We're a new, independent nonprofit
dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York. We're here to listen to people's concerns, dig into them and deliver strong stories.
Any worry about confusion with the City of New York?
No worry on our end - maybe you should ask the mayor what he thinks. Just kidding - the moniker is a good conversation-starter (ditto for our masthead mascot,
Nellie the pigeon
). We have a sense of humor about the possible confusion, but we also see our name as a strong statement on who we are and our goal of serving our city through sharp local journalism.
Who did you recruit?
I've been incredibly blessed to hire 17 journalists whose previous gigs have included The Daily News, the New York - and Washington - Posts, WNYC, NY1, ProPublica, DNAinfo and The New York Times, among other places. We've got a great mix of folks on various levels, including experience. Some are in the early stages of their careers, other have been doing this for a while - among them Greg Smith, Alyssa Katz, Jose Martinez, and Hasani Gittens, to name a few.
What type of stories interest you? Which ones don't?
We ask ourselves on every story we tackle: How is what we're reporting affecting or potentially affecting people's lives? Our people-focused accountability reporting has led us to a pretty wide variety of stories that includes examining government spending, delivering on promises, and the many challenges facing New Yorkers.
When a CITY reporter calls a nonprofit, given the thrust of your coverage, should they be worried?
No. We have no agenda beyond our mission statement.
Tell us about you. Why did you want this job?
The boring part: all about me. I was born in Brooklyn, where I've lived my whole life (I obviously don't get around much). I've been steeped in local news ever since I can remember, and started honing the craft in college as an intern for some local papers that included The Westsider, The Chelsea Clinton News and what's now Downtown Express. I latched on as a staff reporter at The Express and eventually became the editor. I worked for nearly 15 years at the Daily News, starting as a staff reporter and ending up as city editor. I left in 2006 to start the
NYCity News Service
at what is now the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. I was lucky enough to work at the Daily News, which was my father's paper, and CUNY, which was my mother's school. Now I have an opportunity to play a role in building a new institution that aims to serve New Yorkers at a time when more local news is very much needed.
What impact do you hope to have?
We want to help drive the civic conversation, drive media coverage and drive action. We want to connect (or reconnect) New Yorkers to local news via coverage where they see their concerns reflected - or at least get valuable insight and useful information about navigating life in the city.
We ask everyone this. Give us some advice on how to pitch THE CITY.
Check out our site. We're looking for stories that both seem in our wheelhouse and are likely to tell us something we don't know. Concise, to-the-point email text and subject lines - especially the subject line - will help the cause.
What is your biggest pet peeve about the way people pitch you stories.
Basically the opposite of the above: stories we'll never be interested in, with cutesy, teasing subject lines and flabby, meandering body text.
How can people get in touch with you to pitch a story?
Shoot me a note at
. You've heard it before, but I can't respond to every inquiry. I will often times pass along emails to other members of our team. They might not always get back to you, either. But we are looking and listening.