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Help The Flatlander launch our first journalism investigation

We need to raise $500 so we can hire a freelancer and build our team

Kelly-Anne Riess | November 29, 2021

Growing up in Regina, I sometimes heard kids on the playground say Saskatchewan is boring. I suspect similar comments were made by other children living on the Canadian Prairies. 

As an adult, I bounced around to Winnipeg, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon. Currently, I live a 20-minute drive away from Pierceland, Sask., 187.5 km north of Lloydminster. My work has taken me all over the Prairies—from the International Peace Gardens right on the Manitoba/North Dakota border all the way up to Buffalo Narrows, Sask. 

Local, independent, in-depth.

Our Prairie stories.

I can tell you the Prairies are anything but boring. 

Ultimately, I decided to start The Flatlander out of frustration. 

I grew up reading the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s, publications that are a little light on Prairie content. 

Currently, the Globe has several reporters in Alberta, but none, at least as of writing this, in Winnipeg. However, there are separate editions for the Prairies and Alberta. The Prairie version is a mix of mostly Ontario and Alberta news. Maybe one day the Globe will fix this, but, for now, it remains one of my personal pet peeves.

I’ve also been disheartened by watching the Regina Leader-Post dwindle into a skeleton of its former self. I feel a twinge of sadness when I drive by its building to see a large part of it now housing a minigolf course and a go-karts track. 

When the paper was in its glory, it had its own large printing press and its coverage expanded outside of Regina with a bureau in Estevan. There are significantly fewer reporters there now, than when I interned there in 2003.

I can give a number of other examples of local newsrooms drying up on the Prairies, so why exactly do I want to start The Flatlander? Because there is a new form of independent news rising from the ashes of what’s left of corporately-owned journalism.

In 2021, Maclean’s listed “the new newsmakers” number 41 on the list of 50 influential Canadians. Nationally, there is The Narwhal and Canadaland; but there are also regional and local examples of indie news. B.C. has The Tyee and Calgary has The Sprawl, so why can’t the Prairies have independent news too?

The idea of starting an independent news site was just that, a thought, in the back of my mind since 2018. 

In August of this year, I connected with Indiegraf, an organization that’s been working to support independent news businesses across North America. Being selected to be a part of its Indie News Challenge was instrumental in helping me launch in November. And The Flatlander will continue to work with Indiegraf into the New Year as a participant in the Indie Growth Program. 

But, I need your help. The goal of The Flatlander is to be reader supported, so I’ve launched this campaign to raise a minimum of $500 to be able to hire a freelance writer to begin The Flatlander’s first investigation.

By contributing to this campaign, you are showing not only that you care about independent news, but you will also help me provide proof, with real community dollars behind it, that there is a need for The Flatlander, which will in turn help me build the confidence of other partners and funders.  

My goal is to provide journalism to everyone. I don’t want to put stories behind a paywall, so I need your support in creating in-depth original work. 

Help me get there by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign.  

Make our first investigation happen

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