Help build the thriving news source the Prairies deserve

The Prairies are anything but boring and they deserve a thriving independent news outlet. Be part of building it. Now is your chance to become a founding member of The Flatlander.

My goal is to create a news source that truly serves the Prairies, so I’m relying on reader support to ensure our stories are accessible to all.

As a journalist who has spent most of my 20-year career working in the Prairies, I’ve been disheartened by the cuts to the newsrooms in our region over the past two decades.

Not only have newspapers decreased in pages, but some outlets that have existed for more than 100 years have shut their doors entirely—most devastatingly the Moose Jaw Times-Herald back in 2017 after 125 years in business.

I’m also frequently frustrated by the short shrift Saskatchewan and Manitoba get in the national media even though plenty of important stories happen here.

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“It feels like the news doesn’t live here,” said a friend of mine who moved to Saskatchewan from B.C. I knew what he meant. My professional peers may prefer to be based in large urban areas, but I believe the best stories are found here at home.

I launched The Flatlander almost five months ago in hopes to bring more investigative journalism back to Saskatchewan and Manitoba through a practice called ‘slow journalism’. We need to understand the big issues of the day and how they impact us living in the Prairies, but instead of pumping out news stories daily, The Flatlander will take its time creating nuanced, fair articles that untangle the complex issues facing our region. We’ll hold power to account and answer directly to the people who live in the Prairies.

We won’t just report on the problems, we’ll highlight solutions.

Since its founding last year, The Flatlander has grown to include more than 2,000 subscribers from across the Prairies and beyond. When I asked our readers in a recent survey how they’d like to see The Flatlander grow in the future, more than half responded that they’d like to see a full website to house our stories and make room for more investigations.

I’m happy to share that we recently launched this website that gives us a platform to grow The Flatlander—and I’m eager to get to work on expanding our reporting. But I need your help to make it happen.

As the independent owner of The Flatlander, I haven’t yet monetized the publication—I’ve put in my own money and time in order to get it off the ground. But my goal is to create a news source that truly serves the Prairies, so I’m relying on reader support to ensure our stories are accessible to all.

I know reader-funded journalism can work in our region and I hope you believe it too.

Soon after launching last fall, I asked for readers’ help to fund our first in-depth feature. We raised $600 in donations that directly paid for a story about the challenges of accessing disability benefits from MPI and SGI following a vehicle accident. I heard so much positive feedback on this story from readers, and want to expand The Flatlander to be able to do more of this important work.

Today, we’re launching a founding members campaign to raise money for this very reason. Your donations will help us tell the stories that have long gone untold in the Prairies, and ensure that we can pay our freelance writers a fair wage. Every dollar makes a difference, especially in these early days, but monthly recurring contributions (memberships) are what will keep us sustainable in the long run.

What do you say? Do you support independent news in the place we call home?

Become one of the first-ever members of The Flatlander today by donating monthly. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

Important work at a critical time.

Over the last 20 years, on the Prairies and beyond,  local newsrooms have shrunk, which means not much investigative journalism gets done in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Flatlander is changing this.

 

Will you support our work today?

 

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