Kalamazoo journalist uses Kickstarter ‘to get the pulse of the people’

Letter to Romenesko

From SIMON A. THALMANN: There’s a freelance journalist based in Kalamazoo who’s going solo on a trip to this election’s swing states to “get the pulse of the people” through telling their stories in the run up to the election.

Screenshot from Killian’s Kickstarter video

He’s funding the project on his own through Kickstarter and is asking for just $2,500: $2,000 for gas, $250 for food and $250 for a video camera. [I see he already has over $800, with weeks left in the campaign.]

(He’ll be living and working out of a 1984 VW bus.)

The guy’s name is Chris Killian, and I’m not affiliated with him in any way, so I’m not necessarily plugging for a friend here. I don’t think I’ve ever met him in person. I’m forwarding you this info because I’m also a journalist in Kalamazoo who’s been following Killian’s work for years and I feel like it’s heads and tails above the work of the average journalist. His Kickstarter page is also a great indication of the way the industry is shifting: A journalist sees there are stories that need to be told, and instead of waiting for someone to assign the stories and pay him to write them between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., he takes initiative and does it on his own.

* Voices from the Swing States — Chris Killian’s Kickstarter campaign