Planet Princeton wins local news award for coverage of abrupt nursing home closure

award emblem for 2024 NJ Local Nws Awards

Planet Princeton has been named a winner in the 2024 Excellence in New Jersey Local News Awards for our coverage of the abrupt closure of the Princeton Care Center.

The Princeton Care Center on Bunn Drive was the only nursing home in Princeton until it closed abruptly the Friday before Labor Day. Families were given only a few hours to find new placements for their loved ones, and some residents were shipped off to nursing homes more than an hour away.

Thanks to concerned family members who contacted Planet Princeton, we had a reporter at the scene to witness the chaos of that day until we were kicked off the property. The story received almost no coverage by other local news outlets. The closure was covered by statewide media outlets and national television stations. Some of those larger outlets turned to us for help with information, photos, videos, and contact information for families.

Long after these large news outlets moved on, Planet Princeton continued to cover the story. We have been fighting to get public records from the state since September in an effort to understand how the system failed residents and their families. We will continue to do so. Our most vulnerable residents and their families deserve to know what happened, and state laws and practices should be changed so that such an abrupt closure never happens again.

The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University runs an annual awards contest for local news in the state. This year, the center received 85 submissions, the highest number in the history of the program. Planet Princeton was one of 10 award winners this year.

We will continue to cover this story this year.

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  1. Congratulations on the award! PP’s reporting has really benefited our community and made it better. I hope you are able to keep it up!

  2. Congratulations! And thank you for the continued coverage of such a horrific event.
    Princeton Planet rocks!!!

  3. Planet Princeton and its editor deserve the local news award for the coverage of the callous collapse of the nursing home. Other local media (developer media) were either late or did not report what happened.

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