Kalamazoo reporter wants American election stories...and some gas money

Jul 23, 2012

Living in a swing state like Michigan means you're probably already tired of non-stop elections coverage, sound bites and negative ads.

Now, a Kalamazoo freelance reporter wants to offer an alternative...he just needs some help paying for it.

Chris Killian says he'll take a months-long road trip through 11 swing states, getting stories from average people about their politics and their hopes for the country's future.

He'll post them all online, but first, he needs money.  So he's using the fundraising site, Kickstarter.com, to try to raise 2,500 bucks for food, gas, and a video camera.  "I kind of envision it as talking to doctors, garbage men, teachers. When we're constantly focused on talking heads screaming at each other on the television, what we're missing are the stories of real Americans and the stories of the people who the democracy is all about," he said.

Killian's campaign is already getting national attention from media bloggers and on Twitter. His proposed food budget for the entire trip: just $250. He says there'll be a lot of PB&J.  Check out the campaign: there's less month to go. UPDATE: Killian's reached his fundraising goals, and way before his Kickstarter campaign wraps up. "The support this project has received in less than a week proves...people want the kind of reporting that Swing State Stories is all about. I am itching to start the project, find these stories, and share them with everyone," writes Killian in an email to Michigan Radio. He also says he's getting some comments about his two-month, $250 food budget, and says additional donations will help with that.