FAQ

Why should I subscribe to Civil Beat?

Since our inception, Civil Beat has been a paid-for site. Our goal has always been to have a broad impact and to build a community of engaged citizens who are involved in the conversation around the most important issues facing our community. Subscription revenue goes toward funding a professional staff of reporters and editors who follow civic issues and topics day in and day out, helping to make sense of and provide context for complex issues. To subscribe, click here.

What is the difference between registering and subscribing?

Registering for Civil Beat is the first step towards becoming a subscriber. It means that you sign up for an account with us — we know who you are and what content to show you. It will also give you a complimentary 15-day free trial which includes full access to www.CivilBeat.com. During these 15 days you will also receive our popular Morning Beat email six days a week with our editors’ selection of the day’s headlines.

Subscribing is a paid transaction that will give you full access to our site's content for the duration of your subscription. Subscribing will ensure that you continue to have full access to our content and receive our popular Morning Beat email. Subscriptions are offered as monthly recurring payments of $9.99 per month. For more information about our subscriptions, please visit our membership overview page. For inquiries on group rates, please email us at payments@civilbeat.com

I'm new to Civil Beat, how do I subscribe?

First, you’ll need to register with us by clicking “Register Now!” at the top left of our homepage, or by following this link: http://www.civilbeat.com/accounts/register/.

When you reigster, you will have the choice to either register only, or register and subscribe at the same time.

Registering will give you a complimentary 15-day trial with full access to www.CivilBeat.com. During your free trial, you will receive our popular Morning Beat email six days a week. If you decide to go ahead and subscribe, you will not be billed until your 15-day free trial is complete.

If you register and later wish to subscribe, you can always do so by clicking the "Subscribe" link on the top left of the page while you are logged into www.CivilBeat.com.

What are your subscription prices?

Our subscription price is $9.99 per month plus Hawaii GET. Your account will be billed on a recurring monthly cycle. We also have discounted rates for group subscriptions. To find out more, email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with the estimated size of your group and we’ll be happy to assist you!

I want to subscribe without using PayPal, how can I do that?

You can subscribe without using PayPal by selecting Visa, MasterCard or American Express to complete your subscription. The payment will still be handled by PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account.

I currently have a long-term prepaid subscription, how will I switch to the $9.99 monthly recurring payment?

You will need to sign up again once your subscription runs out. Our system is set up to send our reminder notices 10 and 3 days in advance of a prepaid subscription running out. However, sometimes we find that these emails are directed to a spam folder, so you can always email us at payments@civilbeat.com to find out when your subscription expires.

You will also see an overlay on the homepage reminding you that your prepaid subscription is about to run out, and directing you to the membership page to sign up again.

You can check the status of your account at any time by clicking your email address as it is displayed in the top left-hand corner of our homepage.

My prepaid subscription ran out and I forgot to renew, how can I do that?

It’s easy to get your subscription going again. Simply log into Civil Beat and visit our membership overview page to sign up for the monthly recurring payment.

Do you offer group subscription rates?

Yes, we do!

We offer Group Memberships with discounted rates based on the size of your group. To find out our group rates simply email us at payments@civilbeat.com with an idea of the size of your group and we’ll get the process started!

I’m a Civil Beat subscriber, why am I being asked to pay when I try to view content on your site?

There could be a bunch of reasons why this is happening. Normally one of the following makes things better:

  1. Make sure that you're signed in to Civil Beat. If you see your email address displayed at the top left corner of the page, that means you're signed in. If you're not signed in, we don't know who you are and don't know what to show you.
  2. If you are signed in, go to your account page and make sure that you still have an active subscription. Sometimes a member's plan will get canceled (e.g., we were not able to bill you using the payment information you provided). If there was a payment problem, please check to see if the funding source linked to your PayPal account has expired or changed. You can do this by logging into your PayPal account on the PayPal website.
  3. Try doing a "hard refresh" of your browser. A hard refresh is Command + Shift + R on a Mac and Ctrl + F5 on a PC. Sometimes your computer just gets out of sync with our computers and this helps reset things.
  4. Check that your computer's software and browser are up to date.
  5. Delete your cookies. You can do an internet search for instructions on how to do this with your specific browser.
  6. Clear your browser’s cache and/or reset your browser (if you’re unsure of how to do this, try searching for instructions for your specific browser). Note that doing so will clear all saved passwords in your internet browser!
  7. Check your computer’s firewall settings. If you’re trying to access Civil Beat from a work computer, it could have to do with your workplace’s security settings and you may want to contact your company’s IT team.
  8. Check your anti-virus software settings.
  9. If you have tried the things above and things still don't seem to look right, email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with your username (email address) and the page you’re trying to access and we'll do our best to work with you to figure things out!

What is a cookie?

A "cookie" is a small piece of information that an online site can store in a designated file on your computer. It can be used, among other things, to identify you when you log in to a Web site. When you visit a site, that site can access only the information which it stored in your cookie – not information put in your cookie by other sites. CivilBeat.com is one of many sites that use cookies. The cookie helps us determine, for example, whether you are a paying subscriber or a registered user.

I forgot my password, how do I reset it?

  1. Click here: http://www.civilbeat.com/accounts/password/reset/.
  2. Enter your email address and click on "Recover Password."
  3. Enter your new password.
  4. You can then click on "Sign In" if you don't see yourself signed in already (to check if you're already signed in, look for your email address in the upper left-hand corner). You should be then able to access our site!

How can I view my account and subscription information?

To view your account information and to see when your subscription expires, simply click on your email address displayed in the top left-hand corner of our site. This will take you to your account page, where you can view your information and manage your account.

I canceled my Civil Beat subscription and would like to re-subscribe ‒ how do I do that?

  1. Sign in to your Civil Beat account
  2. Go to the membership page and fill out your payment information.
  3. Click "Subscribe" and wait for the confirmation that you have successfully started your recurring monthly subscription!

I want to receive the Morning Beat email at a different email address, how do I change that?

Email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with your old and new email addresses and we’ll be happy to change your account information for the Morning Beat!

I pay with PayPal and I want to change my PayPal billing information, how do I do that?

We do not keep records of customers’ PayPal accounts in-house, but it is easy enough to change your account information with PayPal directly. Simply sign into www.PayPal.com to manage your account information and edit a credit card. If you’re on a monthly membership plan, your new credit card will be billed for the following billing cycle.

I’m on a monthly cycle and my subscription stopped automatically renewing ‒ why?

Usually when we see this it is due to the customers’ credit card information that PayPal has on file expiring. Here’s what to do to get back up and running:

  1. Sign in to your Civil Beat account.
  2. Go to the membership page to sign up for monthly billing again. If you are paying via PayPal, make sure your PayPal credit card information is up to date beforehand.

How do I download the Civil Beat iPhone and iPad apps?

Downloading our apps is very easy ‒ simply follow this link: iTunes

Click “View in iTunes” to download the app. It’s free, and as a subscriber you will have full access to our content!

I’m having trouble accessing the Civil Beat app on my iPad or iPhone, what should I do?

One thing we have noticed about our iPad app is that if you download the app, you must turn the iPad to landscape mode the first time you access the app, otherwise you get an error message. It’s a weird bug that we are working on fixing but for now we’re learning to live with it!

We have also had members complain that they cannot resubscribe via the iPad app — resubscribing actually has to be done on our live site www.CivilBeat.com. This is because the app is only available to subscribers. If you encounter anything weird with our apps, please let us know by emailing becivil@civilbeat.com!

Why does Civil Beat use Facebook for comments?

We use Facebook because of their functionality and the fact that it maintains accountability in our comments. We believe that a proper civic square has names and faces behind their people.

We chose to integrate Facebook comments on our site for several reasons:

  1. Expand the reach and diversity of voices on Civil Beat
  2. Maintain our integrity with non-anonymous commenting.
  3. Offer functionality like customized privacy settings, commenting threads and notifications of discussions you're in and want to follow.

I don’t have a Facebook account, how can I comment on articles?

You do have to be signed in to Facebook to comment on our articles. However, if you don’t want to sign up for Facebook, you can email your comments directly to becivil@civilbeat.com and we will post them as soon as we are able.

I’m signed into Facebook but my comments still aren’t showing up on articles, what’s the deal?

There could be a few reasons why they are not showing up on the site. If you are new to Facebook, we're finding that comments from new Facebook members are not always immediately public. Facebook goes to great lengths to prevent spamming posts by new joiners. It could also be an issue if you are using an anonymous proxy. If your comments continue to disappear off of the articles, feel free to email them to becivil@civilbeat.com and we’ll post them for you.