Honolulu Civil Beat is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt news organization dedicated to cultivating an informed body of citizens, all striving to make Hawaii a better place to live. The site specializes in investigative and watchdog journalism, in-depth enterprise reporting, analysis and commentary that gives readers a broad view on issues of importance to the community.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar launched Civil Beat in 2010 as a local digital platform that looks beyond traditional print and television media approaches to create a “civic square” where the community can come together to learn about important public policy issues and to share ideas.
Civil Beat started as a subscription site but never took advertising as part of its business model. In 2016, recognizing its mission strategy, the company converted to a nonprofit, eliminated its paywall and now solicits tax-deductible donations from the community as well as foundations and charitable organizations.
Civil Beat is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a coalition of more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms across the U.S.
Civil Beat publishes an online news website that is updated regularly with news stories, columns, photos, video and reader-submitted Community Voices (op-eds).
Civil Beat also produces a long-form audio podcast called “Offshore” that is available for download on iTunes or at offshorepodcast.com.
A robust social media effort includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a heavy video component. Civil Beat livestreams many community events, news conferences and public appearances via Facebook Live and produces short videos that reach millions of viewers.
Thousands of people subscribe to Civil Beat’s free emailed newsletter, called the Morning Beat, and access news stories and commentary through the email.
Additionally, Civil Beat puts on regular community events such as Hawaii Storytellers and Civil Cafes as well as other public events as a way to engage more people in civic issues. In 2017, Civil Beat launched a series of news literacy discussion forums to help people understand how the news media works and how to navigate the overwhelming flow of news and blogs on the internet.