About Crosscut

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 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.”

Background

Crosscut was founded by David Brewster in 2007, and is now led by Editor-in-Chief and Interim-Publisher Mary Bruno, 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
  • Members
  • 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:

  • Journalism still matters, a lot. Quality, insightful journalistic writing and reporting will be demanded by business, cultural, community and other leaders forever. Leaders need the kind of context and perspective that news organizations like Crosscut can provide. This is particularly true at the local level, where commercial journalism is floundering. The question we must answer is whether we can scale to meet the demands of this influential market. Much is made of social media as the place where news is headed. But the fact is that social media depends heavily on actual news reporting. Without real journalism there would be little to “follow” or “like.”
  • The ingredients are here. Seattle has the four critical elements that we believe will set the course for the future of journalism – community-spirited donors, a web-savvy local population, well-educated readers and an under-utilized corps of writers and editors.
  • Crosscut is part of an important news landscape. Crosscut is one of the premier online sites for quality, community-based thinking and analysis. It has a passionate (and highly influential) following, a dedicated team of writers and editors and it has a technological platform to build upon. These are real assets.
  • Our readers! Crosscut’s readership has grown steadily in all its years of publishing. Our readers are the business, government, cultural and community leaders of our region.
  • FAQ

    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: editor@crosscut.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.

    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.

    Our team

    Staff

    Mary Bruno
    Mary Bruno, Editor-in-Chief and Interim Publisher

    After earning a master’s degree in freshwater ecology, and publishing studies on bogs in Ohio and streams in South Carolina, Mary left science to become a writer. Since then she’s covered science, sports and education for Newsweek, and arts, guns and health care for Seattle Weekly. She authored a monthly sports column for New York Woman magazine - the first sports column in a woman's magazine - and was founding News Editor for MrShowbiz.com, the web’s first entertainment site. Mary went on to become executive producer of ABCNEWS.com, general manager for OnHealth.com, and V.P of programming at HealthTalk.com. While working as an independent media consultant for publishing clients Revolution Health and Lee Enterprises, Inc., she wrote an environmental memoir (An American River) about growing up along New Jersey's Passaic.

    Berit Anderson
    Berit Anderson, Managing Editor

    Berit Anderson is Managing Editor at Crosscut, where she follows tech, culture, media and politics. Previously community manager of the Tribune Company’s Seattle blogging network, her work has also appeared in YES! Magazine and on the Huffington Post, Geekwire, Q13Fox.com and KBCS 91.3 radio. She served as Communications Director at Strategic News Service, a weekly newsletter that predicts global trends in tech and economics, and Future in Review, an annual tech conference which gathers C-level executives to solve global problems. Her weaknesses include outdoor adventure, bananas with peanut butter and big fluffy dogs.



    Joe Copeland
    Joe Copeland, 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.

    Bill Lucia
    Bill Lucia, Staff Writer

    Bill Lucia writes mostly about Seattle City Hall and politics for Crosscut. He worked in the film and TV business in New York City and for a microfinance nonprofit in rural Nigeria before moving to Seattle. Last year, he completed the Master of Public Administration program at the Evans School of Public Affairs. He also holds an B.A. in Film and Television Production from New York University. In his free time, Bill enjoys rock climbing, running, bird watching and reading the news. He can be reached at bill.lucia@crosscut.com and you can follow him on Twitter @bill_lucia.





    Tamara Power-Drutis
    Tamara Power-Drutis, Development Director

    Tamara is the Development Director at Crosscut Public Media. Tamara serves as a board member of the World Affairs Council, and from 2008-2013 was on the board of the Young Professionals International Network. From 2011 to early 2014, she was Communications Coordinator at the UW’s Center on Reinventing Public Education, where she acted as liaison and representative to internal and external constituencies. Prior to this, Tamara was a Research Associate at Ross & Associates Strategic Consulting, where she supported the National Environmental Exchange Network and its leadership committees. 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.

    Michael Crystal
    Michael Crystal, 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.









    Marilyn Hoe
    Marilyn Hoe, Operations Director

    Marilyn joined Crosscut in 2009 and manages operations on the business end of the newsroom. This marks a return to publishing; her first job in Seattle was with Pacific Search Press. After a ten-year detour in the field of import/export, she returned to nonprofit work via Town Hall Seattle where she served as program and volunteer coordinator 2000-2008.








      Frequent Contributors

    • Knute Berger, Northwest culture, heritage & politics
    • Judy Lightfoot, poverty, youth, human services
    • Eric Scigliano, community, neighborhoods, politics
    • Florangela Davila, contributing arts editor
    • 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

      Board

    • Bradley Bagshaw (chair)
    • Mike Vaska (vice chair)
    • Chuck Sitkin (treasurer)
    • Vanessa Power (secretary)
    • Rita Brogan (marketing committee chair)
    • Tom Alberg (director)
    • David Brewster (founder and board member emeritus)
    • Eugene Carlson (director)
    • Tonya Dressel (director)
    • Maryel Duzan (director)
    • Janet Levinger (director)
    • Cyrus Krohn (director)
    • Greg Shaw (director)
    • Bill Ruckleshaus (emeritus)
    Join Crosscut now!
    Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Follow Us »