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Mark Di Ionno

Mark Di Ionno joins TAPinto chain

Former Star-Ledger columnist bemoans cuts of local reporters by newspapers

By David Wildstein, February 19 2019 11:24 am

Mark Di Ionno, who retired at the end of last year after a long career as a Star-Ledger columnist, has joined TAPinto, a chain of local news media sites.

“I’m excited to now be associated with TAPinto, which believes local news is essential to the community, not something that should be cut in face of falling revenues,” said Di Ionno.  “TAPinto knows something the corporate media chains forgot. To truly cover a community you need reporters, and those reporters have to be on the streets.”

A Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary, Di Ionno joins an organization that concentrates on local news at a time when newspapers have decreased or eliminated the in-depth local coverage of their past.

“His column will bolster the engaging local news and content our TAPinto franchisees are creating in communities across New Jersey,” said TAPinto CEO Michael Shapiro.

Shapiro, who began his media career as a columnist for PoliticsNJ, has built a team of 80 franchised online local news sites in five states.

“Local news is about the heartbeat and texture of our communities. Local news is what makes a media outlet relevant,” said Di Ionno.  “Lose that, and you lose more than readers. You lose a sense of community. You lose the First Amendment ideal that a free press is an extension of the citizenry and crucial to their right to be informed of their government’s practices.”

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