We are honoring YPs improving New York City through their work in journalism.
Congratulations to our February Spotlights of the Month, Erin Durkin and Annie McDonough!
I got my first taste of city reporting as a college student, covering development fights in West Harlem for the Columbia Spectator. I guess I was hooked. From there I started as an intern at the Daily News, covered local news in Brooklyn, and then became a City Hall reporter. I’ve found urban policy and politics to be a pretty perfect fit for my interests and have been lucky to have the opportunity to delve into so many aspects of it.
It’s a point of pride to help give New Yorkers the information they need everyday about their city and how it works, and help them make informed decisions. I’m especially proud of the stories that have a concrete impact in leading to change.
Stay curious and remember that the biggest part of reporting is showing up. On a more practical level, it’s a rough industry these days so if you choose to take the plunge, try to prepare yourself for ups and downs along the way.
It might have been the moment I had the thought that I can’t gain any more weight because I’m exactly the size of a subway seat.
I’ve wanted to be a journalist since high school, when I realized I loved writing but had a terrible imagination for writing fiction. Writing for school papers and doing internships through college helped me realize that I love reporting, too. After college upstate, I moved to the city for a graduate journalism program at New York University, knowing that New York is one of the best places in the world for anyone who wants to go into journalism. It’s competitive, but it’s also where so many of the opportunities are. I got an internship at City & State during my last semester at NYU and by a massive stroke of luck, they had a job opening for a technology reporter. I eventually got the job and started full-time on the same day I turned in my graduate thesis project. To date, I’ve published lots of articles and zero works of fiction.
I’m most proud of helping launch our technology policy coverage, and our email newsletter First Read Tech. The powers that be at City & State saw a gap in coverage of New York’s growing tech sector and how tech is being regulated by the state and localities. Launching a newsletter like First Read Tech is so exciting because we’re building it from the ground up, constantly trying to better inform our readers. The goal of First Read Tech is to provide analysis and need-to-know news to both New York politicos and tech professionals about the convergence of tech and policy, and I think we’ve made some great progress on that goal since we launched last January.
Journalism is notoriously a difficult field to enter these days and a lot of factors that were out of my control led me to the full-time reporting job that I have now and really love. That said, I think it’s important to get as much reporting experience as you can early on, whether it’s at a college radio station or freelancing for a community newspaper. I’m pretty sure that when applying for my job at City & State, I submitted clips not at all relevant to tech or politics – like a story about a Broadway cabaret club – but they showed reporting and writing skills that would hopefully transfer to magazine features I’d write for City & State. Without getting stretched too thin, try to say yes to as many different reporting opportunities as you can. You never know which coverage areas you might find fun and exciting.
This is a tough one because I don’t yet call myself a New Yorker. I moved here in 2017 and while I don’t buy into the idea that you can only call yourself a New Yorker after a certain number of years, I think I still have a way to go. Having my first good public cry in Tompkins Square Park and the guys at Veselka memorizing my order seem like pretty good stepping stones, though.