THE CITY Releases 2021 Annual Report On Third Anniversary

Groundbreaking reporting leads to passage of bills securing better working conditions for immigrant delivery workers; innovative interactive guide helps voters during unprecedented election cycle; and service journalism connects readers to local resources

NEW YORK, NY (April 4, 2022) –  THE CITY, an independent, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to serving the people of New York, released today its 2021 annual report on the occasion of the company’s third anniversary; highlighting the newsroom’s activities, impact, growth, and accomplishments for the past year. 

“Our city is at an inflection point, a moment full of peril and possibility of the kind that comes along perhaps once in a generation. If New York is to emerge from this moment a more equal, thriving, democratic home for 8.8 million people, it will be with journalism actively committed to the task,” said Nic Dawes, executive director of THE CITY

“At THE CITY, we have been working since our launch in 2019 to build a news institution rooted in the five boroughs, responsive to the needs of New Yorkers, and focused on accountability. In 2021, we were able to show what that looks like.”

In 2021 THE CITY focused on producing reporting that delivered better outcomes for New Yorkers, helped voters make sense of a confusing electoral cycle, and guided readers through the complexities of securing assistance and resources from the city. 

Better outcomes for New Yorkers

In September, groundbreaking coverage from reporters Josefa Velasquez and Claudia Irizarry Aponte 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. 

Their reporting unveiled the plight of indigenous Guatemalan and Mexican food delivery workers in New York City during the pandemic, bringing to light the hardships they faced on the frontlines of the pandemic as essential workers, earning them the Edward R. Murrow Award for feature reporting. 

Making sense of a confusing electoral cycle

In March, THE CITY launched Meet Your Mayor — an interactive guide that showed voters where candidates stood on 15 key issues of concern for New Yorkers during the primary election season. The tool was created to help New Yorkers navigate through a vast array of candidates in the June mayoral primaries, and see where their positions aligned.

Meet Your Mayor garnered more than 60,000 visits from New Yorkers looking for information ahead of voting in the weeks leading up to the primaries. 

Guiding New Yorkers to local resources

THE CITY provided clarity to New York’s complex social services infrastructure through their 

explanatory reporting and service journalism and doubled down on this commitment by dedicating a full-time reporter to produce services pieces and guides. THE CITY’s commitment to helping New Yorkers navigate city resources was further enhanced by THE CITY’s award-winning Open Newsroom, with newsletters and guides on accessing unemployment benefits, rental assistance, and the New York’s Excluded Workers Fund.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Reporting from THE CITY was republished or cited an average of 300 times per month.
  • Roughly 40% more people are reading THE CITY compared to 2020.
  • THE CITY averaged roughly 750,000 unique monthly visitors, and about 1.1 million page views monthly.
  • THE CITY’s flagship newsletter “THE CITY Scoop” reaches more than 56,000 subscribers.
  • THE CITY’s reporting earned more than 50 local and national journalism awards and recognitions.
  • Membership has grown to represent 10% of total revenues.

“New York may be the media capital of the world, but most of its leading outlets are ever more focused on distant horizons than they are on the people down the block,” said Dawes. “Our work is filling that gap and reimagining the way local news works, with a newsroom that listens to local communities, prioritizes diversity, and is unapologetic about its mission.”

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.