This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 23/06/26.
Introducing Zach Baker, the Citizen’s first full-time reporter
You may have noticed some recent articles on the Citizen by Zach Baker, a newcomer to the Citizen team. Zach is a journalism student from the University of Missouri, and is working with us on a paid internship thanks to CAPA. So far, he’s covered local events including an Iftar meal and a fashion show, and worked tirelessly through election night to provide the Citizen‘s liveblog. Immediately after that, of course, he reported the result in Croydon Central. Then he went to bed.
An aspiring photojournalist, Zach has also been photographing our great borough since the moment he got here. Keep an eye out for his photographs in print and web Citizen articles. He’s aiming to bring a fresh perspective to Croydon’s vibrant community through strong visuals and writing. Above all, he loves speaking to people and telling their stories – he’s therefore a perfect fit for the Citizen.
When we launched our supporter programme, a major goal for the Citizen was to engage a full-time reporter for the first time. Our largely opinion-driven content is popular and successful, but with traditional local journalism getting squeezed more and more each year, we feel that primary news-gathering is a space we need to be prepared to step into.
So when we were approached with the opportunity to take on an award-winning investigative journalist and staff photographer, we jumped at the chance. Zach hails from Chicago, so Croydon’s notorious windiness makes him feel right at home. He says his love of architectural photography is also feeling very fulfilled as he walks our varied streets, camera in hand.
Sadly for us, Zach’s placement ends in early August and he’ll return to the United States to continue his career. His time in Croydon is enabling us to cover more events as they unfold, but that’s not all. We’re building and testing the systems that will allow us to hire someone like Zach on a permanent basis when our supporter programme is raising enough money to do so.
Zach is enthusiastic about Croydon and has been made to feel very welcome by everyone he’s spoken to so far. If you’ve got a story, tip, or event that he should cover, email him today.