Morristown Green receives Facebook grant for COVID-19 coverage

19 is among three New Jersey news organizations, and among 144 nationwide, to receive funding from Facebook’s COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program

These grants, announced on Thursday, will help publishers continue serving their communities through the coronavirus crisis that has devastated local economies, including ours in Greater Morristown.

Morristown Green will receive $25,000. Montclair Local was awarded $50,500, and Reporte Hispano of Princeton, $100,000.

More than 2,000 newsrooms across the country applied to Facebook’s COVID-19 relief program, which is distributing $10.3 million as part of a $100 million global investment in local news announced in March.

Recipients were selected through a process led by the Local Media Association (LMA) and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, with significant contributions from the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), Local Media Consortium (LMC), and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role local news plays in our communities, while simultaneously threatening their very existence. Reviewing hundreds of applications on a tight timeline both illustrated the depth of need, but also highlighted the innovation that these small, independent publishers can provide for their communities when given the resources,” Jonathan Kealing, INN’s chief network officer, said in a statement.

“I’m excited to see new news products and more critical original reporting in these communities, thanks to Facebook’s support.”

In the best of times, running a hyperlocal news site is a precarious endeavor. Morristown Green is grateful to Facebook for this grant–a lifeline during these dire days– and to our friends at the New Jersey News Commons and the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University for their encouragement and good work.

And we are especially thankful for our readers and advertisers who have continued to show support even as they struggle to cope with the severe impacts of this pandemic.

We have been covering Greater Morristown since 2007. We have shared your triumphs and tragedies, your celebrations and your challenges.

Now, as we all face our greatest challenge, there are many more stories to tell.  Stories of courage. Stories of sorrow. Stories of hope. Your stories. With your help, we will keep telling them.

We have lost dear friends over these long, gut-wrenching weeks. We mourn them as one family.

Emerging from this crisis won’t be easy. But Morristown has been proving its toughness ever since the Hard Winter that tested George Washington’s soldiers during the Revolution.

Morristown never quits. We look after each other. We will get through this.


George Washington and fellow patriots stand tall against the coronavirus, on the Morristown Green. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

If you’ve read this far… you clearly value your local news. Now we need your help to keep producing the local coverage you depend on! More people are reading Morristown Green than ever. But costs keep rising. Reporting the news takes time, money and hard work. We do it because we, like you, believe an informed citizenry is vital to a healthy community.

So please, CONTRIBUTE to MG or become a monthly SUBSCRIBER. ADVERTISE on Morristown Green. LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and SIGN UP for our newsletter.

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  1. hahaha @ Charles Sprickman – you’re fundamental lack of economic understanding is incredible. Never seizes to amaze me. My goodness.

  2. This is great news, and I’m glad FB is giving out some cash.

    But it’s also important to remember that Facebook has played a huge role in decimating local media. As a virtual monopoly in the social media space, Facebook is many people’s entire gateway to the online world. Facebook benefits from local journalism by having people share/screencap/quote content/stories which does give the news outlet exposure, but it also strips all the ad revenue. Even worse, that ad revenue is basically still generated by people engaging with the story, but the revenue is earned on Facebook’s platform. It’s an incredibly unethical business model.

    Ironic that they’re now giving out (relatively) small grants that come nowhere near undoing the damage they’ve caused.

  3. A response for “Anon”

    The kind of information you are looking for is important. There’s a lot more info re Morristown that I want, like age, morbidities, location of the those who are victims of the virus — without violating privacy. It helps everyone to know these details.

    But what you’re asking for means Kevin needs a staff. I’m repeating myself here:
    It is important for all of us to support his work; with that support he can provide that kind of information. There’s no free lunch!!

  4. Caveat to my comment. I am a long time reader of Morristown Green, so I consistently read so many excellent articles here. It sets a high bar for comparison.

  5. I strongly believe that Morristown Green does an award winning job of covering issues that are important to the Morristown area. Well written, informative articles that present all sides of issues. I don’t think your Covid19 coverage has been that great. Mainly puff pieces aimed at emotions, rather than providing good updated facts about the disease. Morristown has a high number of cases. How many? How many deaths? How is the hospital? How many unemployed? How is the homeless population doing? Maybe I missed some articles that had that info. I may be mistaken.
    Again, I really believe Morristown Green is a great news source and will continue to read and support you. I would also encourage others to support you.

  6. How wonderful, and well deserved. is our most reliable and important source for our local news. So happy for you!

  7. Much deserved and the results of all you hard work ever since you began this journey making you became of Morristown’s history along the way.,

  8. Congratulations Kevin! Much deserved national recognition and support when it is most needed. MG is the best news outlet for everything Morristown.

  9. Congratulations Kevin. Good job. I have been following Morristown Green’s coverage.especially during this pandemic. Refreshing to read good old-fashioned news coverage.

  10. Great work Kevin! You are certainly most deserving! Morristown is fortunate to have you.

  11. Fantastic news! Congratulations, Kevin and the crew! We are so fortunate to have this powerful resource in our community. Keep up the great work as we continue to be strong together.

  12. Im so pleased. Morristown Green is the most important source of important local news available. well done, Kevin, and I hope there is a way to make this site more visible and read by Town residents and business folks…thanks for what you do with this very important outlet that gives us news that Morristown needs to know and discuss

  13. Thank you, Paul. Hope you are well. Looking forward to seeing you when this pandemic is behind us.

  14. Great news Kevin!! It is heartwarming to see being recognized nationally as the valuable asset we know it to be for our local community. Glad to know that you are receiving well-deserved support through these challenging times. Keep up the good work.