Next City, a nonprofit news organization amplifying solutions for equitable cities, today announced the selection of Deonna Anderson to lead its newsroom as editorial director, bringing back a journalist who was once part of its Equitable Cities Fellowship.
An award-winning journalist based in the Bay Area, Anderson most recently served as a senior editor at GreenBiz, a media and events company focused on corporate sustainability, covering the circular economy and climate change.
“Joining Next City feels like a return home, as it was one of the first newsrooms where I reported as a professional journalist,” says Anderson, who was Next City’s 2017-2018 Equitable Cities reporting fellow.
“Since that time, it’s become more and more clear to me that journalists have the power to shift narratives in a way that has equity for all people in mind,” Anderson says. “People in cities across the globe continue to face housing insecurity, economic injustice, food apartheid and other issues. I’m excited to work with the Next City team and our writers to tell stories of the people who are solving these issues in their communities.”
Established in 2014, the Equitable Cities Fellowship offers journalists of color a one-year position to report on solutions that level the playing field for those who have long been denied equal opportunity because of power structures based on race, gender and sexual orientation. The fellowship is held today by Christian Betancourt, who covers borderland narratives. Next City’s senior economic justice correspondent, Oscar Perry Abello, began in 2015 as an Equitable Cities Fellow, as did housing correspondent Roshan Abraham in 2020.
During her time as a Next City fellow, Anderson reported on the push for public banking in Portland, a Black-led credit union created in response to police violence, a trauma-informed Indigenous workforce development program in Seattle, efforts to mobilize scientists on racial justice, and more.
Anderson has also held roles with YES! Magazine, KLCC (an NPR affiliate station in Eugene, Oregon), New York Magazine, The Marshall Project and other news outlets. She is an alumna of the University of California, Davis, and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
“We’re grateful to welcome back Deonna because she understands that solutions journalism has potential to disarm the harmful narratives holding back progress in cities,” said Lucas Grindley, executive director of Next City. “Deonna will ensure our newsroom always counters the status quo by centering the voices of marginalized communities in our subject matter, the sources we quote, and staffing.”
Next City is a news organization with a nonprofit model and covers solutions that liberate cities from systems and cultures of oppression. Next City further sets itself apart from other media by intentionally uplifting diverse perspectives. In the first 11 months of 2022, 65% of Next City’s stories were by writers of color — up from 52% in 2021, and 40% in 2020. Meanwhile, 70% of Next City’s staff are people of color.
Anderson begins her new role in January. You can celebrate her return to Next City by making a donation to the year-end campaign. Next City needs to raise $50,000 by December 31 to safeguard its mission and reach. And, through a generous $20,000 matching opportunity from NewsMatch, every dollar donated will generate an extra one to support the reporting that Anderson will lead in 2023.