THE CITY, a New Non-Profit Digital News Outlet Readies for Launch with Support from The Revson Foundation
With the once robust metropolitan news coverage in New York dwindling, a new nonprofit website called The City is teaming up with New York magazine in hopes of replacing some of that lost local accountability and investigative journalism.
The City will be led by Jere Hester, a lifelong Brooklynite and former city editor at The Daily News, where he spent almost 15 years. Mr. Hester expects to hire 15 journalists to focus on beats like transportation, politics, affordable housing, health care, education and climate change. He plans to start publishing articles in January.
“We’re really hoping to not only do some good here, but also to kind of reconnect people to civil activity,” said Mr. Hester, 52, who since 2006 has been the director of the NYCity News Service at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. “To me, the best stories are the ones that bubble up from communities.”
The partnership will allow The City to immediately reach New York magazine’s large audience, an unusual starting point for a news operation, said Kai Falkenberg, the executive director of The City and a former first deputy commissioner of the New York mayor’s office of media and entertainment.
The City will be accessible through the magazine’s website, and some of its articles will be posted there. The magazine will also provide technological infrastructure and office space, at least for the time being. But there will be no financial connection between the two organizations.
“It was hard to see a downside,” Adam Moss, the editor of New York, said.
“Our name is New York,” he added. “We can’t possibly do enough local coverage, and so this will offer us an opportunity to bring local coverage to our readers.”
Local news in New York has been battered recently. In July, The Daily News cut half of its already reduced staff. The Village Voice shut downfor good last month. The news sites Gothamist and DNAInfo were shut down by their owner last year. (Gothamist was revived this year by a new owner, New York’s public radio station, WNYC.)
It’s this coverage void that The City is hoping to fill.
The site has raised nearly $8.5 million in funding — including $2.5 million each from the Leon Levy Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation and Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist...