Gotham Gazette is a pioneering nonpartisan New York City-based online watchdog publication that covers city and state government, and has a rich tradition of reporting on local elections as well as policy that affects everything from the spaces where New Yorkers live and play to police tactics and civil rights. It is published by Citizens Union Foundation.
Our overarching goal is to inform New Yorkers and enrich and enliven the debate over the decisions that affect everyone who lives or works here — or simply cares about America's largest city.
Published frequently throughout the week, Gotham Gazette is a public interest journalism platform that brings New Yorkers illuminating analyses and original investigative reporting on policy and politics, the actions of elected officials and long-form interviews with thought leaders. It is also a platform for citizen engagement — featuring tools for video, audio, text and social media interactions — and a nonpartisan forum for officials, advocates and thinkers to present their views on the issues New Yorkers face.
In all of this, we aim to provide coverage that is fair, informative, accessible and lively.
Formally launched in 2000, Gotham Gazette came to prominence with the 2001 city elections after term limits resulted in open seats in 36 of the 51 city council offices, four of the five borough president offices, and all three citywide offices — mayor, comptroller and public advocate. With its in-depth coverage and easily accessible material online, Gotham Gazette became the “go-to” source for information about the candidates and their campaigns.
It was among the first online news publications in the country to provide a daily aggregation of links to the morning news from various media sources, including all the major dailies. It also performed a valuable public service by being one of the definitive sources of information about the recovery and rebuilding of New York City in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Incorporating Citizens Union Foundation’s heralded coverage of City Council meetings under “Searchlight on the City Council," Gotham Gazette came to be known for its comprehensive reporting on city government. The issues and policies it covered were organized into twenty different topic areas, allowing readers to follow specifically what they were interested in.
In 2008, the publication expanded its coverage of city issues by adding reporting on state government issues that affect the City of New York by opening its Albany bureau.
Gotham Gazette has won many awards and much praise, including the the 2009 and 2003 Online Journalism Awards for General Excellence, given by the Online News Association, and the 2002 award for service journalism; the Innovator Award from the Pew Center for Civic Journalism; the Journalism Award from the New York chapter of the American Planning Association; and an honorable mention from the Games for Change News Game contest. We are the only publication to have won two Knight Foundation News Challenge grants — in 2007 and 2009. Our past contributors have gone on to work for The New York Times, Reuters, Newsday, Wall Street Journal, NY1, Next City and many other media organizations.
Columbia Journalism Review said this about Gotham Gazette in 2011:
“It’s no secret that many Americans are shamefully uninformed about their elected representatives, particularly at the local level. The blame for this can often go as much to local press as to citizens themselves, but thanks to Gotham Gazette, an online source for what’s happening in the world of NYC government, citizens of the nation’s largest metropolis will have to to blame something other than the media if they can’t name their borough president or the nuances of the latest bond issue.”
GOTHAM GAZETTE AND CITIZENS UNION
Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York, a nonprofit organization that conducts in-depth research on public policy and promotes public policy solutions. The foundation is affiliated and shares governance with Citizens Union, a good government group founded in 1897, which works to make democracy work for all New Yorkers. Citizens Union serves as a civic watchdog, combating corruption and fighting for political reform. It works to ensure fair and open elections, honest and efficient government, and a civically engaged public. Here is the latest annual report from the two organizations, describing their finances and Gotham Gazette’s.
Gotham Gazette is editorially autonomous from Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation, but the three organizations share budgets and resources. Gotham Gazette is an important part of the ideals of Citizens Union – as a watchdog publication committed to accountability journalism, its work helps to an informed and engaged public is crucial to the work of holding government and elected officials accountable to their promises and actions.
Gotham Gazette is a journalistic enterprise and, in no way, shape or form do our reporters or staff engage in lobbying activities on behalf of Citizens Union.
Gotham Gazette strives to be as transparent as possible in its reporting and, in the rare occasions when our journalists write about issues that Citizens Union is working on or when we quote Citizens Union staff directly, we make our affiliations known to the extent possible. We also strive to present more than one voice on every issue that we cover, even if it is one that Citizens Union has a vested interested in seeing pursued. In that regard, there may be times when the editorial goals of Gotham Gazette clash with the views of Citizens Union.
Gotham Gazette also makes space available on its website to Citizens Union Foundation in the form of “modules” to publicize their research reports and newsletter, The Reformer. These are clearly marked throughout the site, and are separately maintained by Citizens Union Foundation staff.
Gotham Gazette receives support from the Altman Foundation, the Fund for the City of New York, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and readers like you. We also accept advertising, which you can learn more about here.
Beginning in 1999, the Charles Revson Foundation invested a series of grants in Citizens Union Foundation to create Gotham Gazette, the first website of its kind in the nation. Since then, Gotham Gazette has evolved into a model for nonprofit journalism across the country, particularly for online local news sites. The Gazette also has received significant grants from the John and James L. Knight Foundation to create policy games and other news tools.