About Five Wards Media


Five Wards Media honors our community by amplifying our stories, culture, and information needs. We produce unique coverage of issues affecting diverse Newark communities that do not receive traditional media coverage and partner with city residents to tell those stories. We listen to Newark residents, build deep relationships with them, and produce community-centered journalism. We value engagement because we know that information is vital to serving Newark, New Jersey. The story of Newark deserves to be told, including the stories of our community that go untold and unreported.


We celebrate, inform and amplify Newark through sharing stories and news that elevate the voices of local Newarkers and our neighborhoods.

Newark is underserved and underrepresented in national media. We are creating a space that allows the people of Newark to be heard, seen, and included in the bigger story about our city. Our work focuses on narrative, information, and storytelling that centers the lived experience and information needs of residents across Newark’s five wards.

To amplify and inform neighborhoods across the city, we focus on its residents, community organizations, and grassroots organizations and give a complete and accurate picture of the city. We want to inspire a sense of belonging in our city through the information we share and the stories we tell.


Before launching the collaborative in Fall 2020, former WBGO community engagement reporter, Brit Harley worked with a small group of Newark and Essex County residents to explore how we could launch a community media training program.  With funding support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Victoria Foundation, we founded the Newark News & Story Collaborative.

We worked with Outlier Media and Groundsource to learn about the immediate information needs of residents and learn about their hopes and dreams for the city of Newark. Outlier used information from an SMS text-based survey and data from community resource hub 2-1-1 to conduct an information needs analysis.

The report found severe information gaps in Newark about COVID-19, food, shelter, and utilities. We’ve contributed and published numerous stories, received continued funding support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and are part of the inaugural NJ Civic Information Consortium grantees. 20+ Newark residents ages 17-50 have completed our community media incubator as reporting fellows.

Five Wards Media is a part of the inaugural cohort of the Tiny News Collective (TNC), which aims to support voices historically excluded from media and media ownership. FWM was selected among six organizations across the country to bring needed local news and information to their communities. TNC and the Google News Initiative have provided initial funding to get us started.