Crosscut journalism: a mix aimed at depth

Many Crosscut writers come at their subjects from backgrounds in various professions rather than from experience in journalism.

As someone who spent many years in newspapers surrounded by dedicated people specializing in journalism, I have found one of the pleasures of Crosscut to be working with equally dedicated people who are writing because they know a great deal about subjects in which they have specialized, the communities in which they live, or the issues about which they are passionate. The result is often journalism that offers readers a great deal of depth and insight.

Journalism is often a consuming profession. It certainly doesn't take people away from community concerns, but sometimes it distracts writers and editors from the ways their lives and those of their neighbors are being affected by government and public policy.

One of the advantages of citizen journalism is that it can help focus our attention on some of the aspects of policy and daily life that aren't always front and center in more traditional models. So, we are very pleased to offer as wide a range of writers and opinions as possible here at Crosscut, mixing professional journalists with those who write well but who have trained in other disciplines. We have writers with expertise in government, education, transportation, architecture, food, technology, and other areas.

We like to think the balance between journalists and those trained in other areas works pretty well, but we're certainly never satisfied with where we are. With grant support from the Knight Foundation, The Seattle Foundation and Crosscut will be working, for instance, to bring a wider range of voices, from less-heard demographic groups, to greater public attention in the region. And all of us have been working to bring new voices, from more perspectives, to readers over the past year. As the grant goes forward, we hope to use well-honed journalistic skill and expertise to bring greater depth to the news coverage of a few select topics.

Grant support very much grows out of membership support, so I hope you will consider joining Crosscut as a member or renewing your membership if you joined earlier. We really appreciate the help of those who have joined. A new model of news and commentary, one that builds on both the traditional strengths of journalism and the abilities and insights of many other in our communities, will depend on such support.

During our fall membership drive, we're also trying to make it fun to join the effort. There are daily chances to win tickets to movies and the like; anyone joining today (Thursday) has a chance for a pair of tickets to the Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio performance, part of the UW World Series at Meany Hall on Oct. 20. That's in addition to a shot at a Kindle — anyone joining or renewing this week (by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2) will be entered in this week's drawing for a Kindle.

We hope you will join us in the adventure of creating deeper connections between journalism and the public, and help us meet the challenges of achieving that. 

Joe Copeland is political editor for Crosscut. You can reach him at Joe.Copeland@crosscut.com.


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