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

Nickey Duckworth dresses as a blood-covered Mother Nature in memory of her stepson Vincent Belmonte during a trunk or treat that she and other loved ones of Vincent put on in his memory outside of East Cleveland City Hall on October 31, 2021. Sgt. Larry McDonald, an East Cleveland Police officer with a history of misconduct, fatally shot Belmonte three times in a field outside the Apex Academy Charter School on January 5, 2021. McDonald initially attempted to pull Belmonte over for a loud muffler, but when he drove off, McDonald gave chase until Belmonte crashed and continued running on foot. Belmonte’s death sparked outrage from community activists and local elected officials alike, all pointing toward what they called the troubling history of McDonald, who’s colloquially known as ‘PacMan’ for figuratively eating up everything in his path.
De’Jour Duckworth, 19, and other partygoers sing along to a song he made commemorating his step-brother Vincent Belmonte in East Cleveland on January 23, 2021. “We went through the same things,” Duckworth said reflecting on his bond with Belmonte. “We didn’t know what was wrong, but now we knew what was wrong. … We were actually getting to that conversation on our past, like how we grew up. We were starting to remember more. Our minds started to develop. We were actually starting to listen.”
Vincent Belmonte’s friend Ace and De’Jour Duckworth hug Nickey Duckworth, De’Jour’s mom and Vincent’s step-mom, after Vincent’s funeral on January 23, 2021. “That’s my baby,” Nickey said. “If I had a voice big enough, I would scream his name all day every day, I swear.” On January 23, some of Belmonte’s family hosted a party to celebrate his life following his funeral.
Nickey Duckworth kisses her son Darrion Duckworth, aka Fatboy, during a trunk or treat she helped put on in memory of Vincent Belmonte, her stepson, outside the East Cleveland City Hall on October 31, 2021.
Ryan Hanson, a volunteer at the grassroots medic organization Justice Frontline Aid, sorts donations at Modist Brewing Co. in Minneapolis on May 30, 2020. Justice Frontline Aid formed spontaneously to help those protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, so it worked out of Modist Brewing Co., a local brewery. The group, led by Matt Allen, accepted donations and formed groups of medics who delivered supplies and medical expertise to injured protestors.
Ryan Hanson volunteered with the grassroots medic organization Justice Frontline Aid in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis on May 30, 2020. Justice Frontline Aid formed spontaneously to help those protesting the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, so it worked out of Modist Brewing Co., a local brewery. The group, led by Matt Allen, accepted donations and formed groups of medics who delivered supplies and medical expertise to injured protestors.
Jerryl Fariley and Jamar Brown smoke at the bus stop outside Everlasting Baptist Church on St. Clair Ave. in Cleveland on Saturday, January 12, 2022. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke outside the church in 1965.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.