History & Mission
Crosscut was founded in 2007 by David Brewster. When it went not-for-profit in 2009, Crosscut joined the first-wave of local, independent, digital news organizations that included the Texas Tribune and MinnPost. It’s hardly surprising that Puget Sound’s entrepreneurial culture would give rise to innovation in news.
Crosscut believes that an informed public is essential if we are to find solid solutions to the civic and political challenges of our time. As the Pacific Northwest’s reader-supported, independent, non-profit electronic journal, Crosscut strives to provide our readers with the facts and analysis they need to intelligently participate in civic discourse on politics, culture and technology.
Become a supporting member
Crosscut is a reader-supported news site, made possible by the generous support of our civically minded members. By becoming a sustaining member of Crosscut, you ensure the future of independent news here in the Northwest. You’ll receive many perks in return, including member discounts on all Crosscut events, special invitations to in-depth, exclusive events with local civic leaders, a featured spot on the Crosscut website, free downloads of Crosscut eBooks, even have the opportunity to have coffee with Crosscut Editor-in-Chief Mary Bruno! In addition, your membership constitutes a tax-deductible gift!
By becoming a member, you make it possible for us to provide you with the insight and in-depth analysis you need to fully participate in civic life; to be, as Bill Moyers would say, a citizen not just a consumer.
Click here to become a sustaining member of Crosscut.
Crosscut sponsors are positioned in front of hundreds of thousands of engaged, civic-minded readers who care about and influence the Puget Sound region. With 1.6 million unique visitors each year, Crosscut provides our sponsors with the opportunity to reach a loyal, affluent, influential and educated group of readers over a one-year term. Our editorial and event sponsorship levels make underwriting rates affordable, and because of our 501(c)(3) status, your support may constitute a tax-deductible charitable donation.
Learn more about our 2015 Sponsorship Menu.
Read about Crosscut’s current sponsors.
Advertising on Crosscut positions your organization in front of hundreds of thousands of engaged, civic-minded readers who care about and influence the Northwest region. With 1.6 million unique visitors each year, advertising on Crosscut introduces your company to a loyal, affluent, influential and highly educated group of readers.
Crosscut publishes its own journalism and commentary. Our contributors (numbering about 100) are contract writers, freelancers, on a prominent figures in the community or in a given field, and regular folks and specialists who have something to report or something to say. We welcome anyone who brings something new to the community’s conversations. Contributors are paid on a per story basis, though some of our writers are on contract. We encourage you to send queries at any time, on any subject: email@example.com.
Why does Crosscut highlight news from other sites? Do we really need a middleman to navigate Internet news?
If you’re like most people, you don’t have time to read two or three daily papers and a handful of blogs, any of which on any given day might have something you shouldn’t miss. Crosscut finds and highlights the best local journalism and the best local commentary, whether it’s the work of the biggest metropolitan daily newspaper or a part-time blogger. We link to whoever’s got the best stuff, focusing on good journalism not ideological consistency. Other media sites aren’t likely to steer you to a competitor’s version of news, even if it’s better.
Crosscut takes no stance as an organization except to encourage and strive for good journalism that is accurate, fair, civil, and transparent. Our political disposition is to encourage communities to find creative and sustainable solutions to major issues. That puts us in the zone of independent, bipartisan, “solutionist” politics. But we strive to reflect good reporting and commentary from many points in the spectrum. We do not have an editorial page and make no endorsements in elections.
Crosscut Public Media is a tax-exempt nonprofit overseen by a board of civic-minded trustees. Crosscut Public Media has 501(c)3 status with the IRS, and all contributions are tax deductible. Crosscut initially began publishing in April 2007 as a for profit LLC.
There are similar efforts around the country. The closest parallels are Minnpost in Minnesota; Voice of San Diego in San Diego; the St. Louis Beacon; the New Haven Independent; New West in Missoula and other Rocky Mountain cities; The Tyee in Vancouver, B.C.; the Texas Tribune in Austin; and The Bay Citizen in San Francisco. The general definition of these sites is: all-local, Web-only, locally owned, news-oriented (as opposed to ideological sites), publishing daily, and broad range of topics. This new form is growing fast, with most of the sites nonprofits, such as Crosscut. Here’s a recent overview of the trend in a New York Times article.
To learn about current job openings and internships at Crosscut, visit our Job Opportunities page.
Mary was Crosscut's Editor-in-Chief and Interim Publisher. In more than 25 years as a journalist, she has worked as a writer, editor and editorial director for a variety of print and web publications, including Newsweek, Seattle Weekly and ABCNEWS.com. Her book, An American River, is an environmental memoir about growing up along New Jersey's Passaic.
Tamara Power-Drutis is the Executive Director at Crosscut Public Media. Her background is in strategic partnerships and communication, with previous roles at the UW Center on Reinventing Public Education and Ross Strategic. Tamara also organizes the annual International Women's Day Speed Mentorship event with the World Affairs Council, providing an opportunity for young female professionals to receive one-on-one input and advise from established business and non-profit leaders. She serves on the board of the World Affairs Council, and previously served on the boards of the Young Professionals International Network, the Lesotho Connection, and New Connections. Tamara holds a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in International Conflict Resolution from Pacific Lutheran University, where she served as the Vice President of the Associated Student Body and was a Sustainability Fellow.
Drew Atkins is an editor and writer for Crosscut, focused primarily on technology, science, and education. His work has appeared in publications throughout the country, as well as Seattle Magazine, Seattle Weekly, Geekwire, Puget Sound Business Journal, and Seattle Business Magazine. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CFO Michael Crystal is the CFO of Crosscut. He has over thirty years of financial and strategic management experience, much of that time spent in publishing. He was the CEO and publisher of Seattle Weekly and the publisher of Chicago Reader.
Editor Joe Copeland is a writer and editor for Crosscut, primarily overseeing political coverage. He has worked for Crosscut since 2010, covering most of the time since it became a non-profit organization. He was an editorial writer and editorial columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 2002 until its closure in March 2009. His editorial writing included the higher education, environmental and political beats. Before joining the P-I, he worked at The Herald in Everett as editorial page editor, city editor and a reporter. He has reported from Japan several times, most recently spending three months in 2009 as a Fulbright Scholar in Hiroshima. Some of the work is posted on Hiroshimastories.com. He continues to research the legacy of the atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He and his wife, a community college dean, live in Seattle. They have two grown children, Sean and Cathy.
Sherry Larsen-Holmes has been involved with nonprofits in the Puget Sound region for over fifteen years, She has worked and volunteered for human services and civic agencies in fundraising and administrative capacities. Sherry has served on the board of directors for Clear Path International (CPI), as well as local PTOs (including a stint as PTO president). From 2009 to 2013, she was Director of Administration and Grants Management at CPI. In 2013, Sherry worked as interim Executive Director at Healthy Start Kitsap. Sherry currently sits on the Nurse Family Partnership Regional Advisory Board and volunteers for Bainbridge Community Broadcasting. Prior to her career in nonprofit work, Sherry worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft Corporation. Sherry received a BA in Business Administration and Certificate in Fundraising Management from University of Washington. She lives with her husband, Bryce, and her three children, Ali, and Joli, and Austin on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
David Kroman is the city reporter for Crosscut. A Bainbridge Island native, David has also worked as a teacher, winery cellar hand, shellfish farmer and program director of a small non-profit. His Twitter is @KromanDavid and his e-mail is email@example.com.
Cambria Roth is Crosscut's Social Media Manager & Editorial Assistant. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in journalism, she worked as an intern for Willamette Week in Portland and now lives in Seattle. When she isn't tweeting and Facebooking her fingers to the bone, she enjoys getting outside to take walks, hike and snowshoe. Find her on Twitter @CambriaRoth.
Marissa Brent-Tookey is an editorial intern at Crosscut. She holds a B.A. in French from Seattle University and now studies film production at Shoreline Community College. In addition to crewing a dozen or so local film projects, Marissa recently produced a short that screened at Seattle International Film Festival. This is her first editorial position. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert LeCompte is an editorial intern at Crosscut. He studies communications and film at The Evergreen State College where he recently transferred from Maryland. When not working, he can usually be found writing on his blog, watching movies or writing scripts. You can follow him on Twitter at @RDLeCompte or read about movies on his blog, filmviking.wordpress.com.
Michael is a community engagement and development intern at Crosscut. He is a Bellevue native and graduated from Newport High School in 2012. He is currently a senior at the University of Arizona earning a degree in journalism with a minor in sports management. Prior to Crosscut, Michael worked for the Madison Mallards, a collegiate summer league baseball team in Wisconsin, as their marketing intern. He was also a camp counselor at the Mercer Island JCC for three summers. When not hard at work, you can find Michael working out, listening to music, playing basketball and relaxing with his friends.
Connor is a social media intern at Crosscut. He’s a Seattle native and is currently finishing a degree in communication from Washington State University. Before Crosscut, Connor worked as a radio DJ, ice cream chef, and furniture installer. When he’s not working, you can find Connor swimming, playing basketball, kicking back with friends and working out.
Brad is the Board Chair of Crosscut. As an attorney with Helsell Fetterman, Brad has represented plaintiffs in class actions and other complex matters in the maritime industry, as well as in cases of public interest in the Pacific Northwest. He was lead trial court counsel for eight couples in Andersen v. King County, in which he argued that Washington’s ban on marriage between same-sex couples was unconstitutional, and he has litigated property, trade and other commercial disputes, will contests, aviation accidents and other claims. For six years in the 1990s he was the firm’s managing partner. In the last few years Brad has devoted more of his time to writing, a life-long passion. He is working on two books, an historical novel set in a Massachusetts fishing town and a contemporary novel set in Seattle. In addition to chairing Crosscut’s Board, Brad donates legal services to King County’s volunteer legal clinics. He has donated flight time to Angel Flight, an organization that provides free medical air transport to those in need, and he has given hundreds of hours to representing same-sex couples seeking the right to marry.
Mike is Vice-Chair of the Crosscut Board and Chair of its Development Committee. His interest in local journalism began delivering the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from the back of a bicycle, and continued as he was a student editor at the Stanford Daily and a part-time reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Mike’s law practice at Foster Pepper focuses on antitrust and health care. He has been active on a variety of civic issues, including chairing the coalition seeking voter approval for light rail, and efforts to secure stable funding sources for road improvements. Mike was the first member of his family to attend college, Stanford, and has a law degree from the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the law review. Mike lives with his family in Issaquah and has served as a youth coach in the Issaquah Soccer Club for the last 10 years.
Chuck is the Treasurer of the Crosscut Board. In addition, he is the Chairman of the ACT Theatre Board of Trustees and serves on the Board of Directors at Town Hall Seattle. He is a retired Partner of Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young) where he concentrated on business planning and information technology.
Vanessa is the Secretary of the Crosscut Board, and a partner in Stoel Rives LLP's Litigation practice group. She has a broad range of trial and appellate experience representing clients in state and federal courts. Vanessa has experience in disputes involving commercial contracts, class actions, intellectual property rights, initiatives and referenda, employment, and trusts and estates. Before joining Stoel Rives, Vanessa was an associate at Dorsey & Whitney LLP (2000-2003); an analyst with Washington State Senate Committee Services (1999-2000); and a clerk (for Commissioners) at the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1 (1998). Before law school, Vanessa was a Teach for America corps member in Oakland, California (1993 - 1996).
Tony Benton has been heard over the airwaves on several different radio stations in the Seattle-Tacoma region, including KUBE 93’s “StreetBeat,” SportsRadio KJR AM’s “Get in the Game.” He has received several awards for his contributions to music, youth and community organizations in addition to serving on boards of organizations such as Thrive by Five, Seattle Public High Schools Radio/TV Advisory Committee and the Northwest chapter of NARAS, the National Academy of recording Arts and Sciences. Tony is a founder of Rainier Valley Radio, a 100 watt FM community radio station that focuses on the SouthEast Seattle community. As the founder and CEO of MUSICA Entertainment, LLC, Tony produces the King County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in Hip Hop, an annual music festival showcasing the Northwest’s emerging hip hop scene and celebrating the legacy of Dr. King. He is also creator of the Call to Conscience Black History Month Essay Writing Challenge and producer of the Call to Conscience Black History Month Celebrations in Tacoma and Seattle, WA.
Gene was a print journalist for 25 years, primarily with Dow Jones & Co. In Hong Kong, he helped start The Asian Wall Street Journal, then served as the paper's bureau chief in Manila and Bangkok. He later worked as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. Earlier, he worked for United Press International in Washington covering economics, politics and the White House. He served on the press staff of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey during the 1968 presidential campaign. Gene is a Seattle native, a graduate of the University of Washington and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He was a shipboard engineering officer in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He's a board member of the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and Stewardship Partners and is on the advisory committee of the Edward E. Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center at the University of Washington.
Janet Levinger is a Social Impact Leader in the Seattle area. Her vision is to create opportunity through engagement, advocacy, and philanthropy. Her focus areas include education, civic engagement, and reproductive rights. Janet chairs three nonprofit boards: Social Venture Partners Seattle , a global network of engaged philanthropists; League of Education Voters Foundation which advocates for excellent and equitable education; and Eastside Pathways, a collective impact effort in Bellevue, WA. Additionally, she serves on the boards of United Way King County, Thrive by Five Washington Crosscut.com , and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Janet worked in high tech for 16 years. She has experience in marketing/communications, fundraising, board governance, and training and development. She has a BA in English with honors from Brown University.
Cyrus Krohn is the Executive Producer of Cheezburger. He has been a cutting-edge communicator, digital innovator and new media executive for more than 15 years. Before co-founding Crowdverb, Krohn was senior director and executive producer at Microsoft, responsible for the content programming and business strategy for the lifestyle and local initiatives for the U.S. web portal, MSN.com. Krohn returned to Microsoft in May 2009 after a four year hiatus. Prior to Microsoft, Krohn served as director of the Republican National Committee’s New Media Division. He joined the RNC following two years at Yahoo! as director of content production and election strategy. While at Yahoo!, Krohn worked under CEO Terry Semel and Hollywood mogul Lloyd Braun who ran the Yahoo! Media Group in Santa Monica, California, creating original programming. Prior to Yahoo!, Krohn spent ten years at Microsoft. He was Slate Magazine’s first employee and then publisher while the webzine was owned by Microsoft. While publisher, Slate reached profitability and won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online. Krohn also managed the political advertising effort for MSN.com, the Microsoft Network and was executive producer at MSN Video. Krohn worked in CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau producing Larry King Live and Crossfire and served as an intern in the White House for Vice President Dan Quayle. Krohn served as president of the Washington State News Council, an independent, nonprofit, statewide organization whose members share a common belief that fair, accurate and balanced news media are vital to our democracy.
Greg Shaw is a senior director in Microsoft’s strategy group. He served as publisher of Crosscut and prior to that was a director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He writes for Crosscut and other publications on a variety of topics.
Jordan left city government in 2007 to accept the position of Vice President for External Affairs in the Seattle office of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association where he currently works representing marine terminal operators and container vessel operators that serve the West Coast, including the Port of Seattle. He is a board member of the Manufacturing Industrial Council as well as Washington Ceasefire. He also served on Mayor Ed Murray’s Transition Team and works with the Mayor’s office on maritime and manufacturing industrial policy. He previously worked for the City of Seattle under Mayor Paul Schell organizing communities and city departments to work together to solve chronic crime and livability problems. He later served as Senior Advisor for Public Safety to Mayor Greg Nickels where he continued his work with communities dealing with crime and other neighborhood issues.
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What Does Crosscut Publish?
Crosscut finds and highlights the best local journalism and the best local commentary, whether it’s the work of the biggest metropolitan daily newspaper or a part-time blogger. There is a multitude of worthy sources of information on the Internet, but few people have time to navigate them all.
Crosscut publishes its own journalism and commentary. These are stories and angles others have missed or ignored. Our news coverage aims to complement that of other providers, to extend exploration of events and issues, to possibly encourage resolution.
Crosscut embraces new tools and tries new things as technology evolves, mindful of the relative strengths of textual, photo, audio, and video journalism.
Crosscut publishes news, commentary, news about commentary, commentary about news — just about anything that is non-fiction. Our broad definition of news is anything people want or ought to know. Commentary is opinionated or rhetorical expression. Crosscut also welcomes content that suggests new ideas or ways of looking at problems.
We welcome contributions of words, photographs, audio, video, illustrations, charts, PowerPoint presentations, and anything else that is true to life. You don’t have to be a professional, but whatever you provide should be a rendering of reality supported by facts.
Crosscut is a local Web site. We publish material that is endemic or has a significant connection to the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or Montana, or the province of British Columbia. Obviously, certain activity in Washington, D.C., is of local interest, too.
Written contributions can be short, blog-like items or longer stories. Brevity is a virtue.
To contact our editors, email email@example.com with your story idea.
Letters to the editor
If you wish simply to express your opinion in a non-journalistic fashion, send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org. It doesn’t have to be about something on Crosscut. But it should be topical and relevant. And local.
Please include your real name, city of residence, and phone number so we can verify authorship. We won’t post your phone number or e-mail address, but we will post your name and city, and you should be prepared to see people comment on your letter on the Web site. We will withhold a letter-writer’s name for reasons that are compelling.
Submissions of journalism
You can submit story ideas to our editors at email@example.com. If you submit something more than a comment at the end of an article or a letter to the editor, you must fill out a contributor information form. If you are to be paid, you must sign a contract and fill out Internal Revenue Service Form W-9, and return them to us via snail mail.
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