MercerMe is…

a hyperlocal, independent, online news outlet serving the greater Hopewell Valley in Mercer County, New Jersey.
Independent: We’re not a franchise! We’re grassroots – committed to our community and nobody else.
Hyperlocal: We’re all members of the community we cover. Our reporters and contributors report on the community in which they live and/or work.
Woman-owned: MercerMe is fully run by Jill of Several Trades, Mary Galioto. This former lawyer who lives in Hopewell Borough also works as the PR & Media Coordinator for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, is a freelance writer, and has two little kids.
Reliable: We’ve been serving our readers with news since 2013. In that time, we’ve published nearly 2,500 news articles that have been read 1,000,000 times. Yes, one million!
Community and advertising-supported: We are so appreciative to our subscribing readers and advertising sponsors. Their support is what makes your local news possible. Want to advertise with us? Check out this link.
Really popular! We’re honored that 11,000+ visitors read MercerMe every month to get the news they need about our community – news they can’t get anywhere else.
What people are saying about us!
MercerMe is unquestionably our best local news source for immediate up to date information regarding any issues throughout the Hopewell Valley. It’s everyone’s go-to.
– Lisa Wolff, Executive Director FoHVOS

Tips: Get Local

pinkoly3 copyWhat makes MercerMe special is hearing local voices on about local issues. If you would like to share information with the community about a local organization, event, special interest story, or have a suggestion regarding additional content, we welcome your contribution. We’re friendly and love to hear from our readers. We welcome guest posts, suggestions, comments and tips on news events. For information about our policies, please see this link.

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MercerMe Team

Mary Galioto
1069 POSTS87 COMMENTS

Founder, Publisher & Editor. Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR & Media Coordinator for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

Madeline Ference
18 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Reporter. Madeline Ference is a current student at The College of New Jersey studying journalism and professional writing and hopes to go into social media marketing in the future. She is a lover of dogs, specifically pugs, classic rock, and anything that will elicit a good laugh. When she isn’t writing or working to fuel her shopping addiction, she can be found soaking up the sun at the beach, binge watching her favorite shows on Netflix, and always making time for a much-needed nap.

Renata Barnes
37 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Author of “The Taste Chase” column. A lover of all things poetic, colorful, funny and inspiring, Renata is the author of “The Taste Chase,” MercerMe’s own food review column. A native New Yorker, who grew up in Hopewell Valley and spent the better part of her adulthood back in NYC, currently finds herself in a growing love relationship with “the Valley”. Latin food, Indian saris and mehndi, French perfume, African music, Middle Eastern spices, South American jewels, Asian fabrics and anything from just about any island (maybe not Riker’s Island) are things that remind her to go out and taste the world, live passionately and always wear deodorant. The mother of one rambunctious boy and the wife of a mellow fellow, Renata tries to put her too many years of university and her film and writing talents to good use here in NJ. “I’ve spent too much time trying to fit in some where when I probably belong everywhere.  That slow revelation has been freeing.”

Highlights and History — We’re awfully proud!

The Beginning: MercerMe was born from a mommy-blog written by now publisher Mary Galioto and two friends. MercerMe and its current model was established in December of 2013 to provide the sorely needed news this community has been looking for. The publication has since continued under Galioto’s guidance, always with our readers and our community in mind.
MercerMe Received a Grow and Strengthen Grant along with support and mentorship from Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media in 2014.
“As the news business gets tougher and newsrooms continue making layoffs, we’re excited to see entrepreneurs fill the gaps,” said Debbie Galant, then-associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media. “We can give them a helping hand so they have a better chance of making it through the challenging first year.”
MercerMe Welcomes Mayor Cathleen Lewis as Columnist: From 2014 to 2016, we were proud publishers of a column “Mommy Mayor” by Lawrence Township’s former mayor, Cathleen Lewis, who wrote of her take on work-life balance and life as a publically involved working mom.
Letters to the Editor: We started accepted letters to the editor in October 2014 to expand community participation possibilities and ensure that MercerMe really continues to serve as the community’s news source.
The Taste Chase: One of our highlights is our popular column, The Taste Chase, written by Pennington resident Renata Barnes. She scouts out the tastiest treats from all corners of Mercer County. Yum it up and binge on some of her past reviews by clicking this link!
MercerMe’s Cut Throat Cookie: This is not your grandma’s holiday cookie exchange. Not unless your grandma is well versed in smack talk and has a filthy mouth. MercerMe’s Cut Throat Cookie is a competitive and lively cookie contest and exchange that brings together the love of baking and the glory of bragging. Wonderfully organized and hosted by MercerMe’s best and bravest supporters most notably the amazing Renata Barnes (also of The Taste Chase) and also a great shout out to the Rukensteins for opening their home and hospitality to this motley crew.