How tales of Christmas past bring you more stories of crowdfunding today

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Robert Moreno and I met at a Christmas party in Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the continental United States. Steps from the pier there was Santa, a giant sandcastle and a kid dressed like a reindeer. That’s how we met. Reindeer kid is his wife’s cousin.

We got to talking and Robert joined IB Patch as a freelancer. We’ve worked together on some project or another ever since, part of a small group of young journalists in south San Diego that got to know each other that includes Allison Sampite-Montecalvo of the San Diego Union-Tribune and Through the Cracks cofounder Carlos Moreno.

Robert has written about Gamergate, underground music, deaths in police custody and other topics through the lens of crowdfunding.

These days, when he isn’t writing for Through the Cracks, Robert covers the second largest city in San Diego County for the Chula Vista Star-News.

This is one in a series of a dozen or so interviews with Through the Cracks staff. To get to know us a little better, click here.

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

Moreno:  I do not remember the last time I laughed until I cried. I would imagine a Chris Rock joke did me in.

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

Moreno: Right now I’m working on a story about America’s First Foodie, a crowdfunded documentary about famous chef and food lover James Beard.

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

Moreno: What has surprised me about crowdfunding journalism is the amount of support campaigns get. I know money can be tight these days and perhaps there might be other things donors could spend their money on, but donors continue to fund crowdfunding campaigns. That astonishes me.

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

Moreno: I am a journalist because I enjoy the craft of reporting. By being a journalist I feel that I can be a public servant and make a difference in a community or in someone’s life. There are so many untold stories that need to be told and I hope to tell them.

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

Moreno: I was actually talked into writing for Through The Cracks by my good friend Carlos Moreno. Looking at it now, I’m glad he brought me on board though because I believe in the vision of Through The Cracks.

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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.