Flint, MI — Flint Beat is excited to welcome Michael Indriolo, a visual journalist from Cleveland, to our team. Indriolo is joining the team through Report for America, a national service that places journalists in newsrooms across the country.
“The Midwest is my home,” Indriolo said. “I’ve lived my whole life in the Rust Belt, but I’m seeing already in my first couple days here in Flint that no amount of online research could do this city justice. I’m just excited to get to know the community beyond all the national news coverage and documentaries.”
Indriolo began his journalism career as a writer at two startups in Portage County, OH, and Cleveland. While Indriolo said he loves writing, he’s looking forward to channeling his passions for photography and videography.
“This is the first time in my young career that I’ll reach for the camera before the pen, that I’ll be able to focus on visuals over writing,” he said. “The thought of that reality has driven me for the last 5 or so years, and now that it’s here, it’s surreal.”
Indriolo’s mother and much of his family moved to the Cleveland area from Lebanon in the ‘70s, fleeing a brewing civil war there. Informed by growing up in that environment, much of his work has focused on amplifying stories about how violence intersects with peoples’ pursuits of the American Dream.
“While I was working in Cleveland, I got tired of how gun violence was portrayed in the news,” Indriolo said. “There are so many grassroots organizations trying to solve the issues, but the news channels didn’t have the capacity to tell their stories. Those are the kinds of stories I wanted to tell, and I want to keep telling them here in Flint.”
Report for America is a national service program that places talented, emerging journalists into local news organizations to report for one to two years on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America addresses an urgent need in journalism at a time when news deserts are widening across the country, leaving communities uninformed on local issues and threatening our democracy like never before.
Flint Beat joined Report for America in 2019 to fill news gaps and also restore the community’s narrative. Indriolo will focus on narrative storytelling through visual journalism in Flint.
Check out some of his work below, and follow him on Instagram @mikeyindr.