Hear ye, hear ye, we doth proclaim April 15, 2019, to be Tyee Builder Appreciation Day!
Why? Well, we can never really say thank you often enough. Tyee Builders are a special group of readers who pitch in monthly or one-time contributions to The Tyee’s editorial budget, allowing us to pay our dedicated, feisty journalists to tackle stories you won’t read anywhere else.
And if we’re being honest, we created a new video about The Tyee Builder program, and we want to share it with you.
It’s important to us that The Tyee’s articles are free and open for everyone to read. We don’t lock our stories behind a paywall. As we say in the video, we want our stories to “swim free, go wherever they make an impact.”
The reason we’re able to give our hard-hitting stories away is that our readers want that too. In turn, they support all Tyee readers’ ability to view our stuff for free. Each Tyee Builder, on average, supports access to The Tyee for around 90 other readers. We think that’s amazing!
If you’re a regular Tyee reader but for whatever reason you’re not part of the Tyee Builder program, we of course still want you to show up here, read, comment and share. Help us to take this moment to share our thanks with the Builders who make this whole project viable.
If you see someone wearing a little silver fish lapel pin, give them a high five. And feel free to leave a comment offering thanks to those who give to keep us paywall-free.
If you are able to join, and you want to support independent, fact-based, solutions-focused media (and you want a snazzy lapel pin for yourself), please join here.
Readers who support us with a monthly contribution allow us to be able to plan ahead and know that we have the resources to pay for longer-term projects. Plus, on the next Tyee Builder appreciation day, Tyee staff and readers will thank you!
We asked the people whose bylines you see on The Tyee to reflect on what being reader-funded means to them. Here’s what they had to say.
“An adventure like The Tyee couldn’t happen without your support. The kind of editorial freedom we have is a rare thing these days, and it feels good to know when I’m chasing stories on the street that you believe in this endeavour. Thanks for keeping us feisty and paywall-free for everyone to read.” — Christopher Cheung, reporter
“Your contribution helps me sleep easy at night knowing I’m reporting at the behest of ordinary people instead of unaccountable corporate overlords.” — Geoff Dembicki, reporter
“Builder support is the bedrock of The Tyee, and they’ve never let us down. Every time we’ve needed their help to dive deep into an investigation, bring on a big-name new muckraker, or take our election coverage to the next level, they’ve made it happen. It’s why The Tyee is what it is: fierce, independent, accountable only to readers.” — Robyn Smith, editor-in-chief
“Reader support means that nobody is above the scrutiny of a good investigative story, especially the major advertisers of larger media companies in Canada or the media institutions themselves... Many of our reader favourite pieces would have faced an uphill battle to be published in any publication with the reach The Tyee has.” — Bryan Carney, director of web production
“My attempt at a GoFundMe campaign to pay for my HBO subscription has been a complete failure and I confess I am a little bitter about that. But the strong reader support for The Tyee does suggest that people will gladly put their money behind a venture that they see as valuable and worthwhile. Perhaps my own pitch was lacking in that area.” — Steve Burgess, columnist
“Having readers choose freely to contribute financially to my work lets me know I’m reporting on issues that people care and want to know more about. Tyee Builders know that good journalism comes from fairly compensating reporters and editors. But they also know it’s important in a healthy democracy for everyone to have access to news about where they live, regardless of their ability to pay for it.” — Katie Hyslop, reporter
“Having a reader-funded Tyee fosters democratic debate, hard-hitting reporting and a diversity of opinions. It is an incredible gift for journalists, because it allows us to report fearlessly and create dangerously. Albert Camus once wrote that ‘the great citizens of a country are not those who bend the knee before authority but rather those who, against authority if need be, are adamant as to the honour and freedom of that country.’ A reader-funded Tyee is an investment in that very freedom.” — Andrew Nikiforuk, investigative reporter
“Thank you, Builders! Your generosity never ceases to amaze me. The support you give lets us do our jobs in the best way we can and helps us produce work that creates large and lasting impacts in our society. I’m really glad I get to be associated with such passionate people who care about good journalism. Cheers!” — Olamide Olaniyan, editorial assistant
“It’s tough not to despair about the future of journalism. But Tyee Builders give me hope. Thanks for that. And thanks for the chance to get up every day with the simple goal of producing journalism that matters, intrigues, challenges and reflects our diverse society. It’s a big responsibility and huge opportunity and we literally couldn’t do it without you.” — Paul Willcocks, news and politics editor
“Tyee reader support means being able to cover culture in a truly unique way. Not simply writing about productions that have large media budgets and marketing teams, but seeking out the strange, curious, idiosyncratic stories that are unique to this place. It also means being honest about things that are great, and also things that aren’t. Ultimately, it’s an enormous privilege to be able to celebrate the creative culture of British Columbia in all its variety, diversity and beauty.” — Dorothy Woodend, culture editor
“The three key ingredients for doing journalism with impact in the public interest are: independence, resources, staying connected to real lives. Being reader funded insures all three at The Tyee, for which I am grateful every day.” — David Beers, founding editor (currently initiatives editor)
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