NEW YORK, NY (Aug. 17, 2022) – THE CITY, an independent, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to serving the people of New York, is delighted to announce the appointment of Zainab Shah as its new director of engagement and audience. She joins from Talking Points Memo, where she served as their first director of audience and was responsible for growing and retaining membership as well as designing an audience-first publishing strategy. 

Shah has extensive experience in the industry and has served in key audience roles at Glimmer, an online magazine about tech culture; The Correspondent, a Dutch news site, where she helped launch a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign for their English-language expansion; and Buzzfeed, where she developed and implemented publishing processes for web and audio and facilitated a culture of experimentation across the organization that led to their early success. 

“I am thrilled to be joining THE CITY in their mission to serve the people of New York through hard-hitting accountability and service journalism,” said Shah. “I’m excited at the opportunity to collaborate with a stellar newsroom, expand its reach especially to folks who may benefit the most from The City’s vital journalism, and to represent the concerns of everyday New Yorkers. I can’t think of a better team to do this with, and can’t wait to get started.”

“Zainab brings a wealth of experience in developing and growing audience that will be instrumental in taking THE CITY to the next level,” said Richard Kim, editor in chief of THE CITY.  “Audience engagement is a core pillar of our work. We’re developing deeper bonds with our readers and thinking of new ways to bring our award-winning journalism to those who need it the most — and to listen to them. Throughout her career, Zainab has thought so creatively and smartly about audience growth and engagement and we’re excited to have her onboard to spearhead our efforts.“

THE CITY’s award-winning community engagement initiatives include its MISSING THEM Memorial Project and Civic Newsroom series.  In 2021, THE CITY won the Knight Award for Public Service for MISSING THEM, a living memorial that includes more than 2,600 publicly-identified deaths — all vetted with public records, searchable, filterable and grouped by occupation — and more than 500 obituaries. Through tips collected from MISSING THEM, THE CITY published more than 20 local accountability stories with partners such as Type InvestigationsNPR and Vox.

Building on the success of Open Newsroom – a series of neighborhood convenings that help us explore ways to make local news collaborative —  THE CITY launched the Civic Newsroom in 2021 to help New Yorkers navigate the crucial 2021 elections as voters geared up to elect a mayor to lead a city just starting to emerge from the pandemic. The wide-ranging project included a series of virtual events to help the organization learn about voters’ information needs, a weekly newsletter, and a number of guides, like who’s running for Mayor and how ranked-choice voting works. 

Shah begins her role on Sept. 12.


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.