Albright, not surprisingly, says that it would be difficult to report on New Jersey state politics without an office in the statehouse. “This is the scene of the battle,” he says. “This is the nerve center.”

Mooney says he’s grateful for this second act of his career, to be working on a new project that gives him sense of ownership. “It’s great to be looking forward,” he says, “rather than looking over your shoulder wondering when the next buyout’s going to be.”

On the other hand, he laughs, “I’ve never worked so hard in my life.” Or, at least, not since he was the sole reporter at The Danvers Herald, a small weekly in Massachusetts, writing twelve stories a week.

“It’s gratifying to still be in this business,” he says. “After all these years, I wasn’t sure I would be. Especially at a time when so many of my friends are getting out of it.”


Check out CJR’s interview with NJSpotlight.com co-founder John Mooney:

John Mooney from CJR.org on Vimeo.



And CJR’s walking tour of Trenton’s press row:

Press Row from CJR.org on Vimeo.

Correction: This story originally identified Tom Moran as a Newark Star-Ledger reporter. Actually, he is that paper’s editorial page editor. The relevant sentence has been corrected. CJR regrets the error.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner