Mary Bruno joins as editor-in-chief

Veteran writer and editor complements our existing strengths, while nudging us toward higher standards.

It is with great pleasure that Crosscut announces Mary Bruno has joined the newsroom as editor-in-chief. Mary brings to Crosscut deep editorial experience and leadership with newspapers, magazines and websites on both coasts. Her curiosity, sharp eye for lively content and great track record of working with seasoned and aspiring writers combined to make her a perfect complement to our team.

Before she started, I asked Mary for a few thoughts on how we can continue to grow and improve Crosscut. I won’t share it all yet, but her summary of what she wants Crosscut to become is worth sharing.

Crosscut spotlights and scrutinizes the geniuses and the knuckleheads, the boondoggles and the game-changing visions. We use the power of online media to inform, enlighten, clarify and (let's not forget) entertain. Mind-numbingly complex issues don't scare us. Boredom scares us. As far as we’re concerned, to bore is to fail. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

Most recently, Mary published an environmental memoir ("An American River," DeWitt Press) about growing up along New Jersey’s Passaic. She also served as executive editor of the environmental news magazine Grist, and worked as an independent media consultant for clients such as Revolution Health and Lee Enterprises, Inc.

In 1997, she helped to launch ABCNEWS.com and managed its Seattle-based editorial team, becoming the site’s Executive Producer in 1999. She moved on to the general manager position at OnHealth.com, and then to HealthTalk.com where she served as the vice president of programming.

Before she dug into journalism, Mary dug into a few bogs in Ohio and South Carolina, earning a master’s degree in freshwater ecology from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. For the next few years, she studied wetlands and published several scientific papers.

In 1983, she left the field of ecological research to become a writer. Since then she’s covered sports, science and education as a researcher and writer for Newsweek, and written about art, salmon, guns and health care for the Seattle Weekly. She penned a monthly sports column for New York Woman magazine, and was the founding news editor for MrShowbiz.com, the web’s first entertainment site. 

Greg Shaw is the former publisher and CEO of Crosscut.


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Comments:

Posted Thu, Jan 10, 12:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Great choice. Congratulations!

LiamL

Posted Thu, Jan 10, 3 p.m. Inappropriate

Excellent! More great talent for Crosscut.

gmgd

Posted Thu, Jan 10, 8:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Mary sounds like a really interesting choice. The friendly challenge I would offer is to go beyond upping Crosscut's game within mainstream journalism's conventions. What's really needed right now is a wholesale reconceptualization of "local news."

Some might assume that I'm primarily talking about how to adapt to a brave new world of electronic technologies. Not really. Journalism's biggest crisis in the 21st Century is how to adequately inform and engage the public regarding increasingly complex, murky and fast-moving issues such as climate change.

Oh-oh -- not another single-issue activist, you say? Nope. Climate change is merely one of a growing number of unprecedented issues that contemporary journalism has largely failed to integrate into its regular coverage -- particularly at the local level.

I would invite Mary to use Crosscut to pioneer the development of what might be dubbed sustainable community journalism -- a more future-focused and whole-systems approach to addressing current events. Sounds overly obtuse and boring? Not if you do it right.

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 2:05 p.m. Inappropriate

So much for a "reconceptualization of local news" or for anything different from business as usual. Crosscut's been steadily going down the toilet under Mary Bruno, whose writing would embarrass an eighth grader. Aside from the occasional piece of insight from writers like Eric Scigliano or Hugo Kugiya, does anyone seriously believe this web rag has any clout?

CharlieE

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