Diane Cardwell is an award-winning independent Journalist who has covered a variety of subjects, including alternative energy, popular culture, politics, crime, and New York's hospitality industry. She is also the author of the surfing memoir, ROCKAWAY, which is to be published by June 2020.
Diane Cardwell has about forty years of work experience.
Her first “real” job was as editorial assistant for Even Days magazine, a current events publication that closed its doors in 1980.
Her first byline in the paper a dozen years ago carried this headline: Rapwear.
She worked at The New York Times as a Business Day reporter for more than 20 years and covered energy, with a focus on renewable.
She joined The New York Times in 1995 as a staff editor for the Sunday magazine overseeing arts and entertainment, and has been a reporter since 2000, covering crime, local and national politics, real estate and the New York hospitality industry.
Cardwell was among the inaugural writers of "Portraits of Grief," the Times' signature profiles of those killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, and helped found Vibe (magazine). She was the New York City Hall bureau chief from 2006 to 2008 as the first African Americans woman to hold that post in the paper’s 155-year history.
Before coming to The Times, she was an editor at 7 Days, an award-winning New York weekly.
She was a features editor at Details, the founding executive editor of Vibe and has contributed articles to numerous publications.
the most exciting part about my job is the opportunity to learn information I would never have been able to discover had I not been a journalist.
While her reporting has won the respect of editors and readers alike, Cardwell’s journalistic methods are unorthodox.
“I don’t look at documents.
Instead, I prefer talking to sources, listening to the tone of their voices and content of their explanations.
Her coverage of City Hall has earned her a reputation “as a shrewd and sophisticated observer of one of the city’s more curious institutions,” said The New York Times Metro Editor Joe Sexton, adding that her work “makes you laugh and cry, which pretty much means she got it just right”.
Diane Cardwell attended Dalton High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Harvard University. She was also awarded a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University.
Cardwell was born in 1964 and grew up in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. However, she lives and surfs in Rockaway Beach, Queens.