David Escobar

David Escobar covers diversity in the Adirondacks for the Adirondack Explorer & North Country Public Radio. He previously served as the news editor for WFUV 90.7 FM in the Bronx. Along with mentoring student reporters, he produced, directed, and hosted the station's daily news podcast "What's What". Escobar has also worked as an associate producer for the podcast and radio show "Our Body Politic" and as an intern for WNYC's "The Takeaway". His journalism career started at WFUV as an anchor and student reporter. Prior to working in journalism, Escobar researched the history of Chinese migrant labor at the John Muir National Historic Site as an intern for the National Park Service. He has a master's degree in public media from Fordham University, where he also earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and digital technology & emerging media.

Fernando Figueroa

Fernando Figueroa covers the environment and climate change for The Ithaca Voice in NY. Figueroa previously worked as the environment beat reporter at The Independent Florida Alligator covering local protests, hurricanes, and the University of Florida administrative transition's implications on university climate policy. He also worked at WUFT covering Florida's water quality, Gainesville's regenerative agriculture, and sustainable architecture. Figueroa grew up in Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish. Outside of the newsroom, he loves to cook for his friends and will never miss an opportunity to dance.

The Ithaca Voice

The Ithaca Voice is a hyper-local independent non-profit news organization that covers the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County. As corporate media entities in the area have declined, The Ithaca Voice has made its mission to cover anything and everything newsworthy that happens in our community, from the good to the bad to the off-beat to the ugly. Our vision is to be enterprising, accurate and forward-thinking in our coverage to engage and inform our audience about the local issues impacting their daily lives.

Adirondack Explorer/North Country Public Radio

The Adirondack Explorer was founded in 1998 as a watchdog for the Adirondack Park region of Northern New York. The Park is a blend of private and public lands, with 103 towns and villages. The Explorer focuses on environmental and economic issues and the sustainability of this public park/community model. North Country Public Radio is an NPR member station founded in 1968 serving northern New York and Vermont, including the Adirondack Park. NCPR is a rural news service that seeks to tell the stories and improve the lives of people who are often overlooked by other news outlets.

Arabella Saunders

Arabella Saunders covers economic development for New York Focus. Prior to joining the newsroom, Saunders’ freelance work appeared in VICE, HuffPost, DCReport.org, The Assembly NC and more. Her journalism career began in high school, where she served as editor-in-chief of the school’s newsmagazine. In 2018, she was a runner up for the National High School Journalist of the Year. In college, she worked for The Daily Tar Heel and also as a freelancer. She covered topics that ranged from Snapchat porn scams to the undercounting of COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina prisons. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media as well as English and comparative literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A fun fact about her is that she has a Joan Didion-inspired tattoo.

Shannon Chaffers

Shannon Chaffers covers the epidemic of gun violence in New York's Black, immigrant, and under-resourced communities for The New York Amsterdam News’ Blacklight investigative unit. Prior to joining the Amsterdam News, Chaffers spent a year in Berlin, Germany as a Fulbright Young Professional Journalist. She reported on the history and legacy of Berlin’s Olympic Stadium while also interning at The Local Germany. Chaffers’ journalism career began in her hometown of Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she wrote for her high school newspaper, The Bradford. She then attended Princeton University, graduating in 2022. She majored in Sociology and minored in Journalism, African-American Studies, and German and also served as the Head Opinion Editor of The Daily Princetonian, the student newspaper. Away from journalism, Chaffers loves playing soccer and cheering on her favorite team, Arsenal FC.

New York Focus

New York Focus unmasks power in the Empire State. As the only nonprofit publication with an emphasis on state-level coverage, we produce deeply reported, investigative stories on the systems, decisions and actors that affect communities throughout New York. While most local accountability coverage is directed at New York City, we keep an eye on Albany — the notoriously corrupt and quietly impactful center of power throughout the state.

The New York Amsterdam News

The New York Amsterdam News was started in 1909 with a yearning to tell the stories of people of color in New York City, and has grown to become one of the most important Black newspapers in the country. It reported on the fight for equality during the Jim Crow era and the civil rights movement, and with a weekly paper and a robust news site, averaging 500,000 unique visitors a month, The New York Amsterdam News works to continue to magnify the issues that most deeply affect communities of color.

Emily Kenny

Emily Kenny is photojournalist for Spectrum News in Syracuse, New York covering agriculture and food production. In 2021, she graduated with her master’s degree in photojournalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and, before that, she graduated from Buena Vista University as a dual major in digital media and psychology. The agriculture beat made sense for Emily as she grew up on her family farm in Schaller, Iowa. She has worked on multiple long-term stories: her master’s project about women and their insecurities, and the other focusing on her family’s farm. Emily resides in Syracuse, New York with her two dogs, Chanel and Athena.

Abigail Nehring

Abigail Nehring covers commercial and residential real estate for The Riverdale Press, a news site and weekly paper in the northwest section of the Bronx, a borough of New York City. Previously, she reported on health and education for The New Bedford Light in her home state of Massachusetts. Nehring won a New York Press Club Award for her reporting in City Limits on an East Village landlord caught on tape illegally harassing tenants and, along with Julia Angwin, was a finalist for the John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Prize for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting for their story on police use of stun grenades, known as flash-bangs, published by Propublica and The Atlantic. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and has also worked as a writing teacher, fact-checked magazine stories, and tended numerous varieties of thyme in a greenhouse.