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Daily Targum nets $10,000 grant to improve digital news operation

As the only student-led organization taking part in the NJ Technology & Sustainability Accelerator, Targum students are coached on how to increase revenue, improve use of digital mediums and adapt to a changing journalism landscape.

The Daily Targum was issued a $10,000 grant to participate in the 2024 New Jersey Technology & Sustainability Accelerator which will help it to grow audiences, infuse more advertising and sponsorships and generate more revenue streams.  – Photo by  The Daily Targum

Rutgers' independent student news organization, The Daily Targum, recently received a $10,000 grant to participate in the 2024 New Jersey Technology & Sustainability Accelerator. This program will help the Targum to redesign its flagship website, implement a more intuitive and feature-rich content management system (CMS) and revamp its "Targum Digest" newsletter.

The program is held by the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium, which provides financial resources to local news organizations in the Garden State in partnership with Blue Engine Collaborative, a group of coaches, advisors and consultants who help mission-driven organizations.

The accelerator, which started in January, aims to foster collaboration and innovation over the course of nine months to address pressing challenges within local news, including improving digital revenue efforts and developing more robust technology platforms.

"The real-world tools, tested methods and professional insights have been invaluable for our student leaders," said the Targum academic advisor Nicole Kotsianas. "We are excited to put the lessons learned into action."

Student leaders and advisors at the Targum decided upon the implementation of a new CMS, which will bring several improvements, including ease of use, more dynamic design and better integration of social media branding. Visual changes will go into effect later this spring.

"This program is sure to leave an indelible mark on our students for years to come, long after they've graduated from Rutgers University and are experiencing the same daily challenges as professional journalists," said Targum Publishing Company Board President Jessica Durando. "Understanding the importance of growing your digital footprint and implementing proven methods for bettering user experience will allow our students to not only better the Targum, but also become future leaders at media companies."

Of the 21 New Jersey news organizations chosen to participate in this inaugural program, the Targum is the only student-led one. This gives Targum students an invaluable opportunity to learn from professional publications in the cohort on important topics such as creating revenue streams that promote the soul of an organization, improving the quality of digital news products and balancing worker well-being to avoid burnout.

Juggling the increasing demands of a changing journalism landscape that must reach its audiences where they are and when they want news information is another life-long lesson students are privy to during this cohort.

"This program has done wonders for me — not only increasing my knowledge of marketing and advertising but also working to strengthen my confidence as a business executive and my vision of (the Targum)," said Targum Marketing Director Arianna Morales.

Targum Editor-in-Chief Brian Delk echoed Morales' sentiment, adding, "From an editorial perspective, the accelerator has lifted a lot off our backs. Thanks to the program, we found a more reliable website to host our content and greater strategies to get our articles recognized."

The Targum is a digital-first news organization, currently reaching its audiences, composed primarily of alumni, students, Rutgers faculty and staff and New Brunswick residents, via its flagship website, weekly newsletter and various social media channels.

The Targum's website garners upward of 32,000 visits monthly and its newsletter has nearly 3,500 subscribers. Its Instagram account has grown to more than 5,700 followers, its Facebook account features 7,700 followers and nearly 7,200 people follow Targum on the social media platform X. On YouTube, Targum's channel has 3,420 subscribers and its TikTok account has received more than 1,200 likes.

About the Targum Publishing Company

The Daily Targum is a student-led, non-profit news organization focused on providing news coverage for the Rutgers audience spanning campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden. Founded in 1869, the Targum is the second-oldest and among the largest college news organizations in the nation. Recently, the Targum has placed first in editorial writing in the New Jersey Collegiate Press Spring Awards and third in the categories of overall website and online video.

To learn more about advertisement opportunities at the Targum, please contact Arianna Morales through the email:

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