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What If the Rich Didn't Control Canada's Media?

Get lost hedge funds and oily advertisers, The Tyee is reader-funded.

David Beers 3 Dec 2015TheTyee.ca

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

Dear Tyee reader,

I am inviting you to make history. (And to prove I've not been deluded.)

I am asking you to become a Tyee Builder by pledging three or more dollars per month.

Here's the make history part: If The Tyee can be self-sufficient and grow thanks to hundreds or even thousands of readers like you, Canada will have a new business model for independent journalism.

It's that vision that motivated me, 12 years ago, to found The Tyee. People said real journalism was too expensive to be reader-supported. And that no readers would provide money to a website they could read for free. People said I was naïve and, yes, deluded. Some days I was tempted to agree.

But I don't feel that way today.

I believe that The Tyee can continue to pay for hard-hitting reporting and employ a top notch staff, because there is no point in creating independent media if it deprives skilled, committed journalists of paid work.

I believe The Tyee can continue to publish without a paywall, because there is no point in creating independent media if it deprives engaged citizens of access to crucial information.

I believe we as a culture have arrived at a point where enough people understand media isn't free. It's paid for by someone. And that readers must be the primary supporters of truly independent media.

Big media's business model relies on pleasing big interests with big agendas. Like oil advertising. Or U.S. hedge fund investors.

The Tyee's business model is a mixture of seed investment, ad sales, and Builder contributions. We are edging towards making a majority of our revenues reader driven. The Tyee team has made that its goal this campaign because they want to be accountable to you. To do even more, even better journalism, thanks to you.

If just five per cent of the readers that visit this site every day sign up to give $5 per month, The Tyee will meet its goal of $20,000 in monthly sustainers. Only a fraction of readers will give, so if you sign up to give even more than that, you're covering yourself and many other readers.

As a long time journalist, it's all I've ever wanted. I never accepted that principled journalists should be forced to serve a wealthy few who mine media for their own aims.

I won't go into detail about why The Tyee deserves your dollars. If you're a regular reader, you've heard it before, and our record speaks for itself. (If you need a refresher, go here.)

Let's prove a better model works.

Let's show that independent journalism is here to stay. And that supportive readers are why.

Let's make history by changing journalism's financial future, placing it in the hands of citizens, not moguls.

What do you think? Am I deluded or not?

Please become a Tyee Builder today.

Many thanks,

David Beers
Tyee Founding Editor  [Tyee]

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