Next City Welcomes Our 2021 INN/Columbia Journalism School Intern

Next City introduces Hayley Zhao, the 2021 INN/Columbia Journalism School Intern. Zhao graduated from Columbia Journalism School in May 2021 with a focus on education and environmental reporting.

“We’re delighted to renew our partnership with INN and Columbia for this internship,” said Editorial Director Kelly Regan, also a Columbia j-school graduate. “And we are fortunate to work with a journalist such as Hayley, who has emerged from her program committed to reporting stories that center the narratives of marginalized populations.”

This is Next City’s second internship offered through a program administered by the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and Columbia Journalism School. After graduation, Columbia students have the opportunity to land numerous special paid postgraduate reporting positions. Zhao will be working with Next City through November, writing stories related to transportation, environmental justice, food security, immigrant communities and more.

“I’m so excited to join the Next City team,” said Zhao. “I have learned so much from working closely with experienced editors like Kelly Regan and Rachel Kaufman.”

Zhao’s first piece for Next City has already been published: Dallas PD Expands Controversial, Though Successful, Mental Health Response Program. You can follow her Next City work on her author page.

Zhao’s goal is to produce more original work during her time with Next City. She looks forward to writing stories that seek solutions to issues like climate change and food insecurity. “With this internship, I hope to further explore solutions journalism and inspire real change in the communities we cover,” Zhao says.

In addition to this fall internship, Next City offers our annual summer Urban Affairs Internship for a college-level journalist of color. The internship has served six students and today the program is financially backed by a four-year partnership with the Emma Bowen Foundation, as well as aid from Next City supporters who donate during our spring membership drive.

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