCSJ-Gloucester COVID-19 Vaccine Mega Sites Reopen After Nor’easter
Follow South Jersey/ Gras, J. News Reporting Intern (2021, February 3).

Rowan University Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Begins Wednesday
Follow South Jersey/ Vazquez, J. Higher Education Intern (2021, February 3).

New Jersey Department of Health Releases Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Schools
Follow South Jersey/Kudriavetz, K. Child Welfare Intern (2021, January 29).

Coronavirus Testing Available at Bridgeton’s Marino Center Through January 15
Follow South Jersey/ Suga, R. Bridgeton City Intern (2021, January 8).

New Jersey to Invest $10 Million in Preschool Improvement
Follow South Jersey/ Scarborough, S. Community Resources Intern (2020, December 23).

Rowan University to Receive More Than $600,000 in Federal Grant Money for Substance Abuse Research
Follow South Jersey/ Rubin, A. Public Health Intern (2020, November 5).

New Jersey Launches Website to Provide Transparency on COVID-19 Funding Allocation
Follow South Jersey/ Winston, J. Community Resources Intern (2020, October 26).



“What’s Good?”program series with Isaiah Showell

‘notOK’ App Provides Instant Assistance for Mental Health Crises
Follow South Jersey/ Truett, C. Public Health Intern (2020, September 18).

Ross Whiting, Clayton Model Revolutionize Special Education Methods
Follow South Jersey/ Detweiler, D., Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern (2020, September 16).

RCSJ President Frederick Keating Emphasizes Importance of Transparency, Communication with Fall Semester Plans
Follow South Jersey/ Adan, A., Higher Education Intern (2020, September 14).

Follow South Jersey Internship Provides Opportunities for Aspiring Journalists
Follow South Jersey/ Mandarino, M. (2020, September 11).

SNJ Today Becomes Follow South Jersey; Student Journalists to Provide Local News, COVID-19 Updates
Follow South Jersey/ Mandarino, M. (2020, September 11).

Cumberland County Residents Can Use Newly-Installed Drop Boxes to Cast Their Vote in the July 7 Primary
Follow South Jersey/ Starr, M. Bridgeton City Intern (2020, July 6).

View All: NJHI: Small Grants