The Jersey Access Group, an organization that supports local New Jersey news and cable access channels, named Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) as their 2021 Legislator of the Year for his work dedicated to local news options in New Jersey and fighting for local cable news stations.
“Too many New Jersey communities are denied local new options because they are split between the New York and Philadelphia media markets,” he said. “It is an honor to be recognized for my fight to my constituents and all New Jersey residents the local news they deserve.”
Payne asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for full franchise fees to be reinstated so cable companies can pay for more local programing such as city council meetings and board meetings. Officials said this was one of the efforts they acknowledged to give the award to Payne.
JAG is a small group of 61 news stations formed in the 2000s that focuses on the state’s governmental, public and educational all cable access news channels.