NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2021 — THE CITY, an independent, digital news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York, won the inaugural Nonprofit News Breaking Barriers Award from the Institute for Nonprofit News for its coverage on food delivery workers during the pandemic. The award-winning nonprofit newsroom was also named national finalists in the following categories: Startup of the YearCommunity Champion Award and Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism

The Deliveristas’ Long Journey to Justice, which won the Breaking Barriers Award,  followed the plight of food delivery workers in New York City during the pandemic for over a year, bringing to light the hardships they faced on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers. Reporters Claudia Irizarry-Aponte and Josefa Velasquez’s coverage led to the New York City Council passing a set of bills that ensured bathroom access, minimum pay and more for the app-based delivery workers who kept New Yorkers fed during the pandemic.

“This reporting is vivid and full of voices,” the judges said in a statement. “ THE CITY’s reporting on immigrant delivery workers also felt timely and urgent and impactful. New York City passed a sweeping set of laws just two weeks ago to help address many of the problems presented in these stories.”

Launched in April 2019, THE CITY was named a finalist in the Startup of the Year category, which “honors a young organization (operating for less than three years) for establishing strong journalism and the revenue, reader and community support to sustain it.” 

THE CITY produces consistent, high-quality and high-impact accountability reporting. THE CITY’s work is free to all and does not require a subscription. Instead of charging for access, the award-winning nonprofit relies on the support of members, donors and sponsors.

THE CITY’s MISSING THEM Memorial Events were named a finalist in the Community Champion category. The events connected a wide array of New Yorkers dealing with the collective loss of losing loved ones to COVID-19. 

The efforts also drew more attention to MISSING THEM, a collaborative journalism project between Columbia Journalism School and the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY

that used crowdsourcing to gather stories about New Yorkers lost to COVID-19. To date, nearly 600 obituaries have been produced. 

THE CITY’s Civic Newsroom initiative and Meet Your Mayor tool garnered recognition in the Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism category. Civic Newsroom produced a series of explanatory stories and newsletters to help voters navigate the primary elections, while Meet Your Mayor, an interactive guide, matched New York voters with the candidates who saw issues the same way they did. 

Winners included; Mississippi Free Press for Startup of the Year, Book Club Chicago for the Community Champion award in a large newsroom, and Resolve Philly for the Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism.

Fellow finalists included; Block Club Chicago, Sahan Journal, and the 19th for Startup of the Year; The Nevada Independent for Breaking Barriers in a large newsroom; Public Source for Community Champion in a large newsroom; and the Bridge Michigan and Prism for the Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism.

“The media landscape is shifting and nonprofit newsrooms are leading the emergence of new journalism models that are committed to public service, community-building and equitable representation,” the judges said on the award website. “The [Nonprofit News Awards] recognize areas in which nonprofit newsrooms uniquely excel, such as through newsroom collaboration and civic coverage, community-building and the expansion of public engagement and trust.”


ABOUT THE CITY: THE CITY ( is a nonprofit digital news platform whose mission is to produce free-to-read, local reporting that serves the people of New York City. Launched in 2019 to fill critical local reporting gaps, THE CITY covers New York’s uncovered neighborhoods, holds the powerful to account, and helps make sense of the greatest city in the world. THE CITY Scoop, its flagship newsletter, is delivered weekdays and Sunday, while additional newsletters serve New Yorkers with news they can use on housing, jobs and civic engagement.

ABOUT The Institute for Nonprofit News: The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports more than 350 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. INN programs help these news organizations develop revenue and business models to support strong reporting, collaborate on editorial and business innovation, share services and advance the diverse leaders who are forging a new future for news.