Tag Archives: Times of Trenton

Protect our media watchdogs

If you don’t subscribe to the Times of Trenton or the Star Ledger or the Bergen Record or any other newspaper that still has a reporter covering the statehouse, do it now. If you aren’t a member of WHYY, with its newsroom at Newsworks, join now. Support Politico’s New Jersey desk. If you can find an independent online investigative reporter in your community, like Planet Princeton, contribute or advertise. 

You can march, you can write letters to the editor, you can call your legislators, but you can also help protect our democracy by bolstering the budgets of the investigative reporters trying to combat fraud and lies. 

I knew this before but this Wednesday New York Times column italicized my impulse.  David W. Chen, who wrote “In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs are Left,” used to be bureau chief for the statehouse desk for the New York Times.

The New York Times no longer has a staff reporter covering New Jersey. The number of reporters at the state house has dwindled from 30 to 7.

John Oliver reminds us that social media and TV news mostly just repackage newspaper stories.

McCarter Theatre has it right. McCarter is running ads on Politico’s media page  

.NYT photo by Charles Mostoller

Poignant detail #1: The print version of Chen’s article showed two lonely news boxes in downtown Trenton. One was for the Star Ledger, which has coopted the Trenton Times state coverage. The other was for U.S. 1 Newspaper. What?? U.S. 1 covers state politics once in a while, as in this investigative piece,. We cover important issues and the boss sometimes opines in his column, but statehouse reporting — that’s not our mission.

Poignant detail #2: Chen’s ender was a salute to the 87-year-old columnist who uses a typewriter.  A colleague converts with the typed page to a PDF, using her cell phone, and emails it in.



What will Flint Lane do next?

Flint Lane is one of those guys who “looks over the mountain.” He invented an electronic bill presenting service that helped to found Paytrust, and changed the habits of the bill paying population. It sold, and then he then he started Billtrust. He kept popping up in articles at U.S. 1.  most recently with moving 110 employees to American Metro Center. Now he owns (however did he get here?) a ping pong facility.

He got there by  loving ping pong. Ping pong champion David Zhuang, as quoted in an engaging story by Nicole Mulvaney in the Times of Trenton, had been longing for a Central Jersey based backer to build a facility here. “Give me a guy who loves ping pong!” said Zhuang.

I got the “over the mountain” analogy from Universal Display’s Julie Brown. When she spoke at the Princeton Chamber last week, she said that was one of the secret’s of entrepreneurial success.

It certainly applies to Lane. And now  Princeton has a new amenity.


To Publicity Chairmen: Make it Easy

With Robert Bullington, president of the Kiwanis chapter

Today I had a delightful lunch with the Kiwanis Club of Trenton at Leonardo’s II. The program chairman asked me to offer tips that would help this nearly 90-year-old chapter publicize the Times-Kiwanis Camp Fund, founded in 1955 in partnership with the then Trenton Times.

My 10-minutes talk focused on war stories, PR successes and failures, everything from the New Jersey State Button Society show to a Congo mission trip by Princeton United Methodist Church on behalf of UFAR. Titled “Make it Easy: Ask ‘How High,'” the talk focused on how to encourage donors to give, editors to print press releases, and individuals to leverage their connections.

Does anyone else want these tips? Have talk, will travel.