City Limits Over the Years


City Limits over the years.

Over its nearly 44 years, City Limits has taken many forms. This week we’re officially launching our latest look: a newly designed website intended to make it easier for readers to navigate our many offerings and to engage with us in discussing how to get to the kind of city we all deserve.

Our first editions in 1976 were mimeographed and stapled together. Over the next decade, City Limits moved to a regular magazine format, and in the 1990s, to a glossy one. Then the website started. A Fax Weekly gave way to a weekly email newsletter. In 2007, the magazine shifted to being an investigative quarterly, then in 2012, we went all digital — well, except for the free print publications we’ve produced for neighborhoods facing rezonings and for senior centers. (Video, a radio program and live events are also part of how we tell the city’s stories, but the written word remains our stock in trade.)

What hasn’t changed over those four-plus decades is City Limits’ mission, which is using investigative journalism through the prism of New York City to identify urban problems, examine their causes, explore solutions, and equip communities to take action. City Limits exists to inform democracy and empower citizens to create a more just city.

Today we do that through projects like Mapping the Future, where we cover land policies in all their breadth and nuance; Age Justice, which reports on aging as a civil-rights issue; the thoughtful transit coverage of The Ride; and City on the Edge, your go-to source of news about how climate change is affecting local policy and people.

Voices of New York translates and amplifies the work of the city’s ethnic and community press, transcending barriers of distance and language and bringing the city closer together.

Una Ciudad sin Limites is our new Spanish-Language reporting effort, producing in-depth policy news en Español and from a Latino perspective.

The City Limits Accountability Reporting Initiative For Youth (CLARIFY) is our paid youth-training program, under which local students learn—and produce—public-interest reportage.

Those special reporting projects complement our regular stream of coverage of education, government, justice, the politics of art, food policy and more.

The best way to keep up with this news is to subscribe to our free Weekly newsletter, or the free newsletters for Mapping the Future and Voices of New York.

It’s not just news, but tools, that City Limits offers. Our job board includes dozens of openings in multiple sectors in the metropolitan region. And our NYC Toolkit offers basic resources for New Yorkers who want to exercise their rights, contact the powers that be, or become better-informed residents.

Indeed, whatever medium we’ve used, City Limits has never been a one-way street. We’re proud of our open-door policy for CityViews op-ed articles, which reflect the diversity and complexity of the city. (Let us know if there’s something you want to write about). We welcome comments on our articles, and encourage you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. News tips and questions about the city are also encouraged, and there are plenty of other ways to get involved with City Limits.

If you want to learn about our reporting standards, see some examples of the impact we’ve had, contact us, or reprint our stuff — those tools are also at your fingertips.

The best way to get involved, of course, is to become a member. Our members represent more than a source of support (we also rely on foundation grants and digital sponsorship advertising to sustain our operation). Members represent a sounding board for ideas, and a community that gets to know each other at events, whether it’s a public panel or members-only brown-bag lunch. They’re the people who care enough about the city, and the kind of news City Limits produces, to step up and sign on.

If you’ve read this far, I have a feeling you’re that kind of person, too. I hope you’ll subscribe to our newsletters, and sign up to be a member or support us with a different kind of donation—today.

Most important, I hope you’ll keep reading, and continue telling us what you think we ought to cover in this great city of ours. It’s a new year—a perfect time for us, with your help, to do the job we’ve always done, just a little bit better.

Sincerely yours,

Jarrett Murphy

Executive Editor

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