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March Issue Probes the Harlem Children’s Zone
After undergoing an extensive makeover, the first issue of the new City Limits magazine has been published under its new ownership, the Community Service Society (CSS). The March edition of City Limits features an expose on the Harlem Children’s Zone and probes the merits of the Obama administration’s decision to model its Promise Neighborhoods initiative after the New York City program.
City Limits publisher Walter Fields announced, “This issue of City Limits represents a bold departure from our past, and an equally daring leap toward the future. Our readers will appreciate that while we have maintained our commitment to investigative journalism and high standards, we have made a major investment in the magazine that is reflected in its new design, features and the frequency by which it will be published. We are confident that our readers will appreciate the improvements and a generation of new subscribers will come to appreciate the detail by which we treat our subjects.”
The new City Limits magazine is now a bimonthly publication that is also available at 89 newsstands in the city. The magazine has been transformed from a black and white periodical to full-color, and supported by advertisements. As part of the magazine’s redesign, City Limits has adopted a new logo that better reflects the vitality of its journalism and the scale of the city it covers. The magazine has also been more closely aligned with the City Limits website – www.citylimits.org – and will often touch upon topics that will be extended online for further coverage. The new City Limits website is going live on February 11 to coincide with the publication of the March edition of the magazine.
City Limits Managing Editor for Print Media, Jarrett Murphy, has shepherded the transformation of the magazine. Murphy observed, “We have maintained the core of what we do best, probe serious subjects for discussion and deliberation, but now
packaged in a way that we believe will make reading the magazine that much more engaging. It will be obvious at first glance, with our full color layout and new elements that help dissect our subjects.”
The March issue examines one of the nation’s most lauded youth initiatives, the Harlem’s Children Zone, led by the charismatic Geoffrey Canada. The Harlem Children’s Zone, which encompasses a 97 block area of Central Harlem, has been widely praised as an innovative and comprehensive approach to youth development. Even with its favorable reviews, the Harlem Children’s Zone remains an enigma in urban America; a well funded effort with significant political support. Questions remain as to whether it can be replicated elsewhere. City Limits looks at the latter question and weighs the merits of President Obama’s choice of the Harlem Children’s Zone as the model for his Promise Neighborhoods initiative. We simply ask, “Does it really work?”
City Limits magazine is unique for its focus on a singular subject in each edition. The magazine has a tradition of probing timely topics that have far reaching impact on the city. By taking this approach, City Limits gives its readers a more comprehensive view of public policy than most multi-topic periodicals. The enhancements to the City Limits website are also designed to give the magazine’s readers additional background on the subject featured in each edition.
In November 2009, City Limits was acquired by the Community Service Society (CSS), one of New York City’s leading not-for-profit organizations and a national leader on issues of poverty. CSS purchased the news organization from City Futures, Inc., as a commitment to independent journalism in New York City and to ensure the continued operation of City Limits. CSS Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, Walter Fields, was named publisher. To help facilitate the transfer of ownership and make necessary improvements to the City Limits magazine and website, CSS also committed $1 million toward its restructuring. City Limits is operating with editorial independence from CSS, and effective July 1, 2010 will be spun-off as an independent not-for-profit corporation.
Publisher Walter Fields pledged, “We will do more of what we did great in the past, while at the same time introduce new elements to our coverage that will make City Limits more informative, and a better value for our customers. Our aim is to expand the reach of City Limits as a reliable lens on the urban condition. We are pleased to present our March edition and believe that our readers will be pleased as well.”