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Take a stand against fake news

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Delivering fake news. Image: Flickr/The Public Domain Review

Please take a moment to support the independent media you trust. Please support rabble.ca today.

Dear friend,

Like you, we hate "fake news." We read about it every day. Trump rolls it out whenever he wants to dismiss and diminish media for simply covering stories he doesn't like. And you can be sure we'll be seeing more of this tactic in Canada with the new "Harper with a smile" Conservative leader Andrew Scheer -- we know already his links to the self-acclaimed "Canadian Breitbart" of Ezra Levant and his Rebel Media.

"Fake news" thrives in a social media environment where the shareable trumps the informative, sensation conquers substance, and clickbait triumphs over content. Sites like Rebel Media are building their readership in Canada and are disturbingly well-funded.

I keep hearing rabble is "too earnest." Damn right. We are earnest about delivering the stories that need to be heard. We are earnest about respecting the intelligence and experience of our readers (and watchers and listeners). And we are earnest and honest about our politics. At a time when we keep being inundated with "clickbait" and "fake news," rabble's writers write articles which give a progressive take on complex issues, and our editors carefully ensure that the facts in articles are correct. We can't keep doing this without reader support.

rabble.ca provides news that is authentic to our communities; news that belongs to its readers. It is independent, non-profit media. The heroes of the indie media movement are the many thousands of individual community members chipping in to build something different. For over fifteen years people like you have made rabble a strong independent voice. Can we count on your support today?

Because of community support, for more than 15 years, rabble.ca has been an ally, amplifying your work, reporting on your stories, and providing opportunities for young journalists to learn and grow. Today, up to 450,000 people read our news and views every month. 

rabble.ca was one of the first online Canadian media to host a labour reporter and to put a progressive reporter on Parliament Hill. rabble has been producing and distributing podcasts years before the mainstream media caught on. rabble was hosting online discussions long before Facebook or Twitter existed. rabble.ca has creativity, longevity and credibility.

If everyone who visited rabble over the course of a month gave just one dollar per month we could cover all of our operating costs and much more. That's the real deal. Now more than ever, we need honest, earnest, and well researched information, and we need to amplify the work of progressives.

That's why I am asking if you could make a gift, right now, to set rabble on solid footing for 2017. Can you afford a special gift of $25 or more to rabble.ca, to help us keep doing this important work? Or consider becoming a monthly subscriber for as little as $3/month?

Over the next two months we must raise at least $50,000 from our supporters, partners, and readers to keep rabble.ca going as part of our annual fundraising. It is a necessary but achievable goal that we've met repeatedly in the past.

We are always growing, training new journalists and inspiring more and more people every day.

Where does the money go?

Report. Train. This is the core work of rabble. We have big editorial goals over the coming months: from our Stop Hate series, with a focus on combating Islamophobia, to our alternative coverage of Canada 150, to our fresh take on labour reporting with interning staff reporter Meagan Gillmore, and our in depth coverage of news of the NDP leadership race and news of the Hill by award-winning reporter Karl Nerenberg -- and much more.

Innovate. rabble.ca has pioneered a lot of new technologies as one of the early online newspapers. babble was the predecessor to chat sites like Reddit; we were one of early adopters of podcasts. However, it's no secret that the rabble.ca website needed updating. We have been around for more than 15 years and we need to retain our archive of left politics and history dating back to the Quebec Summit of the Americas in 2001. In the spring of 2017 we introduced our beta site to start the upgrade process. This is just the beginning. We've got great plans for a substantial upgrade that will improve the site's overall look and feel -- a plan that is long overdue but out of reach within our regular budget. Your support in 2016 let us get to the first stage of development with the beta site. Please help us take it to the next level.

Amplify. Amplifying the work of individuals and organizations fighting for social justice is rabble's founding mandate, and part of what makes us different from other media. 2017 promises to a time of action and change: from the opportunities afforded with a potential NDP lead government and Green alliance in B.C., to Idle No More and Indigenous responses to the colonial legacy of the Canada 150, and the challenges Trump policies pose to Canada -- from net neutrality and online privacy to exposing the hypocrisy of the Trudeau government's stance on refugees and on protecting the environment. Canada needs a strong opposition that will stand up for people and the environment. And in Ottawa the Conservatives have elected a new leader deeply in the pockets of the pipeline proponents and the social conservatives. The NDP is about to make a critical decision for the future of the country on the national scene when they elect a new leader. 

rabble will be part of that action and change. We will be there with reporting and analysis from a progressive perspective. Amplifying the voices of Canada's social movements: amplifying your voice with authentic -- call it earnest -- news. 

But as we've seen in the US, "fake news" will continue to make inroads into Canada, playing a part to undermine the progressive gains. Fake news has real repercussions: it is a threat to democracy, and the industry in Canada is growing and organizing. Ezra Levant loves to crow that he has no government support and no major investors -- and that he raised over $200,000 in two weeks to build a studio when he launched Rebel media. Surely, we can do better.

We have to take a stand

Thank you for staying loyal in the face of fake news, and for holding mainstream media to account. Thank you for showing the power of progressives. Thank you for your support of rabble. 

Help us meet our fundraising goals with a donation of $25 or more this summer, and together we can make a difference, pressure the federal government to fulfill its promises, and amplify the work of the social justice groups that are already hard at work to make it happen.

Please fill make a donation to rabble.ca today.

Thank you for your support,

Kim Elliott rabble.ca, Publisher

P.S. Become a monthly supporter at $8/month or more and chose a copy of either The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Arthur Manuel, with Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson or No is Not enough by Naomi Klein – or our upcoming special edition of The best of rabble.ca!

Thank you once again for your support of rabble. We couldn't operate without you!

Image: Flickr/The Public Domain Review

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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