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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate.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.

The St. Louis Beacon was a nonprofit online news organization that covers public affairs, health issues and the arts. It existed from 2008 through 2013, when it merged with St. Louis Public Radio.

The Beacon was launched in 2008 by a group of former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. Its initial funding was provided through grants, including a $500,000 challenge grant from philanthropist, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, the wife of the late former Post-Dispatch publisher Joseph Pulitzer Jr.

A year after announcing its plans, the Beacon formally merged with St. Louis Public Radio in December 2013, with the two organizations’ combined staff working out of St. Louis Public Radio’s offices at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The combined news organization started with 26 journalists, 13 each from each organization. Before the merger, the Beacon had a $1.4 million annual budget and a staff of 18 in 2013, including 14 reporters. It previously partnered with St. Louis Public Radio on both local and Washington coverage.

In 2012, the Beacon launched the Beyond November project with St. Louis Public Radio and the Nine Network of Public Media, funded by a $200,000 grant from the Deer Creek Foundation, focusing on public accountability reporting.

It received a $90,000 grant from the Knight Foundation in 2008 and a $100,000 health reporting grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health in 2009. Most of The Beacon’s funding comes from individual donations, some of it in the form of advertising-like sponsorships from local businesses. It conducted a $4.4 million capital campaign in 2010 and had $2.5 million in net assets as of 2013.

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Sept. 22, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
Better together: How two St. Louis nonprofit newsrooms are learning to thrive as one outlet — In December, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra published an investigation into whether Missouri was violating state law by buying drugs to execute prisoners from a company not license...
Dec. 3, 2013 / Dan Kennedy
The New Haven Independent seeks to expand its hyperlocal mission to low-power radio — The New Haven Independent, which launched eight years ago amid the first wave of online-only community news sites, may soon expand into radio. The nonprofit Independent is one of three groups asking the FCC for a low-pow...
Nov. 1, 2013 / Justin Ellis
What does sustainability look like in nonprofit journalism? — What, exactly, does a healthy nonprofit news site look like? If you’re a national site like ProPublica, is the metric winning major awards and changing policy through your reporting? If you’re a state-focused...
July 9, 2013 / Jan Schaffer
In St. Louis, two news organizations are navigating the tricky path to a merger — If all goes as hoped, in coming months St. Louis Public Radio (SLPR) and the St. Louis Beacon will formally merge their two newsrooms. It will be the first time a public radio station with a staff of journalists has comb...
Feb. 17, 2012 / Justin Ellis
St. Louis Beacon test drives iBooks Author with “Meandering Mississippi” — The nonprofit news site is one of the first to try Apple's new app to compiled its writing, photos, videos, and more into an ebook....

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: December 12, 2013.
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