The Missourian has a unique mission: To serve the community of Columbia, to train future journalists and to serve as a laboratory for the news industry.
Today the Missourian launches an experiment in the latter role.
Revenue is declining across the industry as advertising dollars shrink, and new revenue streams are necessary to sustain quality journalism. XeePay, an alternative method of paying for journalism that we are launching today, relies on small but easy-to-offer donations.
You will begin seeing the request for donations on some stories this week as we begin rolling it out on our website.
The questions and answers below explain more about how XeePay works and how it aligns with the Missourian’s mission and funding.
Why ask for donations?
Journalism is extremely valuable to the community, yet expensive to produce. We believe deep coverage of local issues is important to the community, which is one of the most expensive kinds of journalism to do. We value our digital subscribers but recognize that not everyone is willing to commit to a monthly subscription. We'd like to offer an additional way for readers to support the work we do without limiting access through paywalls.
How are you funded?
Advertising and subscriptions help defray costs. The Missourian also is supported financially by a Missourian endowment and the university. The Missourian operates as a 501(3c) nonprofit.
If your staff is primarily students, why is it expensive to report the news?
Faculty editors from the Missouri School of Journalism direct and oversee students in areas of reporting, editing, design, visual storytelling and audience engagement. Our model actually costs more than most because more editors are required. Our commitment to training journalists in a professional environment is unique. But the Missourian incurs the same expenses as other news outlets, including staff salaries, production costs, website maintenance, documents and out-of-town travel costs.
What is XeePay?
The Missourian partnered with a Seattle company named XeePay to enable readers to make small donations to local their news sites. The technology company is committed to making online payments 100 percent secure and easy to use.
Why can't I use a credit card instead of logging into my bank?
The fees credit card companies charge businesses per transaction are very high. XeePay works directly with the banking system to minimize the costs of online transactions. Logging in to your online bank account doesn’t give XeePay access to it; it simply proves to your bank you are who you say you are. No transactions are made without your approval.
Once you connect your bank, the next time you donate, just enter your phone number and approve the amount by text. You only have to connect to your bank once. Click the donate button below to get started.
How else can I support the Missourian?
Subscribe! For $5.95 a month, you can purchase a digital subscription that contributes to the work of the Missourian on an ongoing basis. Print and digital subscriptions are $7.95 a month.
Spread the word! Share the stories you find valuable with friends or on your social media. We want more people to find our content and see the value in it.
If you care about local journalism and would like to support it in a larger way, please consider donating to the Missourian endowment.