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Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000

Indicator 10


Additional  Strong Communities, Culture & Recreation Indicators

11 - Crime Rate

12 - Open Space

Newspaper Circulation

Disparities in infant mortality (deaths per 1,000 births) for the total population and the black population in New Jersey: Little recent change

  Things to think about 

The existence of newspapers does not guarantee that we will learn all that we need. We also depend on many kinds of personal experiences that are not reflected in an indicator about newspaper readership.

Newspapers report on the events of the moment, but they do not always cover incremental change - even though crucial issues, such as population growth and accumulation of pollutants, can sneak up on us slowly.

We are increasingly obtaining from the Internet information that was previously obtained from newspapers.

 

Importance

Without knowing the actions and reactions of our neighbors and leaders, we can do little to change them. Armed with knowledge, however, we have the ability to remake our state to suit our goals. Newspapers are particularly important to New Jerseyans for local information. Our major television and radio broadcasts come from New York and Philadelphia and leave discussion of our values to our state newspapers. The number of people reading New Jersey newspapers is an indicator of how engaged we are with New Jersey issues.

Economic

Over the morning paper, we get a glimpse of demographic shifts that call for new products or job relocations. While reading on the bus, we find out about upcoming regulations that may change the way our families save or our businesses operate. Behind the Sunday paper, we learn what our colleagues and competitors are working on. The daily newspaper is an important information tool for economic success.

Environmental

Newspapers are the only medium that regularly covers local environmental decisions, especially regarding land use and the location of waste and energy production facilities. Newspapers tie the environmental problems that we feel locally to those happening nationally and globally, so that we can solve them together. These issues are covered in greater depth in newspapers than in other media.

Social

Without newspaper exposure and in-depth coverage of social issues, we would live in the dark. We would not know where crimes are committed, where politicians are meeting, where schools are excelling or failing to meet their potential. Newspapers do not offer us a full two-way dialog, but they do help foster responsibility and build communities.

Knowledge Gaps

This indicator does not consider the quality of the news stories reported, only their quantity. It also does not account for the growth of electronic news media, including the Internet. We have yet to assess fully the impact of New York and Philadelphia newspapers on New Jersey issues and readers. Additional data are needed for this indicator, as this survey has not been conducted since 1998.

Data Source: Standard Rate and Data Service (SRDS)

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 26, 2007

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