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A new era in independent media

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rabble.ca is on the right side of history

We're delighted to offer gifts from Michael Moore and author Lawrence Hill to help celebrate rabble's 15th anniversary. Find out how you can help build a new era in independent media!

Dear rabble readers,

rabble.ca has achieved a remarkable milestone: 2016 marks our 15th anniversary! Years before Twitter existed. Well before Facebook. And just a few months after Wikipedia. Before most of the Internet as we know it today, a group of intrepid journalists and Internet activists launched Canada's first online-only independent media publication. Thanks to the support of individuals like yourself, rabble started a small, lasting revolution in Canada in one modest corner of the Internet. Now you have the opportunity to support the launch of a new era in Canadian independent media.

Against the backdrop of the third Summit of the Americas meeting and protests in Quebec City on April 18, 2001, rabble.ca was born. From the streets where protesters pulled down a section of the three metre-high concrete-and-wire fence, hurled teddy bears, and fought against the full force of unilateral trade deals, Judy Rebick dictated the first-ever news stories by phone to then editor Jude MacDonald.

Since then, we've built the largest, longest-surviving, most diverse archive of the struggles for social change in Canada that is truly second to none. In 2012 we had the privilege of taking over our sister site in progressive reporting -- Straight Goods News. That's why rabble now hosts the most diverse archive of left news, stories, and opinion in the country. It's something we can be fiercely proud of. A reliable source of the left's heart and soul used widely by radical students and newsreaders alike. Think about it. Where else can you find the most broad-based collection of Canadian grassroots history? It doesn't exist anywhere else. rabble.ca is something worth preserving, celebrating, and, most importantly, growing.

We want to give you a chance to own a piece of history. This year we're putting together a special best of rabble edition to celebrate our 15-year anniversary. The collection pulls together the very best of the last 15 years of rabble's role in fighting for social change all over Canada.

This is bigger, better, and bolder than anything we've done in the past. All we ask in exchange is that you donate just $5/month or make a one-time gift of $50 or more. If you make a special anniversary contribution of $15/month, a one-time gift of $180 or more, we'll not only send you the best of rabble 15 year anniversary edition but we'll also give you your choice of a copy of Lawrence Hill's award-winning book The Illegal or a copy of Michael Moore's new film Where to Invade Next.

Some things haven't changed over the last 15 years. Take Big Media's bullying of Rachel Notley's government. Or its campaign to make the Leap Manifesto and the NDP enemies. Big Media doesn't want progressive government. But even where mainstream media failed to convince Canadians to vote en masse for Stephen Harper's Conservatives, they succeeded in other jurisdictions like Manitoba and Saskatchewan. And let's not forget the terrifying situation south of the border, where mainstream media, as Amy Goodman points out, essentially created the conditions for Donald Trump's ascension. Even rabble gets bullied by the mainstream media -- we've been derided for our principles,most recently for calling out the Conservative Party's dirty election tactics and dog-whistle racism like the phrase "old-stock" Canadians.

All over Canada, good, independent-minded reporters are becoming a thing of the past. The for-profit model of journalism is causing newspapers to fold, newsrooms to merge, and journalists to be in the impossible position of only promoting the interests of shareholders and advertisers that have a vested interest in news that benefits the bottom line. This is unacceptable. Communities all over Canada are losing local coverage in favour of consolidated newsrooms. Who will fill in the cracks?

We will. With enough resources, rabble could be out there covering more of the news and stories of individuals and organizations fighting for social change. With your help, we can put in place our plans for 2016 to bring more regional writers, more Indigenous thinkers, and a more diverse array of workers on board, and expand independent media reporting and analysis in Canada. Help us build a mobile website that will change the face of rabble. We know, we get it: anyone will tell you that it is easy to build a new web platform today -- but when you hold 15 years and literally millions of pages, host thousands of audio podcasts and video -- the challenge is beyond that of the average click-bait website. The plans are there but we need your help to get that finished. As well we're introducing some new and exciting editorial features that will blow you away. Including:

  • rabble goes mobile: How do you read rabble? Let me guess. Not on your phone. A shocking 80% of our nearly half million readers each month still read rabble on their laptops or computers! To reach even more readers in Canada and around the world, our website needs a boost. Help us with our plans to get a version of the site up and running right away that displays on mobile devices so when news breaks you don't have to hear about it while at your desktop.

  • new(s) features: There's so much news on the horizon that we'll have to pull out all the stops. Who will win the B.C. election? Who will be the next NDP leader? Will we all take the Leap? And what about coverage of Indigenous issues like the INAC occupations, environmental issues like the unrelenting wildfires and their connections to climate change? We're ready to cover them all but can't if we don't receive enough support.
  • more diversity, more reporters: We could hire the next generation of diverse, Indigenous, local, national, and issues-based reporters. Each time we post a hiring, we're swamped with resumes of some of the most credentialed professionals clamouring to write for rabble. We hire when we can, but our budget is only barely $400,000. Consider this: our budget is about $100,000 less than the annual salary of just ONE broadcast journalist, like Peter Mansbridge -- who earns an estimated salary of more than $500,000. Make rabble stronger with a monthly donation.

We know that this isn't the only request you will get from organizations asking for your support. And we know you likely don't have much to spare. But rabble's 15th anniversary is more than just a cause for celebration. It's about a historic milestone in the development of independent media in Canada. We've come a long way and with just a little bit more support we can do so much more. Donate now and get yourself a piece of rabble.ca history.


Kim Elliott

P.S.: Are monthly donations really not your thing? Make a one-time gift here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


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