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Tyee’s Drive to Fund More Election Reporting Is Down to the Wire

Over 1,000 readers have got us close to our $120,000 goal. Join us by midnight tonight.

David Beers 17 Jun 2024The Tyee

David Beers is the founding editor of The Tyee and serves as current editor-in-chief.

Three weeks ago, we asked our loyal readers to pitch in for boosted election coverage. Help us fund a Tyee Rapid Response Unit, we said, to hold campaigning politicians accountable.

We need the TRRU in this age when disinformation and “rage farming” happen so easily on the internet and professional news media have been decimated by cuts.

The stakes are extremely high for British Columbia’s contest slated for October and for the federal vote that most expect within the year.

Turn our team loose, we urged, to find out what issues matter most to voters at the grassroots level and what tactics parties are using to mobilize them.

It’s none too soon to throw everything we can at such coverage because — never mind when the writs drop — both elections are already well underway.

We’ve set an ambitious goal of $120,000 raised to pay for travel, research and new specialists brought aboard The Tyee to beef up our efforts.

And today, on the last day of our drive, we are almost there!

If you haven’t yet contributed, please help put us over the top today. Our deadline is midnight tonight — whatever we can raise by then, we’ll put toward boosting our elections coverage. Sign up now.

You’ll help make a bit of history if you do. When we started this campaign, we set a modest goal of $65,000, but when your fellow Tyee readers rallied in the first week to eclipse that, we matched their obvious energy by doing something we’ve never done before. We set a “stretch goal” nearly double the original amount.

In recent weeks the Tyee’s award-winning journalists have told you why we are so eager to take our election coverage to a new level. Samples:

Reporter Jen St. Denis: “We want to travel to B.C.’s orange/blue ridings, where the contest is between the NDP and the Conservatives, to find out whether the old left-wing, right-wing division means anything anymore in this new era of populist politics.

“We want to show you who the backroom players are — the people crafting the messages and using lessons learned in the alt-right media ecosystem.”

Senior editor Paul Willcocks: “Past elections weren’t fought on creating division, fear and — the inevitable child of those two — hate. Norms are important. They deter dangerous behaviour. They, much more than laws and regulations, are the reason our democracy works.

“I worry those norms are under attack by people — not just politicians — who see a chance to advance their own interests at the expense of our democracy.”

National affairs columnist Michael Harris: “The stage is bigger than provincial or national politics. Canada is not immune from the worldwide drift to the populist right. Nor are we immune from foreign interference.

“A common denominator of all authoritarian regimes veering away from democracy is the suppression of a free press that acts as the eyes and ears of voters. For authoritarians who claim to want ‘freedom,’ they tend to be anti a lot of things: anti-COVID measures; anti-LGBTQ+; anti-abortion; anti-books they seek to ban.”

Northern B.C. reporter Amanda Follett Hosgood: “This election season I’m committed to providing in-depth, on-the-ground reporting from areas that might seem remote. In fact, what happens in the north can shake our entire province.”

Yours truly: “In these supercharged times, The Tyee takes extremely seriously its mission to publish journalism that is fair and fact-based. Other sites might succumb to the lure of the dollars that sensationalism can generate. It’s media’s version of ‘rage farming.’

“Here at The Tyee, we understand that our readers want the opposite. So I make this pledge: The Tyee will deliver even more fact-based reporting and analysis that promote thoughtful, constructive discourse. That’s our core mission because it strengthens democracy rather than tearing it apart.”

Please help us provide the election coverage you want and our democracy needs. We will share your information with no one. And you can contribute any amount you find comfortable, either as a one-time amount or monthly.

Our Tyee Builders are the reason we exist. Join the 1,000-plus readers who have chipped in so far and help us hit our target by midnight tonight.

Many thanks!  [Tyee]

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