This crowdfunding pitch video is independent, low budget and fantastic

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Crowdfunding campaign videos can be an art form. They’re an elevator pitch typically lasting 2-3 minutes long and depending on the genre the tactics people take vary widely in their execution.

Watch a few tech videos and they’re most often so sleek, polished and professionally done that can you lose sight of why you’re there in the first place (cue that familiar life-made-easy/whole-world-changing music). Comics get weird. Pitch videos in the film and video category can resemble a movie trailer or try to enchant with a cult of personality.

That’s not what you get from the Tucson Sentinel’s pitch video for Panorama de la Linea, a project to tell stories along and photograph every mile of the 373-mile Arizona-Mexico border.

Their pitch video is imperfect, [with wind popping in microphones, eyes jotting back and forth from script to camera], clean but not polished and was clearly shot in a day,  but never mind all that. When you watch the video the people you see come across as 100 percent genuine.

They look professional and passionate about their work, they are specific about the project’s goals and they introduce you to the team of photographers who will carry out the project.

It isn’t a commercial, it’s an invitation from actual journalists to bring a hefty idea to life, and it looks like the promise of good storytelling and an honest pitch by professionals is working out.


With about  a week to go at the time this story was published, Panorama de la Linea raised $7,810, well past an initial $5,000 goal, and are now working toward stretch goals.

The campaign currently sits in the featured spot in the Journalism category on Kickstarter and appears to be the most funded active campaigns in the category at the moment.

On a side note, Tucson Sentinel celebrated five years of publication this week, as did The Lens of New Orleans. Both organizations are members of LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers, a group of roughly 100 independent news websites around the United States.

Tucson Sentinel editor and publisher Dylan Smith is chairman of the LION Publishers Board of Directors.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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