The world is full of big stories. We don't want them to go missing.
TUESDAY MARCH 20: VIDEO UPDATE
Every step of this project has surprised us. First we reached our initial target in less than two days. Then we hit $75,000, and upgraded everybody's rewards. Then it wasn't long before we passed $100,000. The response from everyone out there has just been beyond our wildest dreams.
Now there are just a few days left, and we need your help to see how far we can take this before time runs out.
# THE PROBLEM
The web is the future of journalism, but let's be honest: the future isn’t living up to expectations. Newspapers and magazines have cut back on in-depth reporting. Gossip sites have proliferated. The web has become a byword for fast and cheap. Why isn’t it synonymous with fearless, investigative and enthralling writing?
We think it can be.
We’ve developed a way to support independent, global, in-depth reporting about science and technology, two subjects that are close to our hearts. We’re going to use it to build MATTER, the new home for the best journalism about the future. And we need you to help us make it happen.
# HOW WILL IT WORK?
MATTER will focus on doing one thing, and doing it exceptionally well. Every week, we will publish a single piece of top-tier long-form journalism about big issues in technology and science. That means no cheap reviews, no snarky opinion pieces, no top ten lists. Just one unmissable story.
MATTER is about brilliant ideas from all around the world, whether they come from professors at MIT or the minds of mad people. But most of all, it’s about getting amazing investigative reporters to tell compelling stories.
We’re building MATTER for readers, not advertisers. So however you access our stories — whether it’s on our website, via the Kindle store, or on your Apple and Android devices — you will get a beautifully designed experience that puts you first.
Good journalism isn’t cheap: it takes time and money for great reporters to do their best work. That means we’re going to have to charge. But not much: we’re aiming for around 99 cents per story. It’s an experiment to see if independent journalism, done right, can fill the gap left by mainstream media.
# WHO ARE WE?
MATTER is run by two experienced reporters with a passion for making journalism better.
Jim Giles is an award-winning writer whose credits include Nature, The Atlantic, The Economist and New Scientist.
Bobbie Johnson is European editor at GigaOM and a former technology correspondent for The Guardian. His work has appeared in outlets from the BBC and Businessweek to The New York Times.
We're not alone. We've lined up a team of writers and editors who have written best-selling books and produced fantastic writing for the world’s best publications, from The New Yorker and Wired to National Geographic and The Washington Post.
# JOIN IN
We need your help to build our site and commission the first three pieces. We think you'll love the stories we have lined up: gripping exposes of online crime, untold tales of environmental threats, inside stories about revolutionary technologies and exclusive reports from the most controversial research labs.
To help us get them out into the world, you can pledge anything -- from the cost of a movie ticket all the way up to a $3,000 sponsorship.
And for just $25, you can help us commission pieces by joining our editorial board. We’ll manage the board using All Our Ideas, a tool developed at Princeton and funded by Google. It has never been used in this way before, so you’ll be joining an experiment in collaborative commissioning as well as supporting top-quality investigations.
We’d love it if you pledged. We’d love it if you told your friends. We’d love if it you helped us build a new way to produce top-tier journalism. Because we think these things matter — and we hope you do too.
More questions? Leave a comment here or email us at email@example.com.
Video filmed and edited by H.P. Mendoza. Footage of Bobbie by Elliot Smith. Music by H.P. Mendoza and Bedřich Smetana. iPad designs by Aaron Shinn, illustrations by Stuart Bannocks and Benjamin Weetman.
Is the cost of international shipping covered in the standard pledge? I want to make sure I get a T-shirt!
International shipping costs should be covered. Unless you live in Antarctica. Are you in Antarctica?
Our plan is to bring MATTER to subscribers across all devices. You pay once, we give it to you wherever you want.
Although our video may have seemed alarmingly white male, the cohort of writers and editors we have on board are diverse -- in all sorts of ways. Making sure we can bring fresh perspectives to our reporting is something that has definitely been on our minds the whole time we have been planning MATTER.
We've been talking over the last few months with some really great writers and editors. But right now we have not officially commissioned them, and until our Kickstarter project is over, we're uncomfortable trading on their names. It's a chicken and egg situation, but it seems like the only fair way to treat the writers with respect and not as bargaining chips.
That would spoil the surprise!
You need to come up with a story idea that has strong news content, a compelling narrative and scope to work at around 5,000 words -- and show us some previous work. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org