Cynthia Rodriguez is a Metro Desk reporter at the country’s largest public radio station, WNYC. Rodriguez joined the news staff in 2002. She’s covered immigrant communities, the city’s dramatic rise in family homelessness, attempts to reform the city’s vast child welfare system following high-profile child deaths, and the dire conditions of public housing.
Most recently, Rodriguez has been reporting on the shooting deaths of mentally ill people by police and attempts to shut down Rikers Island, the city’s dysfunctional and violent jail complex. She was also part of “Caught,” a well-received podcast that documents how the problem of mass incarceration starts young.
Rodriguez’s award-winning stories include investigations into the deaths of construction workers during the city’s building boom and the “three-quarter-house” industry—a network of independent, privately run buildings that pack vulnerable people into unsanitary, overcrowded buildings in exchange for their welfare funds.
In 2013, Rodriguez was one of 13 US Journalists to win a prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan where her study project was on the intersection of poverty and mental health. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, she moved to New York City in 1995 and considers both places home.