WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Alternative Press celebrated its fourth year as an online news source in October, and at Wednesday evening's Holiday event, Senator Codey encouraged the staff, advisors and advertisers to keep doing what he considers to be a needed service for local towns.
A large crowd gathered in New Providence to hear The Alternative Press Founder, Mike Shapiro, speak of how TAP published its first articles in 2008 and currently covers 18 towns, with 11 individual licensees in several towns. TAP hopes to expand with several more towns in the Tri-State area in 2013. Over 700,000 people read one or more pages of the Alternative Press each year. Shapiro went on to say that advertising opportunities online were limitless, and that The Alternative Press, one of the only online news sources accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, was one of the few local news sources out there really reporting on local news.
Senator Codey then addressed the crowd and said there was a real gap in news reporting. As print newspapers decline, he said that gap needs to be filled. He cited several instances where investigative and local reporting could make a real difference in people's lives. Echoing the sentiments of Mike Shapiro, he noted that the 'younger generation' doesn't even read newspapers any more.
Codey then took questions from the audience. He applauded Governor Christie's efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and said that he believed the federal government needed to fill the financial gap due to Hurricane Sandy damage in New Jersey, as they did in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. He said there was a one billion dollar hole in the state budget and that the state faced some tough choices. He noted the possibility of the federal government delaying tax increases for the wealthy, as well as raising retirement age to 67 to qualify for social Security and Medicare.
When asked if he was considering a run for New Jersey Governor, he said that it depended on several things, primarily, personal family issues, and second, he said laughingly, "when The Alternative Press hits one million in readership."