About Us

Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism

We find and share creative ways media entrepreneurs and journalists use crowdfunding to make documentaries, photography, reporting and storytelling possible.

That’s our original logo – grass and weeds and what not overtaking a sidewalk, little sprouts becoming bigger, finding ways to grow in less than ideal conditions. It’s a demonstration of tenacity, organic growth, the desire to survive and the ability to adapt, all characteristics we admire.

Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism is a news website devoted to coverage of reporting, storytelling and news startups made possible with the use of crowdfunding.

We do our damndest to track trends and explore how reporters, photographers and filmmakers use this new tool as part of a larger growth or revenue strategy.

Our stories have been quoted or republished by Nieman Reports, Columbia Journalism Review,  Knight Digital Media Center, MediaShift, American Journalism Review, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Nonprofit Quarterly, Modern Journalist and Medium Español, among others.

Want to love on us or keep up with the latest? Subscribe to the Through the Cracks newsletterfollow us on Facebook or follow @crowdjournalism on Twitter.

At its core, Through the Cracks is a group of journalists from around the world who care deeply about the future of journalism, so we talk to sources and sift through dozens of crowdfunding platforms and the web to reveal stories of intrigue, innovation and success. 

Journalists are using crowdfunding to experiment, engage and make stories that wouldn’t exist otherwise. They’re using it to build audience and for reasons that go way beyond money. That’s really exciting.

Our name comes from the phrase “through the cracks,” a phrase sometimes heard in newsrooms to refer to routinely ignored or underreported stories. We admire crowdfunding’s ability to bring those kinds of stories to light.

Right now Through the Cracks coverage tends to focus on Europe, North America and parts of Latin America.

We report stories of crowdfunding that makes journalism possible when we find them but our deepest appreciation is reserved for independent journalists and news startups because they are most likely to use this tool, most in need and more likely than other media to find success with crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding campaigns initiated by journalists associated with no news outlet outperform campaigns created by established or legacy media outlets.

More often than not these are small operations, the kind Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project says account for about 40 percent of all online journalists in America.

Whether it’s watchdog journalism, a photo project or a documentary, these are people who believe in the work they do and often have as much small business owner and concerned citizen in them as they do media mogul.

Quite often they are the kinds of news startups that did not enter this field to scale and exit to a bigger company (though good for you if that happens). But as many venture capitalists know, you need that heart, that obsessive passion, to build a long-lasting venture.

We’re also passionate about sharing these stories because we know journalism underperforms compared to other crowdfunded categories.

We believe journalism has a not-yet-fulfilled potential to empower media entrepreneurs and communities and we believe that potential will only grow stronger in the future as a series of trends collide.

To learn more about why Through the Cracks was created, read this.