Somerville, NJ, is a great town and I want to keep it that way, maybe make it better.
Getting involved seems like the way to do it. I’m not the type to run for office, politics drives me nuts. I’ve served on a borough committee, helping to get VilleTV going, and I appreciate the work of volunteers, but it isn’t for me.
So I’ll do what I know best, spread the news and let people know what is going on. I’m the former managing editor of the Courier News and Home News Tribune and digital editor for MyCentralJersey.com. I have a multimedia company, Elf Multimedia, that has created websites, presentations, photography and video for many local companies and organizations and I teach multimedia reporting in the journalism department at Rutgers in New Brunswick. Since the beginning of the year, I work in the Somerset Medical Center marketing/PR department concentrating on the website. I also do pet photography at The Hungry Hound on Main St. and I enjoy taking nature photos.
Unfortunately, the Courier News and Star-Ledger no longer have a reporter dedicated to Somerville. Cuts in the newspaper industry have devastated local news coverage, even the weekly newspapers are gone. It is a shame, someone needs to keep an eye on local government and celebrate the little things that make life in Somerville great. Sure, the newspapers will drop in when something big happens but they won’t commit the resources to cover the news that the people of Somerville need each day.
That’s the mission of Somerville Today – let people know what is going on in town. And that means the good and the bad. We will praise where praise is needed and point out things that need improvement. Nothing is off limits, EXCEPT, Somerset Medical Center. Since I work there and I prefer keeping my job, I will avoid any conflict of interest by not doing stories on the hospital. I’ll publish their press releases when appropriate and if others want to write items about the hospital, I’ll consider publishing the story, even if critical as long as it is fair. This site will maintain the same stringent news ethics that I practiced at the newspapers.
To accomplish everything I want for this site, I need help. My main supporter is my wife, Robin Gaby Fisher. Robin worked at the Courier News and then the Star-Ledger, where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team and was a two-time Pulitzer finalist for feature writing. She now spends an inordinate amount of time writing books but she chips in when she isn’t on one of her all-consuming deadlines. She also heads the journalism department and teaches at Rutgers in Newark.
But I also need your help. You can send tips that I check out or submit an article or become a correspondent. I will attend most council meetings but I’d like to have someone regularly report on school board meetings. Contact me if you are interested, I just ask that you do it electronically and not via the phone.
I encourage comments on stories but they won’t contain the anonymous bickering that plagues most news sites. You will need to use your real name or it won’t get published. I made it easy to comment by letting people use their Facebook login. Let me know if you want to comment and don’t use Facebook.
SomervilleToday.com is for the people of Somerville. It takes your contribution to make it work.
See you around town.