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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Mozilla is an free, open software company and community.

Mozilla grew out of software and telecom company Netscape, which was founded by Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen in 1994 and was originally called the Mosaic Communications Corporation. In 1998, Mozilla was launched as an open, global network for the collaborative creation of free software. They opened up the source code for Netscape in the same year.

Today, Mozilla is comprised of the Mozilla Corporation, which handles revenue creating products like the popular web browser Firefox, and the Mozilla Foundation, which supports the organization’s non-profit policy endeavors aimed at encouraging the growth of a free and open Internet.

The Mozilla Corporation split off from the Foundation in 2005. It relies on eight senior managers and four person board of directors for management. It released a browser called Phoenix in 2002, which would later be renamed Firebird. It was permanently renamed Firefox in 2006. As of 2012, Firefox made up 20% of the web browser market share. The current CEO of the company is Gary Kovacs, who oversees a staff of more than six hundred. The Mozilla Foundation is managed by a separate, six-person board of directors, and was originally launched in 2003 via funding from Mitch Kapor and AOL.

Mozilla reported a 33% increase in revenue in 2011, up from $123 million to $163. A significant portion of that revenue comes from Google, which pays royalties to Mozilla in order to be the browser’s default search engine. Mozilla’s stated goal is to one day allow the Foundation to control the corporation in its entirety. The foundation is also supported by dozens of small, non-profit community partners around the world.

In 2014, Mozilla announced a partnership with The New York Times and The Washington Post to create tools to improve online commenting systems. The program was funded by a $3.89 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
April 22, 2024 / Andrew Deck
A new Mozilla report exposes major flaws in social media ad libraries — A new report has found gaps in the ad libraries of the world’s largest social media platforms, hindering basic transparency efforts ahead of a historic global election year. The audit, published by the nonprofit Mozill...
June 21, 2023 / Sophie Culpepper
Pocket will show users more local news — For more than a decade, Pocket (fka Read It Later) has served as a tool for news consumers to curate and save content from different sources — an organized alternative to, among other things, keeping 800 tabs open, or ...
March 25, 2020 / Sarah Scire
Scroll and Mozilla’s Firefox team up to bring ad-free news to a wider audience — When we last checked in with Scroll, the ad-free-news-experience startup was launching to the public after a yearlong beta. Over that time, Scroll CEO Tony Haile (the former CEO of Chartbeat) had sharpened the product...
Aug. 14, 2017 / Christine Schmidt
“OK, I need to do something about this”: The Uncharted Journalism Fund is funding stories that wouldn’t be told otherwise — What if you got so fed up with the problems of funding journalism that you just got a bunch of people together and decided to fund it yourself? That’s what Phillip Smith, a senior fellow at Mozilla focusing on misi...
Aug. 10, 2017 / Laura Hazard Owen
Mozilla fights misinformation with a new program (and some help from Firefox users) — A lot of research into fake news thus far has focused on the spread of content on social media platforms (namely Twitter) or has put people into research settings where they, for instance, read mock fake news articles. B...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Caroline O'Donovan. Main text last updated: July 3, 2014.
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Explore: Gawker Media
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Gawker Media is a New York-based network of blogs founded and owned by Nick Denton. Gawker Media was founded in 2002 by Denton, a Financial Times veteran, with the gadget blog Gizmodo. The company’s flagship blog, Gawker, was founded later that year as a New York media and gossip blog. The company quickly expanded into…

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Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
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