I was still working at NBC nine years ago when I met a British-Australian journalist who had built a nonprofit newsroom in Australia. Editors there worked with academic experts and researchers to produce what I thought was timely and incredibly thought-provoking journalism.

He wanted to bring his model to the U.S. I found the thought of replicating his success in Australia exciting, exhilarating and nerve-wracking at the same time. But we needed this kind of fact-based journalism desperately in the U.S. We launched on Oct. 21, 2014, in a basement with a stellar view of people’s feet as they walked down the street. (And in Boston winters, not even that.)

Eight years and five offices later, I couldn’t be prouder of how far we’ve come. We’ve produced more than 16,000 stories, which have been viewed just under a billion times. Our content is republished by newsrooms in every part of the country. We cover at least eight different beats, including the economy, health and the state of our democracy. And we have become an integral part of the media ecosystem in the United States.

The credit goes to the talented editors in the newsroom, the experts we work with and their eagerness to share what they have spent years studying and learning, the universities who believe in the model and the supporters whose generosity fuels us.

The credit also goes to you, the reader. Our goal was – and continues to be – knowledge for the public good. We exist for and because of readers like you. I’m grateful to you for trusting us and staying with us. Thank you.

Here are some of the top stories in today’s anniversary edition:

Bruce G. Wilson Jr

Chief Innovation and Development Officer

A pit bull is not an official breed – it’s an umbrella term for a type of dog. Barbara Rich via Getty Images

Pit bulls went from America’s best friend to public enemy – now they’re slowly coming full circle

Colin Dayan, Vanderbilt University

A scholar of law and humanities compares bans on dogs with any pit bull genes to “one drop” laws that once classified people with even a single Black ancestor as Black.

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

Ethics + Religion

Health + Medicine

Arts + Culture


The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:
    Which of these factors is causing stress to honey bee populations?

    1. A. Parasitic mites
    2. B. Drought
    3. C. Pesticide microdoses”
    4. D. All of the above

    Test your knowledge

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