The Center for Cooperative Media has honored TAPinto with three 2020 NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News Awards. Each year, the Center for Cooperative Media recognizes local news outlets for innovation, collaboration, investigative reporting, campus reporting, sustainability and engagement. 

NJ Flavor, which was launched by TAPinto Westfield owner and publisher Jackie Lieberman in 2018, won the Innovate Local Award, which honors a journalist or outlet that “used new and emerging technologies or strategies to enhance and improve the value and impact of their reporting efforts.” 

NJ Flavor's stories about food in New Jersey are shared across 54 TAPinto town news sites, including TAPinto Westfield. 

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“I'm thrilled that NJ Flavor is being recognized as an innovator in local news,” Lieberman said. “The TAPinto model has really allowed us to scale our audience while also providing engaging local content to fellow TAPinto franchisee/publishers.”

TAPinto Paterson won the Engage Local Award that recognizes a news organization or journalist that “relied heavily on community engagement or similar practices as a major source or aspect of their reporting.”  

“I believe that news about a community has to come from the community itself,” said TAPinto Paterson Owner and Publisher Steve Lenox. He shared his gratitude for his readers, who he said “play a large role in making sure Paterson is portrayed accurately in all of our stories.” 

Finally, TAPinto won the Sustain Local Award that “goes to a news organization that found innovative and effective new ways to address revenue and sustainability issues.”  

“Filling the void in local news means creating sustainable business models. We're proud to have been recognized by the Center for Cooperative Media for our efforts,” TAPinto CEO and Publisher Mike Shapiro commented. “We've worked hard to create advertising products and partnerships that give businesses and organizations a high-impact and trustworthy way to reach engaged local audiences.”