THE CITY’s Investigative Reporter Wins Izzy Award for Groundbreaking Coverage on Lead Contamination in Public Housing

Greg Smith’s winning report “The Toll of NYCHA’s Lead Lies: A Brooklyn Girl Poisoned as Officials Covered Up Danger,” tells the story of one resident impacted by false reports about lead contamination in her complex

Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

NEW YORK, NY (April 26, 2022) – On April 26, Ithaca College’s Park Center for Independent Media awarded Greg Smith, an investigative reporter for nonprofit newsroom THE CITY, with an Izzy Award for his coverage of safety hazards in public housing. 

In his article, The Toll of NYCHA’s Lead Lies: A Brooklyn Girl Poisoned as Officials Covered Up Danger, Smith uncovers how 5,000 public housing apartments run by the New York City Housing Authority were contaminated with lead paint, although they had been deemed clear of any contamination years prior.  His reporting called out the legacy of NYCHA’s failure to ensure the well-being of its residents.

“Such big-city nonprofit newsrooms are crucial because corporate media too often overlook major stories affecting the urban poor,” the judges commented. 

Award recipients also include  Indigenously journalist Jenni Monet, for her coverage of the history of violence and injustice against Native women and girls; the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for their investigation into tax havens in the United States; and the Better Government Association, and Block Club Chicago for their joint coverage of corruption in healthcare and its harmful impact on low-income people.

The Izzy’s are awarded for outstanding achievement in independent media and is named for I. F. “Izzy” Stone, who exposed government deception, racial bigotry and McCarthyism in 1953.

ABOUT THE CITY: THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York. Our reporters pound the pavement in all five boroughs, working with New Yorkers to tell their stories and make their lives better. We’re here to listen to New Yorkers, dig into their concerns and deliver stories that drive the public conversation and set the agenda on key issues. At a time when the media has been upended by technological, economic and political shifts, we want to reconnect people back to local news – and reconnect local news to getting action. THE CITY has more than 50 awards and recognitions, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the New York Press Club, and the Silurians Press Club.