The (Bergen) Record is losing their strongest journalist.
Terrence McDonald is leaving to start up a New Jersey bureau for States Newsroom, a non-profit news organization that has already launched operations in 22 states.
“Today is my last day at The Record. States Newsroom is opening a NJ bureau and they’ve asked me to run it,” McDonald said on Twitter. “I start Monday and we’ll launch the site soon.”
He joined The Record in 2019 after spending ten years as The Jersey Journal, the Hudson County daily that is part of the NJ.com network. He began his career in journalism working for weekly newspapers in Bloomfield and Montclair.
Most recently, McDonald had spearheaded the successful campaign to unionize The Record two other Gannett-owned newspapers. The union, affiliated with the CWA’s NewsGuild in New York, was approved last month.
McDonald had emerged as a critic of Gannett.
“In fewer than five years Gannett has turned each into a shadow of their former selves,” he said in February when the move to form a union was announced.
Now McDonald will compete with his old employer, whose Trenton bureau has shrunk by more than 80% over the last decade.
States Newsroom says their funding comes from individual contributors and institutional grants.
“Unlike virtually every other for-profit and nonprofit media outlet, we don’t run ads of any kind or accept corporate donations or underwriting,” the company says on their website.