‘I’m a storyteller in everything I do’

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A photo from a recent all-night shoot for a short film. Credit: Joe Proudman.

As an editor, you know you play with the team you have.

Sometimes people strike out, and sometimes even your best writers don’t seem up to the task.

But sometimes you have a deep bench, a team of reporters so talented and focused that when you make an addition and bring in even more talent, it’s like hearing about a baseball team that already has a deep bullpen but adds another ace.

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Joe Proudman. Credit: Sandra Proudman.

That’s what it felt like when Joe Proudman joined Through the Cracks a couple months ago.

Joe is a true multimedia journalist who has worked as a writer, photographer and video producer at various times in his career. He’s worked at the Star Ledger in New Jersey, New York Times Lens blog and taught photography at Lake Tahoe Community College. 

For Through the Cracks he’s written about:

  • #ReWriteTheCode, a documentary born out of a survey of black women in tech.
  • Crowdfunding that leads to more than money as in the case of the documentary Gaucho del Norte, a film about a sheepherder who moves from Chile to Idaho to support his family. 

Next up: A story on Vimeo’s effort to support crowdfunded documentaries.

Go here to see similar interviews with other Through the Cracks staff.

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

Proudman: I don’t remember specifically, but it had to be something my wife said. She comes out of left field with comments that just crack me up.

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

Proudman: I work as the multimedia specialist at UC Davis, shooting video of research that happens on campus. It’s a job that takes me all over California, and allows me to cover topics such as climate change and autism, along with events such as oil spills and animal rescues.

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

Proudman: I was part of journalism at a young age, experiencing the industry right before things started to dramatically change – and it still hasn’t settled. Crowdfunding is playing an interesting and growing role in journalism and my natural curiosity has me fascinated with the idea of crowdfunding as a tool in furthering the industry. 

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

Proudman: I’m a storyteller in everything I do, and found a natural home in journalism.

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

Proudman: Through the Cracks is investigating an area that hasn’t been looked at in-depth before and it’s exciting to be part of that effort.

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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.