Zinhle Essamuah is a correspondent for NBC News and guest anchor on NBC News NOW and MSNBC — known for her eclectic mix of broadcast, documentary and digital storytelling that attracts fresh audiences to traditional and new mediums.
During her short time reporting at NBC, Zinhle has covered an expansive array of topics — climate, race, justice, policing and transportation; also anchoring MSNBC and NBC News NOW morning, afternoon and primetime evening shows.
In 2022, following extensive reporting on the Jackson water crisis for NBC’s Nightly News, Zinhle hosted a documentary special: Boiling Point: A City’s Fight for Clean Water, centering Jackson residents and pressing officials including Jackson’s mayor, NAACP President and CEO, and Congressman Bennie Thompson on the ongoing infrastructure issues. The same year, Zinhle’s investigative report into juvenile facilities in Louisiana led to new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement.
Zinhle’s 2021 report on fake landlord scams in Detroit resulted in one tenant earning funds to afford her home. Zinhle’s authentic and intrepid style reporting on mainstream issues from — abortion to the war in Ukraine — spur her reports to garner thousands and millions of views online and on broadcast.
Previously, she was a correspondent at NowThis News, the number one most watched video news creator on social media, where she anchored KnowThis, a daily evening news show. During the show’s three-year run, Zinhle anchored from New York City, Washington D.C., the battleground state of Pennsylvania during the 2020 election, and hosted the daily Instagram series and election/debate night specials for the show. As the franchise expanded, Zinhle went on to host KnowThis Live, a weekly live interview show delivering the biggest breaking stories spanning the globe.
As a correspondent, Zinhle covered breaking and long-form news stories around the country with a focus on politics, justice and culture. At NowThis, she led newsmaking and urgent interviews—including an exclusive one on one prime time interview with Vice President Kamala Harris on Discovery+ and OWN in 2021. Essamuah pressed political leaders on major issues affecting millennials, interviewing Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Trump administration’s policies, Rep, Adam Kinzinger on the GOP, Sen. Bernie Sanders on minimum wage, and more. Her on-trend prowess has led to one on one interviews with culture-shapers like Serena Williams, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Ava DuVernay, John Legend, and Daniel Wu. Zinhle’s original reports garnered millions of views—including her reports on Black Maternal Mortality amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce, environmental justice in Alabama, and investigative pieces on private immigration detention and sacred indigenous sites impacted by the border wall in the western USA. Essamuah was also a lead writer on the daily newsletter, KnowThis, and a frequent contributor to the NowThis Brief podcast.
Prior to this role, you could find her chasing stories around the nation and the U.S. Capitol as the Political Correspondent on NowThis Morning, a live digital morning news show. After the 2016 election, Zinhle opened NowThis’ inaugural Washington, D.C. bureau as a producer, where she championed on-the-ground live coverage of major protests, and reported on the history-making candidates of the 2018 midterm elections.
Truly, Zinhle’s love of story began behind the camera. She is an award-winning cinematographer and filmmaker whose freelance and corporate filmography has premiered on Starz/Hulu and at the St. Louis International Film Festival. She is a recipient of a Gracie Award for her original debut short documentary film documenting the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri.
Zinhle holds a Master’s degree in Media, Strategic Communication, and Documentary Filmmaking from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she co-founded the school’s first National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chapter.
As a first generation American with roots in the African diaspora, Zinhle (zing-clay) has a deep understanding of cross-cultural communication. Her incisive interviewing and hosting skills have earned her the opportunity to moderate events with the Aspen Institute, the United Nations, and more. She has been featured in Forbes, The School of the New York Times, Ghana Broadcast Corporation, Page Six, iHeartRadio, and Variety, and is a regular contributor to Cheddar News.
Zinhle has a special interest in teaching, and is a professor at The George Washington University in journalism and video production. Some of her greatest joys come from traveling and good conversation. In her free time, Zinhle brews tea, flips furniture, and loves to sing and play her guitars. And, well, that’s (simply) Zinhle. Follow her on Instagram @simplyzinhle, Facebook @zinhleessamuah, and Twitter @simplyzinhle.