Canada needs more independent media
The Tyee is an independent, online news magazine from British Columbia founded in 2003. We’re devoted to fact-driven stories, reporting and analysis that informs and enlivens our democratic conversation. Our reporting has changed laws, started movements and garnered numerous awards. While some journalism gives the last word to power, we try to give the last word to ordinary folks.
The Tyee is British Columbia-centred, with a strong focus on issues that cross provincial or even national boundaries. In Canada’s mediascape few owners are based in British Columbia, which is why The Tyee was founded. We are committed to investigating, explaining and celebrating our home, and bringing a British Columbia perspective — and impact — to Canadian affairs.
We do so mindful of our connection to the Pacific bioregion that extends from Alaska to Northern California. Cascadia, as some call it today, was, before the arrival of Europeans, the setting for a thriving trade network among diverse Indigenous Peoples, who communicated using a language they simplified for sharing, called “Chinook.” It became a means for Indigenous Peoples and Europeans to communicate as well.
Tyee is a Chinook word drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth language, which means leader. It has come to mean, as well, a Chinook or spring salmon over 30 pounds. That’s our mascot. The Tyee, feisty and swimming free.
The Tyee is committed to devoting editorial budget and building a team that includes the voices and contributions from a diverse array of people. We take active measures to provide equal opportunity to people of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, sexual orientations, gender identifications and abilities. We are committed to fostering a welcoming culture that encourages flexibility and inclusion so all team members can fully contribute. We actively track who gets paid to write our stories and who is featured as sources and we aim to reflect a diversity of backgrounds and experiences on our pages.
Good journalism makes waves, as we prove daily. Tyee journalism has changed laws, sparked a global movement, pioneered solutions reporting spoken innumerable truths to power and helped map the future of digital independent journalism.
We’ve twice won the North America-wide Edward Murrow Award given for “excellence in journalism,” and, also twice, the Excellence in Journalism Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation. The Tyee and its people have received many other honours, including from the Canadian Association of Journalists, B.C.’s Jack Webster Foundation, the Canadian Digital Publishing Awards, the Canadian Online Publishing Awards and advocates for improving children’s welfare and watchdogging digital surveillance and privacy.
Our greatest measure of impact is the fact that so many read us daily. Last time we checked, the number of page views received by The Tyee since its start tops 100 million.
These are The Tyee’s principles.
Readers come first: Respect the intelligence of our readers. Empower with solid information. Dive deep to provide context. Be fearlessly independent. Ensure readers’ privacy. Invite readers to engage The Tyee team and community within an inclusive, civil setting.
Facts are primary. Publish credible, fact-based journalism, fairly reported and rigorously edited. Be open to criticism and correction. Handle errors with speed, transparency and humility.
Strengthen democracy: Hold power accountable. Defend workers’ rights. Amplify voices of those marginalized. Model fair-minded tolerance. Reveal causes of wealth inequality and injustice. Find and share practical solutions.
Seek a sustainable planet: Report with the next generation in mind. Expose dangers to the environment. Bring to light the true value of nature. Find and share practical solutions.
Operate ethically: Pay staff and contributors fairly. Be transparent about how we pay our bills. Spend every dime to create more and better journalism. Strive to be majority reader funded. Grow responsibly.
A bit more background on The Tyee.
The financial history of The Tyee began with an initial investment by Working Enterprises, a Vancouver-based labour-affiliated investment group that has as part of its mission funding socially responsible organizations. Working Enterprises, Eric Peterson and Christina Munck were joint investors until 2018, when Peterson and Munck became the sole investors in The Tyee.
The Tyee is funded increasingly by readers, who we call Tyee Builders. Builders pledge a monthly or one-time financial contribution to help us strengthen and grow. Contributions from Tyee Builders are the fastest-growing part of our budget, now making up about one-third of our revenue. We are aiming to make two-thirds of our budget reader driven.
Since the start of the pandemic, news sites, including ours, have seen a surge in readership. More than ever before, people are seeking out trusted sources of information about where they live to keep them updated and explain the complex problems we are facing.
And we are happy to work every day to publish original, fact-based journalism about these critical problems. We’re also happy to make all of this crucial reporting open and accessible for everyone to read instead of locking it behind a paywall.
The only reason our team of fiercely independent journalists can do this work every day is because we have the support of our readers. Over five thousand readers support The Tyee with a monthly contribution, which goes directly to our editorial budget.
We’ve been able to meet the moment and grow our team in this challenging year because more readers than ever before are stepping up to support our work.
Help grow our newsroom and bring more independent media to Canada. You choose the amount that works for you, and you can cancel at any time.
Think of joining as a Builder a voluntary subscription — with extra benefits for you as well as for The Tyee and our national conversation.
Join Tyee Builders and support made-in-Canada independent media. Click here to join now.
The Tyee values our readers.
You are invited to deepen the relationship by subscribing to one or more of our email newsletters, and by supporting us financially by becoming a Tyee Builder. In return, we pledge to keep listening in order to produce journalism reflecting the values we share — a deep concern for truth-telling, justice, the environment and holding power accountable. We exist to serve you, not advertisers, hedge fund owners or political agendas.
Support from Tyee readers keeps our articles free and open for everyone to read, and lets us fairly pay our writers. It also allows us to stay completely focused on publishing truly valuable journalism for our readers, instead of being driven to sell advertising.
The Tyee’s readership has steadily grown since 2003 and averages one million page views per month. The Tyee values our independence.
The Tyee does not make a profit. Every dollar we receive we invest in journalism. In 2020, the largest part of our budget, 34 per cent, came from our Tyee Builders — you who contribute dollars even though we have no paywall.
The next largest part of our budget, 28 per cent, was supported with funding from Eric Peterson and Christina Munck, who live in British Columbia and who also fund, through their charity the Tula Foundation, the Hakai Institute and Hakai Magazine in B.C. Their demands of The Tyee are simply journalistic excellence and independence. They exert zero influence on editorial decision-making.
In 2020, The Tyee received funding from Heritage Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative to support two local reporting beats. In addition, we accessed support through the Canada Periodical Fund — Special Measures for Journalism fund for general editorial operations.
Our smallest fractions of revenue come from advertisers and project partners who we choose mindfully. Any advertising appearing on The Tyee does not imply an endorsement of the products, events or campaigns being advertised, and advertisers have no input on our editorial decisions.
The Tyee is currently structured as a for-profit business. However, we now are working towards become a non-profit organization that is majority reader funded. We welcome your help in getting there soon!