Hutsell: A pen is a powerful tool for change

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It has become a sort of tradition for Through the Cracks contributors to answer five questions about themselves. We’re a publication with staff all over the world, and we rarely get to see one another in person (Bay Area adjacent staff is getting together at Mad Oak Friday though!), so it helps us learn a bit more about each other.

You can see the profile and social media accounts of Through the Cracks reporter at the bottom of any story they author.

Our newest contributor is Melissa Hutsell. She’s a freelance writer with a passion for community and global journalism. Born and raised and based in Northern California, she writes for hyperlocal and national publications on a diversity of topics including business, art, culture, food and health. She’s got an appetitive for traveling and learning.

Through the Cracks: When was the last time you laughed until you cried?

Hutsell: That’s easy! I was watching “Broad City.” The show gets me every time, especially because of the female perspective that the show’s hosts bring to comedy in general. It’s relatable, hilarious, fresh and absolutely needed in today’s society. You just can’t be in a bad mood after watching an episode!

Through the Cracks: What are you working on right now?

Hutsell: I am always working on something different. The world of freelancing is exciting like that – you never know what type of assignment you will get next!

Through the Cracks: What has surprised you about or captured your interest in crowdfunding journalism?

Hutsell: I became a journalist because I wanted to make a difference in the world through storytelling. I’m drawn to this part of Through the Cracks’ Mission Statement: “…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.” These are the businesses, the campaigns, the people whose stories I want to tell, and whose determination will change landscapes across all industries. Crowdfunding is quickly changing the dynamics of journalism and business; I’m fascinated with both industries.

Through the Cracks: Why are you a journalist or photographer or generally awesome person?

Hutsell: I believe journalism is one of the most powerful tools for change. I get the honor of telling the stories of people who are inspiring global change at the local level –and it is truly incredible to help bring these stories to life.

Through the Cracks: Why did you decide to become a contributor to Through the Cracks?

Hutsell: I personally identify with the organization’s mission of creating success in less than ideal situations. Throughout my personal and professional life, I have had to overcome less than ideal circumstances, and as a result, I have built my own path to success.

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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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