THE CITY’s staff is united by a common mission: reporting hard-hitting stories that serve the people of New York.

We’ve assembled a team whose members bring a rich mix of work and life experiences, as well as hail from a variety of backgrounds. To learn more, see our most recent diversity report.

Claudia Irizarry Aponte

Claudia covers Brooklyn for THE CITY. Her reporting has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer and NPR’s Latino USA. A 2018 graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, she’s a recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Social Justice Reporting.

Reuven Blau

Reuven is a reporter for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Daily News, NY Post and The Chief-Leader.

Ann Choi

Ann is THE CITY’s data reporter. She previously worked as a data and investigative reporter for Newsday and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Her reporting has earned awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, the American Bar Association, the Society of Silurians and the Society of Professional Journalists, Florida. She graduated the University of Texas at Austin after emigrating from South Korea.

Christine Chung

Christine covers Queens for THE CITY. She was previously a local government reporter at Newsday and a 2015 graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

Ben Fractenberg

Ben is a visual producer for THE CITY. He previously worked at the Forward as a national political reporter and DNAinfo as a New York City-based reporter/photographer. He is a proud alumnus of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Hasani Gittens

Hasani is a deputy editor for THE CITY. His priors include senior news editor for and managing editor for He began his career as a copy kid at the New York Post and is a proud product of Baruch College’s newspaper, The Ticker.

Rosa Goldensohn

Rosa is a reporter for THE CITY. She was previously a reporter for Politico New York, Crain’s New York Business and DNAinfo, and also checked facts at The New York Times.

Yoav Gonen

Yoav is the City Hall reporter for THE CITY. Previously, he covered City Hall and education for the New York Post, after stints at the Staten Island Advance, NY Daily News and the Brooklyn Papers. Learned the ropes from Professor Blood.

Eileen Grench

Eileen covers juvenile justice for THE CITY and is Report for America corps member. She was previously an investigative reporter for the Global Migration Project, where her work was featured in The Intercept, The Nation, and Documented. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, Eileen was also a 2016 Olympian.

John Halpin

John leads THE CITY’s development effort as Associate Director - Development. John brings more than eight years of experience growing the development activities of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Mailman School of Public Health, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  He is a graduate of the Masters of Public Administration program at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Jere Hester

Jere is THE CITY’s founding editor in chief. Previous: founding director of award-winning NYCity News Service of Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY; New York Daily News city editor; editor of Downtown Express. Freelance: New York Times, New York magazine, NBC News, others. Author of “Raising a Beatle Baby.”

Alyssa Katz

Alyssa is a deputy editor with THE CITY and a former member of the NY Daily News editorial board. Previously, Katz was editor of The New York World and City Limits. She is the author of “The Influence Machine: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Capture of American Life” and “Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us.”

Jose Martinez

Jose is THE CITY’s transportation reporter. He previously worked on-air for six years at NY1 News, where he also hosted the weekly “In Transit.” He is a veteran of the city’s tabloids, covering courts at the Daily News and the New York Post. He began at the Journal News in Westchester County.

Clifford Michel

Clifford covers Staten Island and southern Brooklyn for THE CITY. He previously covered politics for the Staten Island Advance. His reporting has appeared in Gothamist, the Amsterdam News, Politico New York and Gotham Gazette.

Ese Olumhense

Ese is a reporter covering the Bronx for THE CITY. Before joining the team, she was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and at The Investigative Fund. Originally from the Bronx, she is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

Laura Osorio

Laura is THE CITY’s office manager. Prior, she was the office manager at the Research Alliance for NYC Schools at NYU. She is a proud CUNY Queens College graduate.

Terry Parris Jr.

Terry is THE CITY’s engagement director, managing THE CITY’s community engagement, social and audience strategies. Previously, he ran a team at ProPublica that did the same thing. Have an idea? He’s listening. Call, text, WhatsApp, Signal:

Gabriel Sandoval

Gabriel is a reporter THE CITY. He previously was a researcher at ProPublica, and an intern at WNYC, ChicoSol, Chico News & Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He studied business reporting at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Greg B. Smith

Greg is a reporter at THE CITY. He was a reporter at the New York Daily News from 1993 through 2018. His beats have included federal court, City Hall and public housing. He also is the author of several books, including “Made Men: The True Story of the Rise and Fall of a New Jersey Crime Family.”

Rachel Holliday Smith

Rachel covers Manhattan for THE CITY. She is proud to have previously worked for WNYC, DNAinfo and NY1 News. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Curbed New York, Gotham Gazette and others.

Josefa Velasquez

Josefa is the state Capitol reporter for THE CITY. She’s previously worked at The Associated Press, Politico New York and the New York Law Journal covering the governor and Legislature. Most recently she worked as a money-in-politics reporter for the startup Sludge.

Will Welch

Will is an interactives/graphics producer for THE CITY. He was previously a news applications developer at Newsday and graduated from Stony Brook University School of Journalism.

John Wotowicz

John is THE CITY’s publisher, overseeing all revenue, technology, business and operational activities. Previously, John was Managing Director and member of the European Investment Banking Operating Committee of Morgan Stanley and Vice President and member of the Global Management Committee of Dimensional Fund Advisors. John was a Board Member of NPR, Inc. and served as Vice Chair, Finance Committee Chair and Co-Chair of the CEO Search Committee. John was also a founding Board Member of the Texas Tribune. John is a graduate of Duke University (A.B.) and Columbia University School of Law (J.D.).


Daniel Laplaza

Danny is a community engagement intern for THE CITY. He is currently studying for an M.A. in Social Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he covers accessibility barriers in New York City.

Mekdela Maskal

Mekdela is a community engagement reporter, photographer and videographer focusing on food and climate justice in New York City. She’s studying at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Before journalism, Mekdela worked in media and e-commerce.