Saturday, January 13, 2007

Not New York. Not Philadelphia.

Jeff Jarvis announces that my home State has finally addressed its scandalous dearth of original television programming (wait, don't we have NJN, one of the best public television stations in the country?) with TV Jersey, a vlog billing itself as follows:
New Jersey needs a television station to call its own. Programmed by New Jerseyans, for New Jerseyans. TVJersey has no broadcast towers, no satellites. It doesn’t even have a studio. But it has you. And what you produce, we’ll promote.

Admirable words, but a quick glance at the site's offerings seem to indicate a distinct North Jersey bias. As the chief architects behind TVJersey are all affiliated with The Star-Ledger in Newark this is perhaps to be expected, but I sure hope that as the site grows they'll venture south of the AC Expressway every once in a blue moon. SoJo needs some love, too!

Nevertheless, reading about this venture I can't help but think about the tagline used by New Jersey 101.5, a home-grown radio station that started up a few years back using the same innovative marketing strategy to bill itself as an alternative to the two metro media markets to the north and west of the Garden State:

"Not New York. Not Philadelphia. Proud to be New Jersey!"

Nonetheless, I wish these guys luck. We Jersey folk -- both North and South -- need all of the good PR we can get!


John Hassell said...


You're right that the videos posted by our crew are mostly from North Jersey, since that's The-Star-Ledger's core circulation area.

But we're hoping lots of New Jerseyans, South and North, will tag their videos at YouTube with tvjersey, allowing us to create a statewide community of people who like to make, and watch, videos about the Garden State. This should be a space for all of us.

Thanks for the kind words, and I hope you'll stop by from time to time to tell us how we can improve things.

John Hassell (from the TVJersey crew)

Tom said...

Thanks for stopping by, John!

I definitely appreciate the difficulty of making an all-Jersey kind of anything. To the average SoJo denizen, North Jersey might as well be Canada, so the parochialism definitely cuts both ways.

I wonder if there would be a way to bridge the North/South gap by means of teaming up with another newspaper -- one of your affiliates perhaps? Reaching out via papers such as the Gloucester County Times (my old hometown paper) might be a good way to tap into South Jersey's video resources.

Again, I wish you all nothing but the best!

John Hassell said...


Excellent idea. I'm on it.


Tish Grier said...

OMG! Tom! my boyfriend (odd word to say for a 50-something guy) and I were talking about local tv last night--one of the reasons I do media commentary, esp. about journalism is because once the local central NJ paper--which used to be published in New Brunswick--shut down, we lost all connection to what was going on just a town away.....

it was always easier to know what was going on in NYC or Philly than what was going on down the block...

The local PBS tv station used to run a nightly newscast (do you remember that? don't know if its even still on the air) but I think NJ's always had a media inferiority complex--like, unless a gas pipeline is exploding in someone's backyard, we're just not worth covering...

When I moved to W. Mass I was shocked that they put local high school sports as leading sports stories and barely covered national leagues of *any* sport. And I was even more shocked when people *complained* that the local stations weren't serving their needs. I've never seen local media more responsive to the community than I have out here (we got *great* coverage from local affiliates during the Northampton Indy Film Fest--New Brunswick's theater stuff was *never* covered on TV)

New Jersey is so overshadowed by both NY and Philly that I'm not sure it will ever be able to get out from underneath those two huge shadows (not to mention the massive needs of the northern part of the state...) I don't think too many people really understand the media landscape of NJ, and too many just don't care.