This guide is for anyone who contributes editorial content to Crosscut — professionals, citizen journalists, staffers, and freelancers — whether they write regularly for the site or will do so for the first time. It is intended to save us all time by outlining Crosscut’s expectations of writers and other contributors as well as its editors’ practical needs. If you have questions or think something here could be more clear, e-mail the editor at

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.

Letters to the editor

If you wish simply to express your opinion in a non-journalistic fashion, send a letter to the editor to 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

If you submit something more than a comment at the end of an article or a letter to the editor, please download the complete guide for contributors and read it carefully. You must fill out a contributor information form, and 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. These forms are included with the guide.