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The Beacon is a non-profit online news outlet focused on in-depth journalism in the public interest, covering Kansas and Missouri. Beacon stories are revelatory, contextual, data-driven and solutions-driven. Our reporting centers around issues in health care, education, economics, environment and civic engagement. Based in Kansas City, The Beacon launched in 2020. It is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers.

Journalists must work to earn the trust of the public. The Beacon is transparent about its reporting and ethical practices. Journalists at The Beacon:

  • Sign agreements to abide by the Society for Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
  • Agree not to take any merchandise or food from sources exceeding $5.
  • Do not display yard signs or financially support political candidates.
  • Disclose all potential conflicts of interest before hiring.
  • Routinely write about their processes for finding information and how they analyzed data and records.
  • Use social media to engage with readers.
  • Participate in events and podcasts about their work.

As part of our transparency pledge to readers, The Beacon follows the Institute for Nonprofit News’ requirements to disclose its financial backers: No more than 5 percent of our annual budget will come from anonymous donations, we will post our 990 tax forms to our website, and we will publicly identify all donors who give more than $5,000. 


MEDIA PARTNERS

The Kansas Newspaper Foundation, an off-shoot of the Kansas Press Association, is serving as The Beacon’s fiscal sponsor until its own 501(c)(3) designation is approved. This partnership allows The Beacon to fundraise and incubate faster as a nonprofit organization, and serves as a model for future nonprofit news incubation in the Midwest.

The Beacon is a member of a local media collaborative with colleagues from Startland News, Shawnee Mission Post, Northeast News, Jackson County Advocate, KLC Journal, KCUR, The Kansas City Star, The Columbia Missourian at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Kansas Press Association. The group meets regularly to share support around COVID-19 and to dive into topics around business and revenue models, journalistic challenges and engagement. We now have an MOU to work together with KC Digital Drive on a technology solution to aid in local government reporting.