Wednesday, June 08, 2016


Civil Beat goes non-profit

by Larry Geller

This isn’t disappeared news—by 7 a.m. this morning at least four email announcements appeared in my inbox. You probably received some as well. No? How come?

Read: Civil Beat: Finding Our Place In Hawaii’s Media Landscape (Civil Beat, 6/8/2016)

Civil Beat has applied to become a 501(c)3 non-profit and will be accepting donations to keep running. What does this mean? It’s time for congratulations, but also for some concern.

Suppose they don’t take in enough to cover operating expenses? This is a problem plaguing many Hawaii non-profits. It’s a new ballgame for Civil Beat.

Will Pierre Omidyar continue his support? Omidyar is also the driving force behind The Intercept. Will he be shifting his attention more to that platform?

We shall see. Also, we’ll be able to see their 990 form eventually to learn how they’re doing.

My concern is only that Civil Beat continue and prosper. We badly need the kind of journalism they have exemplified over the past six years.

Good luck, Civil Beat!

Update: in my original post I forgot to mention that the Civil Beat paywall has been taken down. Fantastic. I hate paywalls. But on the other hand, I hope the revenue that subscriptions brought in will be replaced.

Going non-profit may be risky in a town where the cost of living is so high and income so low…  there is not much left for many families to donate to the best of causes. So my fingers are crossed hoping it works out—for them and for all of us who need the quality journalism that democracy depends upon.


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