Polly Irungu

Digital Content Editor, The Takeaway

Multimedia journalist, digital editor, and photographer Polly Irungu is the founder of Black Women Photographers, a community and online database of Black women photographers.

Polly is a Digital Content Editor at New York Public Radio (WYNC), where she is responsible for managing social media for WNYC and PRX’s ‘The Takeaway’, a national NPR show with over 2 million listeners, pitching news stories and features for The Takeaway and her podcast is ranked the 4th most downloaded, amongst others. 

As a photographer, Polly’s work has been published in numerous publications, including Refinery29, NPR, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, HuffPost, OkayPlayer, OkayAfrica, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and the University of Oregon.

In 2017, Polly completed a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Polly has lived around the world from Nairobi, Kenya to Topeka, Kansas to Eugene, Oregon to Washington, D.C., and ultimately to Brooklyn, New York.

Polly Irungu has spoken about social media, branding, podcasting, media diversity, African media, COVID-19, and photojournalism at US institutions such as the University of Oregon, and as a panelist for The Guardian - Nigeria, Public Ambition, Twitter, NBC News, Hustle Summit, National Association of Black Journalists, and Online News Association. 

Polly Irungu appears in the following:

Black Women Will Likely be Hurt the Most by the Looming Eviction Crisis

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Research shows that Black women have historically faced evictions at twice the rate of white people in at least 17 states.


Finding Hope and Resilience in 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

It’s been a tough year. We discuss the hope and resilience that got us through the collective trauma and devastation of 2020.


How Hollywood Leaders Can Make the Film Industry Less White

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Last week, the Oscars announced a new set of standards that Best Picture nominees will need to meet starting in 2024. But the vast majority of recent nominees would still make the cut.

Losing a Parent to Police Violence

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Freelance photojournalist Montinique Monroe talks about her father, Paul Monroe, who was killed by police on April 15, 1993. 

Racial Disparities Likely to Grow As Schools Overhaul Disciplinary Policies for COVID-19

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Over time, school disciplinary policies have been administered unequally, with Black students, Native American students, and students with disabilities punished disproportionately.

People with Mental Illness Are More Likely to be Shot by the Police

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, a person with severe mental illness is 16 times more likely to be killed in an encounter with police. 

Chadwick Boseman's Death Puts Spotlight on Colon Cancer Health Disparities

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

As with so many diseases, colon cancer is one that disproportionately affects the Black community in this country. 

Community Demands Answers After Another Police Shooting by LA Sheriff's Department

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

A look into the killings of Dijon Kizzee, and Andres Guardado.

The Challenges of Completing the Census During a Pandemic

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

The Census Bureau will stop counting in San Diego and other parts of the country on September 18. That date is even earlier than the previous September 30th deadline.

A Lawsuit Demanding Reparations, 100 Years After the Tulsa Race Massacre

Thursday, September 03, 2020

This week, people in Tulsa filed a lawsuit demanding reparations for victims and descendants of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 

Is the Fashion Industry Reckoning with Its History of Racism?

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

As protests against police brutality spread across the U.S. this summer, major fashion brands and companies expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter. 

Trump Administration Policy Could Pause Evictions for Millions of Vulnerable Renters

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a nationwide eviction moratorium for renters making less than $99,000.

The Critical Work of Black Women in the Democratic Party

Thursday, August 20, 2020

According to a recent survey, 87% of Black women identify as Democrats, making them one of the most party-loyal demographics in the U.S. Yet, they’ve often been sidelined by politicians.

The Whitewashing of Women's Suffrage

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The 19th Amendment sought to grant all women the right to vote. In reality, it really only applied to white women. 

The Future of Policing in America

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Takeaway recently convened five voices—across law enforcement, advocacy, academia—and asked them to come together to talk about the way forward.

'Father Soldier Son,' Presidential Protocol, Black Women Photography Community, Dinner Party, Edie Falco

Thursday, July 16, 2020

'Father Soldier Son' documentary. Former U.S. chief of protocol. Black Women Photographers community. Dinner Party new album. Edie Falco on 'The True.' 


What Vogue's Latest Cover Tells Us About Diversity in Photography

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Earlier this week, the magazine Vogue came under fire for the cover of its August issue, which features the celebrated gymnast Simone Biles photographed by Annie Leibovitz.  

A Photography Community for Black Women

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Polly Irungu on founding Black Women Photographers.


Black Women Photographers Collective

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

A global collective aims to get Black women photographers hired more consistently by newsrooms and media organizations. 


Georgia Passes States First Hate Crimes Bill

Thursday, June 25, 2020

On Tuesday, Georgia lawmakers passed the state’s first hate-crimes legislation.