Not for Profit – Melissa Dickinson

Posted: February 15, 2011 by melissadickinson in #5 Not for Profit

St. Louis Beacon

The St. Louis Beacon is a not-for-profit news organization that aims at reporting news that matters to its readers. In browsing this online news publication, I appreciated all the information that was all but a mouse click away that gave me an in depth look at everything the St. Louis Beacon has set out to do. Everything from their mission to an extensive look at their ethics policy is easy to navigate to in their clearly marked website. In addition, their support page was so easy to find. It is clearly labeled at the top of the page with all the other categories of news as “Support the Beacon.” I am really impressed with how organized and put together this site is. And for someone who doesn’t often log into online media organizations, I would have no problem coming back to the St. Louis Beacon for another visit in the near future.

Personally, I enjoy much more reading news organizations that are focused in a localized area. I like reading news that affects me and sparks my personal interest. Though the journalism may not be that great (like that of my small hometown newspaper “The Bugle-Observer”), I enjoy reading about the news stories that hit close to home. So, when I stumbled upon the St. Louis Beacon, a news story headlined as “Families oppose bill that would close habilitation centers” really sparked my interest. I appreciated Robert Joiner’s decision to start the story with the stories of two woman who are affected by this story. It immediately engages the reader, and has them wanting to read more to become more familiar with the stories of the two women and their families.


NPR is a not-for-profit news organization that prides itself in distributing “award-winning news, information and music programming to a network of 900 independent stations.” Thought this site delivers a comprehensive and wide variety of journalism, I find it hard to navigate through. Especially if you are on a mission to find more about the organization itself. Unlike the St. Louis Beacon, in order to find out the mission and the purpose of this news organization, I had to scroll to the bottom of the page and navigate through category after category of information just to find out that this organization is not-for -profit. Though some may view this way of organizational filing as more efficient, I honestly found my patience drawing thin because all I wanted to know was the aims and missions of this organization. Maybe I’m being too unjust, but I found it similar to researching for a paper and becoming frustrated because you know what your thinking is right, you just need the proof.

In addition, as a donator or supporter, I would find it very frustrating to locate the support page. And once you do find it, you have to open page after page after page only to be asked what your zip code is.

Where NPR and the St. Louis Beacon differ the most is their variety and selection of news being covered. However, this can be solely based on the fact that the St. Louis Beacon is delivering news that matters to its audiences (which is most likely aimed at the citizens of St. Louis, don’t you think?) Nevertheless, both organizations are excelling in what they have set out to do and I’ll definitely be back to visit both sites soon.




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