Our Mission and History

City Limits uses investigative journalism
through the prism of New York City
to identify urban problems,
examine their causes, explore solutions,
and equip communities to take action.

Founded in 1976 in the midst of New York’s fiscal crisis, City Limits exists to inform democracy and equip citizens to create a more just city. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by foundation support, ad sponsorship and donations from readers.

Our Standards and Practices

Read here.

Our Impact

Over the years, City Limits has exposed dozens of issues and elevated hundreds of voices. Here are just a few examples of areas where we’ve made a difference:

•We were the first news organization to comprehensively investigate the flaws in New York’s use of financial bail, and our reporting informed work by human-rights organizations that in turn spurred action by the state court system.

•Our reporting on the mayor’s affordable housing plan and the concerns about low-income renters and non-profit builders being excluded prodded the discussion that led to changes in the city’s approach in 2016.

•Our 2010 investigation of one of the convictions related to the Brian Watkins murder led to that defendant, Johnny Hincapie, being released from prison after 25 years after his case was reopened.

•The 2013 series “Flaws in City’s MWBE Program” preceded significant efforts by the city to reform their programs for giving those firms a fair shot at city contracts.

•Our 2018 reporting about commuter railroad fares and transit accessibility informed proposals by City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Dutchess County Executive/GOP Gubernatorial nominee Marcus Molinaro to improve the transit system.

•In 2013, City Limits raised questions about the state’s casino gambling plan that proved prescient when those facilities significantly underperformed.

• Four months after our investigation of the LLC loophole in NY State election donations, the State Senate passed a reform measure to begin closing the loophole; City Limits coverage contributed to the legislative push that is now nearing success.

• An investigation of 20 years of firefighter fatalities that we published in 2011 has been cited in Fire Engineering magazine and in the annual report of the Texas Department of Fire Investigation.

• Many of the 18 tenant protection bills recently introduced to the Council address issues that were first covered in City Limits, including buyouts—which we reported on as early as 2014—and issues around violations, permitting and the affordable housing lottery.

Our Staff & Contributors

Adina Berliant
Development Manager


Harry DiPrinzio
Associate Editor for Engagement and Social Media


Jeanmarie Evelly
Deputy Editor/Youth Program Manager


Sadef Ali Kully
Staff Writer


jmprofilenewJarrett Murphy
Executive Editor


Daniel Parra
Spanish-Language Reporter/Editor


Fran ReillyFran Skennion Reilly


IMG_0453Abigail Savitch-Lew


Adi Talwar


Our Board

Mark Edmiston, chairman
Managing Partner, Civil Management LLC

Andrew Breslau, vice chairman
Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Downtown Alliance

Dan Rubin, treasurer
Managing Director, First Republic Bank

Mark Coatney
Vice President of Digital News, Forbes

Erica Gonzalez
Deputy Director, Power4PuertoRico

David R. Jones
President, Community Service Society

Mark E. Lieberman
Director of Research, Carpenter Contractor Alliance of Metropolitan New York.

Jeff Maclin
Vice President for Governmental and Public Relations, Community Service Society

Martha Nelson
Former SVP and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! and former Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc.

Brent Phelps
Chief Operating Officer, AdPrime Media

Our Associate Board

Adina Berliant, chair
Development Manager, City Limits

Aliya Brown
Senior Program Associate, Enterprise Community Partners

Colleen Osborne
Product Marketing Associate Mobile, TED Conferences

Jesse Isleman
Legislative Counsel, New York State Senate

Kristine Mikkelsen
Campaign Manager, Hinge

Melanie Breault
Communications Associate, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development

Sam McAllister
Senior Content Manager, Vox Media

Steven-Emmanuel Martinez
Chief of Staff, Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services at NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Yoni Weiss
Designer, Jessica Weber Design

Join Our Associate Board
City Limits offers a limited number of Associate Board positions for New York City residents under 30 years old who are interested in being ambassadors for independent, investigative, local journalism by raising funds, and by bringing expertise that supports and expands our mission. Applications are currently being accepted here.

Our Awards

2019 Clarion Awards
Online Journalism: Special Feature Section

2018 Ippies
–1st place, Best Story About a Community (Abigail Savitch-Lew for “13 Years After Blocking New Development, Staten Island Hopes to Welcome Just Enough of It”)
–3rd place, Best Photograph (Adi Talwar for “NoBackspace: Vision Zero Works When Victim-Blaming Stops and Accountability Starts”)
–3rd place, Best Social Issues Story (David Brand for “NYC’s Cultural Plan Spurs Disabled Artists in Fight for Roles and Respect”)

2018 New York Press Club Journalism Awards
Best Feature-Internet: “NYCHA Crime Witnesses Face Obstacles When They Seek Safety” by Ese Olumhense (produced in partnership with The Investigative Fund)
Best Political Coverage-Internet: “Election 2017” by editor Jarett Murphy, photographer Adi Talwar, then-staff writer Abigail Savitch-Lew and contributors Kizzy Cox, Jonathan Gomez and Elizabeth Michaelson Monaghan.

2018 Silurian Medals
Science/Health: “Death Disparities” by Ruth Ford with Jananki Chadha and photographer Adi Talwar

2017 Ippies
Best Multimedia Package: First Place, “Cleaner Creeks and Bays, But How Will New Yorkers Access the Waters They Own?” by Adi Talwar and Guglielmo Mattioli

2017 Ippies
Best Social Issues Story: Second Place, “Do NYC’s Middle-Class Families Really Need Affordable Housing?” by Abigail Savitch-Lew

2016 Clarion Award
Online Journalism-Special Feature Section: On the Border of Justice

2016 National Headliner Awards (with WNYC)
2nd place, radio: The Cost of Our Water

2016 Society of the Siluruans Award
Environmental reporting: Green Jobs Gone Missing

2016 New York Press Club Award
Continuing coverage

2016 New York Press Club Award
Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award: Ben Hattem

2016 Ippie Award
Best Social Issues Story: Linden Plaza’s Saga by Abigail Savitch Lew

2016 Ippie Award
Best Photograph: Adi Talwar

2014 Ippie Award
Best Social Issues Story, 1st Place
The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at that CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

2013 Silurian Society Award
Best News Commentary
The Society of Silurians

2013 Ippie Award
Best Story on an Immigrant Community, 3rd Place
Best Story on a Social Issue, 3rd Place
The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at that CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

More awards