Debbie Galant is director of the NJ News Commons, a news cooperative dedicated to supporting and improving journalism in New Jersey. From 2004 to 2012, she was co-editor of Baristanet -- one of the first and best-known hyperlocal news sites in the country -- which she founded in 2004. Debbie is also the author of three novels and a former Jersey columnist for The New York Times. The NJ News Commons is based in the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State, where Galant teaches a new class in local journalism. She is also, with Digital First's Tom Meagher, a co-founder of Hack Jersey.