Share this project


Share this project

Photo original
The world is full of big stories. We don't want them to go missing.
Created by


2,566 backers pledged $140,201 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

We launched!

"Gut-punchingly good"
"Entering the arena with impressive style"
"It really raises the bar for everyone"

These are just a few of the things that people have said about Do No Harm, the first story from MATTER, since we launched last week at and on Kindle.

The story itself is a deep dive into the world of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a seriously misunderstood medical condition where new science is bringing light to the difficult relationship between our brains and our bodies. It's an insightful, challenging and sometimes harrowing read that really sets out what we're trying to do with MATTER: take tough stories and push them further than you'll find elsewhere.

Do No Harm has had an amazing reception, and the word is starting to spread about what we're doing — and that's all thanks to you and the support you gave us.

Haven't read it yet? All Kickstarter backers should have received an email with an invitation code that lets you sign up to our website and receive the right amount of free articles. Let us know if you haven't received yours by mailing

What's coming up next?

Well, there's our second piece, which we're hoping to publish in the middle of December. There's also an upcoming Q&A with Anil Ananthaswamy, the author of Do No Harm, where he'll be able to explain more about the story and how it came together.

And then there are a selection of extra benefits for existing backers and new users who sign up to our Membership programme. We've struck a series of partnerships with some really great companies to give something extra back to you: you'll be hearing more over the next few days.

It's been a crazy few months, but we're just getting started — and we couldn't have done any of this without you: thank you so, so much.

Bobbie & Jim

Our first story

1 like

Hi All,

We’ve been working flat out on MATTER since our Kickstarter campaign closed — poring over designs, reading pitches, building our website, thinking about libel protection and negotiating deals. But we know that there hasn’t been much to show.

We’re happy to say that we can, finally, tell you about our first piece. It’s about a neurological condition and a radical treatment that challenges the way we think about medicine — and ourselves. It’s an extraordinary tale that has involved an enormous amount of effort, both in time and emotional engagement, from our reporter. He’s logged thousands of miles to get first hand insight into the story, and spent months conducting interviews and research.

The writer is Anil Ananthaswamy, a software engineer turned science writer and author of 2010’s The Edge of Physics, a book describing the cosmological research taking place in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Anil’s been working on the piece with Roger Hodge, a former editor of Harper’s Magazine and author of The Mendacity of Hope, a critical account of the Obama presidency.

What’s left to do? Editing, fact-checking and legal clearance, which should take just a few more weeks. Then, finally, excitingly, terrifyingly — we’re ready to go.

We’ll let you know the publication date as soon as we have it.

Thanks for supporting us this far.

Bobbie & Jim
MATTER founders

Getting involved

Hi All,

Part of the power of investigative journalism lies in its ability to answer questions. We all know the feeling of wondering whether something is credible. The something could be a government policy proposal, a warning of an environmental threat or a million other things. We come across debates about these kinds of things all the time and, when done right, investigative journalism can settle some of them.

One of the things we want to do at MATTER is to hand over some of that power to you, the supporters of the project. And while it’s impractical to share control among every one of our 2,566 Kickstarter backers, we do think it's possible to have you to shape some of what we do.

We’ve already identified one system for doing so: a collaborative commissioning process that will be open to all members of our editorial board. (That’s everyone who contributed $25 or more). We recently trialled the system and saw encouraging results — see this blog post for details.

We hope that this is just the beginning. We might ask for volunteers to help analyse some of the data that our reporters collect, a process that The Guardian has experimented with. Or convene panels of subject-matter experts, drawn from our supporters database, to identify emerging and investigation-worthy issues.

If you have other ideas about how MATTER supporters can get involved, email us at, or shoot us a message on Facebook or Twitter. For more regular updates on our progress, check in with our blog, which we update date a couple of times a week.

One final thing: we’ve settled on our new logo, which means that the rewards can start to go out. The postcards are being printed right now, and the t-shirts will follow soon.


Jim, MATTER co-founder

Progress at MATTER

Hi All,

It’s been a hectic few weeks here at MATTER. We received a draft of one of our first stories and our web design team has been churning out prototypes. We’ve also been nailing down tedious but critical details of the system we’ll use to collect payments on the site. Check out the blog posts on our candidate logo designs and the results of our survey of supporters for more.

We’re now moving toward the really critical part of the process: our launch. We have two candidates for our first story, both of which involve some difficult investigative reporting that is yet to be completed. We can't set a launch date until that's finalised, so please bear with us just a little longer. We’d hoped to be up and running by late summer, but when you read the pieces I hope you’ll understand why we waited to get them right. We think that both will be superb examples of the kind of in-depth reporting that MATTER is being built to publish.

We’ll update you as soon as we know more. In the meantime, check for updates at our Twitter feed, on our blog, or email us direct at

Thanks again for your support,

Jim, MATTER co-founder

Our blog is live

We've been rather quiet lately. Please forgive the silence: building MATTER is consuming all the time we have. 

We want to keep you up to date with the project as we head towards launch, so this week we launched a blog at Check in for news on what we're doing, plus notes on interesting stuff going on elsewhere in the world of long-form journalism.

You'll also be getting a request soon for your mailing address so that we can get the postcards out to you. Sorry for the delay on that front -- we decided to hold off sending them until our designer has thought about reworking the logo. 


Bobbie & Jim