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What is The Tyee?

We’re an independent, online news magazine from B.C. founded in 2003. We’re devoted to fact-driven stories, reporting and analysis that informs and enlivens our democratic conversation. Our reporting has changed laws, started movements and garnered numerous awards. While some journalism gives the last word to power, we try to give the last word to ordinary folks. Our name? It’s pronounced Tie-yee. We explain its origins in the ‘our region’ section below.

The Tyee values our readers.

You are invited to deepen the relationship by subscribing to one or more of our email newsletters, and by supporting us financially by becoming a Tyee Builder. In return, we pledge to keep listening in order to produce journalism reflecting the values we share — a deep concern for truth-telling, justice, the environment and holding power accountable. We exist to serve you (not advertisers, hedge fund owners or political agendas).

Support from Tyee readers keeps our articles free and open for everyone to read, and lets us fairly pay our writers. It also allows us to stay completely focused on publishing truly valuable journalism for our readers, instead of being driven to sell advertising.

The Tyee's readership has steadily grown since 2003 and averages one million page views per month.

The Tyee values our independence.

The Tyee does not make a profit. Every dollar we receive we invest in journalism.

In 2020, the largest part of our budget, 34 per cent, came from our Tyee Builders — you who contribute dollars even though we have no paywall. (Thanks for keeping The Tyee available to all!).

The next largest part of our budget, 28 per cent, was supported with funding from Eric Peterson and Christina Munck, who live in British Columbia and who also fund, through their charity the Tula Foundation, the Hakai Institute and Hakai Magazine in B.C. Their demands of The Tyee are simply journalistic excellence and independence. They exert zero influence on editorial decision-making.

In 2020, The Tyee received funding from Heritage Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative to support two local reporting beats. In addition, we accessed support through the Canada Periodical Fund — Special Measures for Journalism fund for general editorial operations.

Our smallest fractions of revenue come from advertisers and project partners who we choose mindfully.

Any advertising appearing on The Tyee does not imply an endorsement of the products, events or campaigns being advertised, and advertisers have no input on our editorial decisions.

The Tyee is currently structured as a for-profit business. However, we now are working towards twin goals: become a non-profit organization that is majority reader funded. We welcome your help in getting there soon!

Past funding

Since our founding in 2003, The Tyee has published public interest journalism that was produced by other parties who received support from charitable organizations in two ways.

Fellowships: The Tyee promoted to its readers the Tyee Investigative and Solutions Fellowships. The money was contributed by donors directly to Tides Canada and an advisory board of experts, arms-length from The Tyee, recommended bursaries to individual journalists who applied for these fellowships. The journalism produced by these fellowship recipients was published by the Tyee.

Fee-for-service: The Tyee Solutions Society, a separate non-charitable non-profit was formed in 2009 to produce solutions-focused journalism in the public interest. Its reporting was published on The Tyee and made available free of charge for publication elsewhere. The Tyee Solutions Society secured funding to produce these projects from a variety of Canadian foundations including the Vancouver Foundation, the Real Estate Foundation, Tides Canada, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and the McConnell Foundation. The Tyee Solutions Society ceased to exist in 2018.

The Tyee values our region.

The Tyee is based in what is commonly known as Vancouver, British Columbia, on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

It is British Columbia-centred, with a strong focus on issues that cross provincial or even national boundaries.

In Canada’s mediascape few owners are based in B.C., which is why The Tyee was founded. We are committed to investigating, explaining and celebrating our home, and bringing a B.C. perspective — and impact — to Canadian affairs.

We do so mindful of our connection to the Pacific bioregion that extends from Alaska to Northern California. Cascadia, as some call it today, was, before the arrival of Europeans, the setting for a thriving trade network among diverse Indigenous Peoples, who communicated using a language they simplified for sharing, called “Chinook.” It became a means for Indigenous Peoples and Europeans to communicate as well.

Tyee is a Chinook word drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth language, which means leader. It has come to mean, as well, a Chinook or spring salmon over 30 pounds. That’s our mascot. The Tyee, feisty and swimming free.

The Tyee is committed to devoting editorial budget and building a team that includes the voices and contributions from a diverse array of people. We take active measures to provide equal opportunity to people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, gender identifications and abilities. We are committed to fostering a welcoming culture that encourages flexibility and inclusion so all team members can fully contribute. We actively track who gets paid to write our stories and who is featured as sources and we aim to reflect a diversity of backgrounds and experiences on our pages.

The Tyee values the impact we make.

Good journalism makes waves, as we prove daily. Tyee journalism has changed laws, sparked a global movement, pioneered solutions reporting spoken innumerable truths to power and helped map the future of digital independent journalism.

We’ve twice won the North America-wide Edward Murrow Award given for “excellence in journalism,” and, also twice, the Excellence in Journalism Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation. The Tyee and its people have received many other honours, including from the Canadian Association of Journalists, B.C.’s Jack Webster Foundation, the Canadian Digital Publishing Awards, the Canadian Online Publishing Awards and advocates for improving children’s welfare and watchdogging digital surveillance and privacy.

Our greatest measure of impact is the fact that so many read us daily. Last time we checked, the number of page views received by The Tyee since its start tops 100 million.

Click here to read The Tyee's 2020 Impact Report.

These are The Tyee’s principles.

Readers come first: Respect the intelligence of our readers. Empower with solid information. Dive deep to provide context. Be fearlessly independent. Ensure readers’ privacy. Invite readers to engage The Tyee team and community within an inclusive, civil setting.

Facts are primary. Publish credible, fact-based journalism, fairly reported and rigorously edited. Be open to criticism and correction. Handle errors with speed, transparency and humility.

Strengthen democracy: Hold power accountable. Defend workers’ rights. Amplify voices of those marginalized. Model fair-minded tolerance. Reveal causes of wealth inequality and injustice. Find and share practical solutions.

Seek a sustainable planet: Report with the next generation in mind. Expose dangers to the environment. Bring to light the true value of nature. Find and share practical solutions.

Operate ethically: Pay staff and contributors fairly. Be transparent about how we pay our bills. Spend every dime to create more and better journalism. Strive to be majority reader funded. Grow responsibly.

A bit more background on The Tyee.

If you’d like to read about our many journalistic breakthroughs and highlights since our founding in 2003, here’s a round-up.

The financial history of The Tyee began with an initial investment by Working Enterprises, a Vancouver-based labour-affiliated investment group that has as part of its mission funding socially responsible organizations. Working Enterprises, Eric Peterson and Christina Munck were joint investors until 2018, when Peterson and Munck became the sole investors in The Tyee.

The Tyee is funded increasingly by readers, who we call Tyee Builders. Builders pledge a monthly or one-time financial contribution to help us strengthen and grow. Contributions from Tyee Builders are the fastest-growing part of our budget, now making up about one-third of our revenue. We are aiming to make two-thirds of our budget reader driven.

Think of joining as a Builder a voluntary subscription — with extra benefits for you as well as for The Tyee and our national conversation.

Five dollars a month is the cost of a coffee or two (depending on how fancy you like it). Ten dollars a month is a small pizza. Fifteen dollars a month is almost 40 per cent less than what, say, the Vancouver Sun is charging for a subscription.

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