New Brunswick Today has been serving the city of New Brunswick, NJ (home to Rutgers University) since 2011. The paper covers community matters, corruption, culture, real estate development and more.
Recently, the paper has been focused on the spike in gun violence since the COVID-19 pandemic. Justin Freid, head of digital strategy at New Brunswick Today, turned to Cloudflare to help mitigate repeated attacks on the site that started in late 2015. He is familiar with journalists being threatened and harassed due to the sensitive nature of their work. “Our journalists have been targeted with physical and online threats, so we have to be diligent and aware of the security tools and precautions we use.” says Freid.
New Brunswick Today appeared on an episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee focused on saving local news. The episode highlighted the importance of local journalism and its role in the community after one of NBT’s stories caught nationwide attention for its coverage of public corruption at the city water utility.
Freid explains the difficulty of keeping the New Brunswick Today’s website secure and reliable for the community it serves. “It is a full time job to keep our server up and running and secure," he says. "Before Cloudflare’s Project Galileo’s it kept me up at night as we were repeatedly targeted by attacks that could take our reporting offline. As a small local newspaper, we need a partner like Cloudflare to act as our defense against threats to silence our journalists' voices.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization started to use Cloudflare Gateway to filter and block malicious attacks and phishing attempts. They route their traffic through Gateway, with policies maintained and enforced via Cloudflare’s dashboard. “We use Gateway on our editors so that we can browse more confidently. As a local newspaper, we receive source material and are worried it may contain malware looking to thwart our systems and possibly steal sensitive information about pieces that are being written by the paper,” says Freid. “The idea that Cloudflare is able to filter malware before it reaches our devices increases confidence for our journalists that they need when they write, investigate and publish stories to keep citizens of New Brunswick informed on local issues.”