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Crosscut Public Media is a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization. Founded in 2007, Crosscut’s mission is to reveal and strengthen the civic and cultural life of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We do this primarily through our online daily news magazine, Crosscut.com, devoted to high-quality journalism and commentary. We are nonpartisan and self-sustaining.
Below are a few links that will give you a quick introduction to Crosscut:
- Our team
- Our board
- Editor’s picks from 2012
- Subscribe to our daily newsletters
- Become a supporting member
- Advertise or sponsor
- Submit a story
Our readership is concentrated primarily in Seattle, the Eastside of King County, Olympia and Tacoma, but we also have a loyal following throughout the Pacific Northwest, prompting our catch-phrase, “News of the Great Nearby.”
Crosscut was founded by David Brewster in 2007, and is now led by Publisher and CEO Greg Shaw, who reports to the Crosscut board of directors. Our business model emphasizes maximum community impact through a relatively small staff that works closely with a stable of just over 100 freelance writers and contributors with specific news or assignment “beats.”
Crosscut supports itself with revenues from the following sources:
- Foundation support
- Individual donors
- Earned revenue from advertising, sponsorships, events and e-book sales.
This mix of revenues reflects the fact that a new model for journalism in America is emerging, and Crosscut is playing a role. High quality, online-only, nonprofit news is being closely followed by the federal government, academia and large foundations such as the Pew and Knight Foundations. Crosscut Seattle, The Texas Tribune, the MinnPost and a handful of others are moving this experiment forward, something the U.S. Senate also has followed in recent years with its hearing on the Future of Journalism.
Crosscut works to shine a bright light on issues ranging from education to at-risk-youth, the environment, technology, culture and other state/local policy issues. With today’s fragmented media landscape, we simply don’t have the resources of traditional print and broadcast to report on a fire, a game or a vote. Instead we focus on explaining the why and the how that community leaders demand. Crosscut’s community of more than 100 smart, experienced writers and editors can flesh out, supplement — and at times contradict — traditional print and broadcast reporting. Our readers want independent analysis — data, evidence and sound logic — to inform, engage and activate our region on the most important and the most relevant civic and cultural topics. They also expect to enjoy our site, to be entertained.
Crosscut is optimistic, in the face of a generally pessimistic mood in journalism, for several reasons:
Do you have your own writers?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
What is Crosscut's editorial stance? Are you liberal or conservative?
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.
Who owns Crosscut? What are your sources of revenue?
Crosscut Public Media is a tax-exempt nonprofit Washington corporation overseen by a board of civic-minded members. 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.
Is there anything else like Crosscut out there?
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.
- Greg Shaw, publisher and CEO
- Mary Bruno, editor-in-chief
- Berit Anderson, editor
- Joe Copeland, editor
- David Brewster, editor-at-large
- Terri Hiroshima, marketing and external affairs
- Michael Crystal, CFO
- Marilyn Hoe, membership director
- Knute Berger, Northwest culture, heritage & politics
- Judy Lightfoot, poverty, youth, human services
- Eric Scigliano, community, neighborhoods, politics
- Tony Robinson, religion
- Art Thiel, sports
- Floyd McKay, regional politics, coal ports
- Dan Chasan, environment and law
- John Stang, state capitol policy and politics
- Alison Krupnick, education
- Alice Kaderlan, arts
- Valerie Easton, books
- Colin Tong, community health
- Stephen H. Dunphy, business
- Nicole Capozziello, $15 or less columnist
- Martha Baskin, environment (Green Acre Radio)
- Robin Lindley, history and books
- Bradley Bagshaw (chair)
- Tom Alberg (vice chair)
- Chuck Sitkin (treasurer)
- Vanessa Power (secretary)
- Rita Brogan (marketing committee chair)
- David Brewster (founder)
- Eugene Carlson (director)
- Tonya Dressel (director)
- Maryel Duzan (director)
- Greg Shaw (director)
- Mike Vaska (director)
- Bill Ruckleshaus (emeritus)