About this project
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
Pledge $10 or more
For the price of a movie ticket, help create a new home for quality journalism. We’ll send you our first three stories and give you a shout-out on our website. You'll also get a real-world thank-you in the form of a beautifully designed and personally signed postcard.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
Join our editorial board. Seriously. We’re going to run a radical, first-of-a-kind experiment in collaborative commissioning using All Our Ideas so that you, the readers, can help make our reporting even more brilliant. Plus you'll also get the first three stories, a web shout-out and a postcard.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
Advertise your support for independent, fearless journalism by sporting a t-shirt featuring the MATTER logo. You'll get an invite to our editorial board, a free copy of our first six stories and a signed postcard expressing our undying love.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
Big pledges deserve big rewards. Our first Best of Matter print anthology will find its way to you, you'll get a name-check on a story and one of our awesome writers will send you a signed copy of one of their books. Oh, and you’ll get our first ten stories and editorial board membership.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or more
Come spend some time with the Matter family. You’ll get a personal invitation to one of our two launch parties, to be held in San Francisco and London, plus an evening of enthralling conversation over dinner with one of our editors, writers or photographers. Not enough? Well, all the above schwag is included, plus the first fifty articles for free -- and we’ll also throw in a litho print of an amazing photograph taken from one of our stories.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
12 backers All gone!
Become a Matter co-pilot. You'll get the chance to be a guest editor, joining our team on an assignment and helping us shape a story from the very start. You’ll also be able to read Matter forever. That’s right: every single story we ever produce will be free to you. And of course all the stuff above — t-shirt, print anthology, signed book from a Matter author — is included too.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)
[NEW REWARD!] Get your hands on a deluxe, limited-run, numbered hardcover edition of our Best of anthology, signed by every one of the contributors and featuring specially-commissioned art and infographics. Plus a lifetime subscription and a one-year subscription to give away to a friend, and every other reward from lower pledge levels.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or more
6 backers All gone!
This is our corporate-level sponsorship, aimed at companies who want to reach our savvy, intelligent readers. You get everything already mentioned, plus your brand will be the only sponsor on our site, stories, and email alerts for an entire month. If you’re an individual? That could work too — let’s talk.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or more
2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)
Corporate-level backers who missed the first batch of rewards can get on board with this new addition. Your brand will be a co-sponsor of our website, stories and emails — and any apps we build — for a whole month. That's on top of all the goodies available at lower tiers. Want more detail on how it will work? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)