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We’ve pulled off the improbable — and we need your support to keep growing

What was just a dream a little over two years ago is now the vanguard of non-profit media in Canada. But in order to keep digging into stories that would otherwise go untold, we need to grow our membership pod

You know that feeling when you’re too close to something to really appreciate it? It’s like trying to view a piece of art that’s one inch away from your nose. 

Well, that’s a bit what being at the helm of The Narwhal these past two years has been like. We started out as two young women with a dream to fill a void in the Canadian media landscape by offering in-depth and investigative journalism about Canada’s natural world. 

We hoped (and prayed) that Canadians would step up to support us. 

But what happened next exceeded our wildest imaginations. 

More than 1,600 readers stepped up to support us by becoming monthly members

Hundreds of thousands of readers now rely on our reporting each month. 

And at a time when most news organizations have been laying off reporters, we’ve hired eight journalists in a little over a year

Now this dizzying growth has caught the attention of the Ryerson Review of Journalism — the country’s go-to publication for news about the media industry — which just published a glowing feature about us (*blushing*). 

Not only are we filling a void in environment coverage, the article notes, but we’re telling stories differently — by centring Indigenous voices, by building community and by doing it all as an independent, non-profit outlet supported by 1,600 members. 

If you believe news organizations should report to their readers, not advertisers or shareholders, please become a monthly member of The Narwhal today.

“I think [The Narwhal] really fills a need that a lot of mainstream outlets wouldn’t have the capacity or the expertise for,” author and journalist Chris Turner told the Ryerson Review.

Ryerson Review of Journalism Narwhal article

The Ryerson Review of Journalism’s feature on The Narwhal included the voices of several experts who praised our publication for filling a void in media coverage.

“They can do deep dives into things that we can’t or don’t,” says columnist Jack Knox of the Victoria Times Colonist, which has republished our stories.

“I think mainstream journalism often underestimates its readers or listeners or viewers,” notes retired Mount Royal University journalism chair Ron MacDonald. “One of the great things about The Narwhal is that it does not do that. It regards its readers as intelligent, concerned, committed, engaged people and it writes to them.”

What was just a dream a little over two years ago is now the vanguard of non-profit media in Canada. But here’s the thing: we need to sign up 100 new members of The Narwhal by Sept. 30 to keep producing hard-hitting journalism. Can you become a member today for any amount you can afford?

With your support, we’ll be able to investigate Canada’s plans for a green recovery, how B.C.’s LNG ambitions line up with its climate promises and what the oil price crash means for Alberta.

We know there’s a pandemic going on and some of you may not be in a position to give right now, but if you’re able to, please consider chipping in whatever monthly amount you can afford by becoming a member todayEvery bit counts

With gratitude,

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-Chief

P.S. I know that these days the world’s problems can feel a *touch* overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like what we do doesn’t make any difference, but becoming a member of The Narwhal is one small way you truly can make a difference. Together, our 1,600 members contribute $260,000 a year, which means we can report hundreds of stories that would go untold otherwise. Please help us sign up 100 members by Sept. 30 by becoming a member today.  

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You’ve read all the way to the bottom of this article. That makes you some serious Narwhal material.

And since you’re here, we have a favour to ask. Our independent, ad-free journalism is made possible because the people who value our work also support it (did we mention our stories are free for all to read, not just those who can afford to pay?).

As a non-profit, reader-funded news organization, our goal isn’t to sell advertising or to please corporate bigwigs — it’s to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians. And at a time when most news organizations have been laying off reporters, we’ve hired eight journalists over the past year.

Not only are we filling a void in environment coverage, but we’re also telling stories differently — by centring Indigenous voices, by building community and by doing it all as a people-powered, non-profit outlet supported by more than 2,500 members

The truth is we wouldn’t be here without you. Every single one of you who reads and shares our articles is a crucial part of building a new model for Canadian journalism that puts people before profit.

We know that these days the world’s problems can feel a *touch* overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like what we do doesn’t make any difference, but becoming a member of The Narwhal is one small way you truly can make a difference.

We’ve drafted a plan to make 2021 our biggest year yet, but we need your support to make it all happen.

If you believe news organizations should report to their readers, not advertisers or shareholders, please become a monthly member of The Narwhal today for any amount you can afford.

Emma Gilchrist is a reporter, editor, public speaker and spreadsheet-keeper. She started her journalism career more than 15 years ago…

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