Increasingly impatient with a lack of impact from investigative projects, journalists have become more willing to partner with civil society organizations, many of whose reason for being is making change. With the drive for impact comes complicated ethical questions that the journalists wrestle with, but have found ways to negotiate.
This article explores an effort to direct state-level public funds toward journalism by using a national policy window combined with an intensive grass-roots effort. We use the lens of Kingdon’s policy process model to showcase dynamics that contribute to the media policymaking literature. The process and enactment of New Jersey’s 2018 Civic Information Consortium bill are analyzed using a combination of archival research and oral history, highlighting the efforts of policy entrepreneurs and knowledge-brokers, who served as key advocates for the bill’s passage.