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‘I want to feel hopeful about something’: celebrating four years of The Narwhal and our members

We’re ringing in our fourth birthday with a toast to our members who make our investigative journalism possible. Here’s to many more stories to come

In 2018, when Carol and I co-founded The Narwhal, we were just that: two of us. Two women with a dream of reinventing what environmental journalism looked like in Canada.

Four years later, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of readers from coast to coast who put their faith in us, I get to look at a screen overflowing with 22(!) staff members doing game-changing work.

Twenty-two Narwhals. Pretty incredible crowd to ring in our fourth birthday, isn’t it? 🥳

A gif of Narwhal staff members waving and dancing as we celebrate our fourth birthday.

In the beginning, Carol and I were wrangling freelancers and pounding the pavement ourselves to break stories. Fast forward to today, and we have staff reporters from Victoria to Smithers, Edmonton to Winnipeg, Toronto to Ottawa. We are partnering with some of the biggest news organizations in the country, getting recognized for our work defending press freedom in Canada and publishing a new piece of investigative journalism seemingly every week.

Another thing that happens every week? My inbox gets flooded with dozens of notes from people just like you who decided to support our investigative journalism by becoming members for any amount they could afford.

“The Narwhal goes places and has a focus that other news media don’t. We need those stories.”

“Environmental journalism is essential to finding real solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis.”

“I’m kind of losing hope. I want to feel hopeful about something.”

The news all around us can be overwhelming — and sometimes it might not feel like you can make a difference. But becoming a member of The Narwhal is one way you truly can.

Investigating stories others aren’t. Diving deep to find solutions. These are the core tenets of what we do here at The Narwhal. It’s also the kind of work that takes time and resources to pull off. 

That’s why I’m turning to each of you, our loyal readers, to help us ring in our fourth birthday by becoming a member of The Narwhal today. We’re on a mission to add 500 new members in May so we can pull off three more ambitious investigations this year — and we’re nearly halfway there! We just need your help to make them happen.

gif of a Narwhal tusk stretching out toward our goal of 500 new members.

“These are the stories that need to be told and you are some of the only ones telling them,” wrote John Mertz, one of our newest members.

By supporting our work for any amount you can afford, you’re helping to bring critical journalism about the future of our planet to the forefront. Will you join John and nearly 4,400 other readers who make The Narwhal possible?

When I look at all our readers have made possible in The Narwhal’s first four years, my head spins with the possibilities of where we’ll be in another four years. Thank you for believing in what we do.

Here’s to four years and many more,

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-chief

P.S. We need to add 309 more members in May to pull off three more ambitious investigations in 2022. Please sign up for any amount you can afford today. Bonus: anyone who signs up as a member will get a copy of our annual print edition, packed full of must-read investigative journalism.

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

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An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s environment and climate reporting.
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An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s environment and climate reporting.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'