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CCNY students get a lesson in love and journalism from the New York Times

CCNY Journalism Students Love City New York Times
CCNY student reporters (left to right) Greta Mantilla, Radhamely De Leon, Philip Laudo, Katie Herchenroeder, Michael Ailes, Maty Drame, Tajae Hinds, Sonyi lopez, Austin Steele (Not pictured: Anthony Viola)
New York Times magazine Love City cover
One of 24 New York Times Magazine covers

On a rainy Saturday in May, ten journalism students from the City College of New York fanned out across the five boroughs – from Clinton Hill to Riker’s Island, Bronx Center to the Flatiron – and beyond. Their mission: to help create Love City, a special issue of The New York Times Magazine dedicated to love in New York City.

The student reporters worked with some of the best photographers in the country during this 24-hour odyssey of romance, lust, and heartache to photograph 24 couples kissing between 12 am and 11:59 pm on May 19. Their task: to quickly identify the couples in each photo – their names, where they were from, and most importantly, what their story was.

Student reporters included:

  • Michael Ailes
  • Radhamely De Leon
  • Maty Drame
  • Katie Herchenroeder
  • Tajae Hinds
  • Philip Laudo
  • Sonyi Lopez
  • Greta Mantilla
  • Austin Steele
  • Anthony Viola

Student Austin Steele hustled to keep up with photographer Ruddy Roye in Brooklyn. “I had to chase and interview the couples on the spot. Then transcribe the interviews and pull out the most interesting quotes – in as short a time as possible.”

Student Mely De Leon refined her interviewing skills on the fly while working with Hannah La Follette Ryan, the photographer behind @subwayhands. “I learned how to get as much information as possible within the few minutes we had…and about a lot of really beautiful love stories of normal everyday couples living their lives in New York City.”

In addition to the 24 different covers of the special issue, which were distributed to subscribers and newsstands at random, the New York Times Magazine also posted photo essays and videos online.

The collaboration – the first of its kind between The New York Times and CCNY – was facilitated by New York Times Magazine contributing writer Linda Villarosa, who also directs the journalism program at City College and Jeannie Choi, the Associate Editor of the New York Times Magazine.

Linda Villarosa: “The New York Times believes in our mission; it was an honor to have the vote of confidence in our students. I’m extremely proud to teach here at City College and to have this group of students who can shine at a high level.” 

Jeannie Choi, Associate Editor of the New York Times Magazine, responded: "Everyone on our staff who worked with the students from the City College of New York's journalism program was impressed by their skill and willingness to work hard to get accurate and interesting information from their subjects. We could not have accomplished such an ambitious New York issue without the students' contributions."

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

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Contact: Rebecca Rivera rrivera@ccny.cuny.edu (212) 650-7028