His most recent story was about a handful of college newspapers who are still in print today because of crowdfunding campaigns.
Justin Cooper has snagged some pretty interesting stories for Through the Cracks, the kind that fit our desire to share underreported or untold stories.
To let you know a little more about more than a dozen people in six countries contributing to Through the Cracks, we’ve asked them five simple questions.
Here’s what Justin had to say.
Through the Cracks: When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
Cooper: I honestly don’t remember. I rarely get that far into laughing; mostly I give funny things a soft chuckle. I recently attended a funeral for a very dear friend, one that was full of touching moments and plenty of tears. The mirth came after the service as I ran into old high school friends and relived past escapades. The laughter that followed was very cathartic.
Through the Cracks: What are you working on right now?
Cooper: I’m currently exploring the question ‘To what extent has crowdfunding entered newsrooms? Has it created beats or filled holes in coverage?’
Through the Cracks: What has surprised you about or captured your interest in crowdfunding journalism?
Cooper: There have been some legitimate journalistic comeback stories and Houdini moments made possible by crowdfunding. Papers and journalists are using crowdfunding to thrive. I guess people sounded the death knell of journalism too soon. It’s like when flowers bloom in the desert. They’re all the more beautiful because we did not expect them to be possible.
Why are you a journalist or photographer or generally awesome person?
Cooper: I confess to being a dabbler in the journalistic arts. I got involved with it in two different colleges, and what began as a curiosity became an obsession. It’s been a thrill but also a challenge to balance everything with journalism. My day job is as a substitute teacher, and I try to squeeze in time to be a grad student and to stay active in my church. I figured that being a contributor for Through The Cracks was a nice way of balancing journalism with other passions.
Why did you decide to become a contributor to Through the Cracks?
Cooper: I was recruited by my longtime friend and journalism cohort Carlos Moreno. I’ve always loved to tell stories about other journalists who happen to survive or thrive and crowdfunding sounded like a challenge. We’re seismologists of the media-crowdfunding fault lines. How awesome is that?
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