So here’s the scene. Jeanette Ageson (The Tyee’s publisher), Robyn Smith (editor in chief) and I are sitting around in early December having just asked each of the reporters what they want to accomplish in 2019. We were excited by their great ideas. Ambitious. Full of heart. Driven to make a difference. “Thrilling,” says Jeanette. “But, since it’s my business to worry about this stuff, it sounds like we are going to need a serious bump in money to make these dreams come true.”
We decided to ask you, The Tyee’s readers, to help beef up our bottom line.
(What am I doing in the room, by the way? I am back full time helping to edit and loving it.)
We looked at the amount of people who are monthly Builders — monthly financial supporters to The Tyee. The number was an already impressive 1787. I turned some figures over in my head. If we could convince 232 more of our readers to become Builders, we’d have 2019 to start 2019. “What do you think?” I asked Jeanette.
“It would be amazing. It’s a lot to ask, but it would solve a lot of issues,” she said.
Fast forward. Here we are on Jan. 2, three weeks since Jeanette and Robyn launched the 2019 by 2019 campaign. Did we make it? Did we ever.
As I type this at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Day, not 232 but 342 new Builders have signed up for monthly contributions ranging from $3 to $100 per month.
These Builders are the heroes of The Tyee, because they contribute to create more and better journalism even though we insist on not erecting a paywall. The Builders give so that everyone can read The Tyee without any barrier to entry.
What can we say? We are grateful. We are humbled. We are excited to be proving that locally based, independent journalism can earn loyalty — and financial support — from citizens who recognize value in what we do. In return, we are determined to deliver what we have promised. Thanks to you, we will empower our committed journalists to achieve their goals. In these pages, those in power will be held accountable. Those pushed to the margins will speak. Those at risk will find allies.
We’ve operated this way for 15 years, breaking investigations, sharing solutions, telling stories of B.C. and beyond that point the way to a better world.
Thank you, Tyee Builders, old and new, for making this possible.
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