Fund journalists directly

Fund your favorite writers

Beacon empowers writers by letting you fund their work directly. That means you, the reader, decide which writers and stories get published instead of advertisers.

Support journalism around the world

There are hundreds of projects on Beacon that you can fund directly. We’ve made it easy to browse and search for topics you’ll love. With Beacon, you can enable journalism all around the world.

Double your impact with matching funds

Beacon is the only crowdfunding platform to provide matching funds. For many projects, your pledge will be matched by Beacon — giving you even more impact.

The future of the internet is at stake, as the battle for “net neutrality” and an open internet take shape. Back our reporting and help save the internet by making sure people are informed on what’s really happening — and why it’s important.

  • 116%funded
    so far
  • 30days
  • $69,620raised
    so far
This project is no longer accepting pledges
* This project was successfully funded.
★ DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT ★ Beacon will match every dollar you pledge, up to $30,000 in total.

Amazing! 100% funded! You guys are awesome

Thanks to your support, Techdirt has reached its funding goal with just days to spare!

Here’s what you’ll get for subscribing:

  • Detailed and in-depth reporting on the issues around net neutrality and why they’re important. This will include timely “news” updates, as well as more in-depth explorations, interviews and reporting into the issues, the challenges, the players and the opportunities.

  • Open Q&A sessions around net neutrality, interviews with key players and infographics to try to explain complex issues.

  • Access to every story, by every writer on Beacon.

The future of the internet is at stake – and many vested interests are relying on the public’s apathy to get their way.

The fight over net neutrality is nothing less than a fight for the way our internet will be in the future.

The future of the Internet will be decided in Washington, DC over the next year. Techdirt will be on the front lines of the battle.

Will it be an open and free platform that allows anyone with a computer to build the next great internet service, or will it increasingly be balkanized and limited so that only the richest companies can truly participate – and with the big broadband players getting to call all the shots (and setup toll booths around the internet).

iStock_000032455488Small (1).jpg

If net neutrality isn’t maintained, internet service providers might be able to throttle your download speeds from certain sites unless you pay more.

A recent study by Pew Research found that there was barely any mainstream media coverage of net neutrality in the first half of 2014, even as the issue re-emerged as a key fight for the future of the internet thanks to an appeals court ruling, and the FCC’s planned efforts. In part, this is because the issue is complicated and nuanced – two things that often scare off the mainstream media. In part, it’s because many in the mainstream media have vested interests as well (NBC, for example, is owned by Comcast). But it’s vitally important that there be more detailed coverage of this pivotal battle.


Comcast spends millions lobbying against net neutrality, and owns NBC, who’s expected to report on the issue. Techdirt’s reporting is wholly independent.

Techdirt has been central to similar fights in the past, is widely read and respected and is engaged with many of the key players.

Many people remember the big fight a few years ago around SOPA/PIPA – which was another pivotal debate in what kind of internet we, the public, wanted to have going forward. Techdirt was not only one of the very first to report on that legislation, but a Harvard study found that it was a key player in moving that debate forward, building awareness and getting people involved. Techdirt has also been deeply involved in both technology and policy issues for over 15 years, and knows or has access to many of the key players in this upcoming fight within the activism community, the tech world and the policy space.

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 3.12.56 PM.png

According to a Harvard study about the SOPA/PIPA debate, Techdirt was the “single most important professional media site over the entire period, overshadowing the more established media.” The chart above tracks the number of in-links to media coverage about SOPA/PIPA. Techdirt was linked more than any other source.

Become a backer and help us create original reporting on net neutrality →

Nobody has left any comments yet.

Amazing! 100% funded! You guys are awesome, but there’s still one more day.

July 30, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Let’s keep this going.

Thanks to your support, Techdirt has reached its funding goal with just days to spare! But we can still do more. The latest fad in crowdfunding is stretch goals, and we’re all for experiments like that.

With another $5,000 in support beyond the target, we’ll add a monthly online Q&A for backers. This will be a place to chat with Techdirt authors (and maybe special guests) about the latest happenings in the net neutrality fight and anything else as well.

With an additional $10,000, we’ll design an infographic concerning the net neutrality fight. We’re not yet sure exactly what the infographic will show, but there’s plenty of stuff happening, and we’ll figure out something good. If you haven’t seen our infographic skills, check out https://www.techdirt.com/skyisrising2/

If we can really stretch and hit $15,000… well, we’ll have another surprise stretch goal. We’ll reveal that if we get close… so make it happen.

86% of the way there! Less than 48 hours left!

July 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Thanks to all of you, we’re only 14% away from our funding goal. We have two days to do it but we’re confident we can get there.

Please share our campaign with friends and family on social media and email: http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/the-net-neutrality-battle

To give you an idea of what this project can do (and what we have done), here’s a a note of support from Jen Hoelzer, ex-Communications Director and Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Ron Wyden

“If you care about a free and open Internet, you want Techdirt to be at full strength in the Net Neutrality debate. You want them to be educating more lawmakers and their staffers (like my former self) to understand these issues and be confident enough in their knowledge to take a stand against the cable companies and their lobbyists.

I’m donating to Techdirt’s campaign because I know where I would have been without their work and I don’t want a tech debate to take place without them. I hope you will do the same. It’s also a great way to say thanks.”

Read her whole letter here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140729/05504028040/if-you-want-to-know-how-supporting-techdirt-can-help-shift-debate-washington-dc-read-this.shtml

Over 60 percent funded!

July 23, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Hello Techdirt backers,

First off, thank you so much for backing the projects and getting us this far. You guys absolutely rock. We’re currently over 60% funded with about a week to go, and it’s really thanks to each and every one of you for contributing – and to our matching donors, including Twitch.tv and Namecheap.

If you know of others who recognize how important a free and open internet are, and who might want to support our in-depth and independent reporting on it, please share the link with them, however you can (email, social, smoke signal: it’s all good).:


We’re going to need your help if we’re going to reach the funding target.

Assuming the project reaches the goal—and I’m confident it will—we’ll immediately be able to ramp up our net neutrality coverage, including bringing in guest writers, conducting interviews with key players, talking to a variety of stakeholders about what’s at stake, hopefully getting some interviews with key officials and actually digging deep into the over 1 million comments that were submitted to the FCC on this matter.

We’ve already found some oddities (see: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140718/07115427928/guy-files-dishwasher-user-manual-as-fcc-comment-net-neutrality.shtml ) but I’m putting together a bigger list of interesting comments and really want to spend some time finding some gems and exploring what they have to say.

Also, if you missed it, I did a Reddit AMA this week about net neutrality and a bunch of other issues: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2bf512/mike_masnick_here_founder_of_techdirt_blogger_net/

Thanks again, Mike

$5per month
Monthly subscription
Monthly subscription to Techdirt’s work and to Beacon. You’ll get the opportunity to read exclusive stories from Techdirt, and every story by every writer on Beacon. You can cancel at any time.
82 claimed
$15per quarter
Three-month subscription
Three-month subscription to Techdirt’s work and to Beacon. Your subscription to Techdirt renews every quarter. You can cancel at any time.
34 claimed
$20per month
Monthly super patron
Thanks for your added support. By paying a bit more each month, you truly help to make these stories possible. You’ll get recognition on the Techdirt site for your extra pledge.
9 claimed
Six-month subscription
Prepay for a six-month subscription. Your pledge at this level does not autorenew.
133 claimed
One-year subscription
Year-long subscription to Techdirt’s work and to Beacon. Your subscription to Techdirt expires after one year.
99 claimed
Yearly subscription + a shirt
In addition to a year-long subscription, you’ll get an official Techdirt T-shirt in a size of your choice. Your subscription at this level does not autorenew.
77 claimed
$100per month
Monthly Super Patron
Thanks for your support. Your monthly backing at this level truly helps to make Techdirt’s reporting sustainable. You’ll get up to 20 monthly subscriptions to hand out to your organization, friends or family, for as long as you stay subscribed.
1 claimed
Everything + a hoodie
You’ll get a yearly subscription, a mug and a hoodie. Your pledge at this level does not autorenew.
40 claimed
Everything, a hoodie, and gift subscriptions
You’ll get a yearly subscription, a mug and a hoodie PLUS two year-long subscriptions to give to friends. Your pledge at this level does not autorenew.
3 claimed
Swag bag + Lunch with Mike
In addition to a yearly subscription and a swag bag, you’ll get an invitation for lunch with Techdirt founder Mike Masnick. This package is only regularly available in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. But, depending on Mike’s travel schedule, it may sometimes be possible to arrange a lunch elsewhere.
5 claimed
Day with Techdirt
Thanks for your extraordinary support. You’ll get an invitation to spend the day with Mike and the Techdirt team, as well as a swag bag and five yearly subscriptions to share with friends.
2 claimed
Event sponsor
Thanks for your tremendous support. You’ll be the title sponsor at a net neutrality salon in the S.F. Bay Area, you’ll get an invitation to lunch with Mike and you’ll get unlimited year-long subscriptions to pass out to family, friends and staff.
2 claimed
Note: All pledges are in USD.


Techdirt was started in 1997 and was one of the first technology “blogs” (taking on that format since before the word “blog” existed). The site has built up a strong reputation for covering technology trends, tech policy, business model and innovation economics issues. It has won multiple awards, including a Webby nomination for best blog, and “best of the web” awards from both Business Week and Forbes. Techdirt has published over 50,000 articles and is known for its engaged and insightful community, which has contributed over 1 million comments. The Techdirt blog is regularly quoted or cited in the mainstream media and is known for straddling the worlds of technology, business and policy unlike any other publication today.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Beacon?

    Beacon is a platform for funding journalism. We've worked with hundreds of journalists and tens of thousands of readers to fund important stories from around the world.

  • How does Beacon work?

    Journalists create crowdfunding pages on Beacon, outlining a reporting project they have planned. You decide whether the project deserves funding by making a pledge.

  • How is my pledge used?

    Beacon pays out journalists directly. Journalists use your funding to cover the costs of reporting and producing a final story, which they'll share with you.

  • Where is the journalism published?

    Stories funded on Beacon have appeared in major publications like The Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle and TIME. We work with journalists to maximize the reach and impact of journalism you fund.

  • How is my pledge kept secure?

    We use Stripe to process and protect your billing information. Stripe meets or exceeds all industry standards for security and is used by major brands like Kickstarter and The Guardian.

  • When am I billed for my pledge?

    You're billed at the project deadline and only if the project successfully meets its goal. If a project is unsuccessful, you will not be charged.

Stories about The Net Neutrality Battle need to be told

Help Techdirt bring them to BEACON. At $60,000, Techdirt can provide sustainable reporting on the topic you won't get anywhere else.

This project is no longer accepting pledges