The Independent is an online publication providing an independent and professional source of news and commentary that is inspired and written by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
We believe an independent media plays a vital role in providing a space for dialogue, coverage and analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador’s place in the world – in questioning who we are, who we want to be, what we are doing and where we are going. The Independent has clearly carved a special place in the heart of Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities, and our team is striving to carry on that vision that began a decade ago.
The Independent was founded in 2003 as an independently owned and operated print newspaper based in St. John’s but which covered all of Newfoundland and Labrador. For many readers the pink, white and green ‘Republican’ flag billowing on the paper’s masthead evoked thoughts of an independent Newfoundland and Labrador, but the paper’s name in fact represents a rallying cry for an independent, locally owned and operated media – a made-right-here source of news, commentary and analysis. In a world of media conglomerates, where newspapers are being swallowed up by large national or transnational corporate chains based in mainland Canada or the United States, concerns for profit often trounce journalistic integrity.
The Independent envisioned its role as providing the province with the kind of news media that effectively serves its readers in a way that contributes to the sustenance for a healthy society.
Under the direction of publisher Brian Dobbin and editor Ryan Cleary, The Independent’s print run lasted from 2003-2008. During that time the paper established a reputation for hard-hitting and award-winning journalism, coupled with challenging – and at times controversial – opinion pieces, and insightful arts, culture and lifestyle coverage. It developed a strong readership and enshrined a special place in Newfoundland and Labrador’s public discourse. Whether publishing a daring multi-part cost-benefit analysis of the province’s experience in Confederation, or demanding safety for those who work in the offshore, The Independent provided a critical voice and assortment of perspectives for Newfoundland and Labrador, reflecting the province’s changing social, economic, political and cultural conditions against the backdrop of its deeply rooted traditions.
In 2005 the Indy, as the publication has affectionately become known, was awarded a citation of merit from the prestigious Michener Awards Foundation – an organization established to recognize excellence in public service journalism. A survey in 2006 estimated The Independent had a regular readership of 40,000 Newfoundlanders.
Sadly, as the global recession took hold of North America’s already reeling newspaper industry, in 2008 The Independent’s publishers decided they could no longer sustain the paper. The Indy ceased publication that year, and with it the province’s only truly independent source of print news.
After the paper’s demise, the demand for another media source only grew alongside the province’s fortunes. In 2010 Brian Dobbin collaborated with a team of young journalists to revive the Indy as an online publication. Dobbin, editor Emilie Bourque Whittle and Gavin Simms assembled a new team of writers, reporters, and contributors to deliver the same professional and hard-hitting news, analysis and commentary that has defined the paper’s identity since the beginning.
The Independent was officially revived in its online form on Feb. 21, 2011. The publication was launched modestly and has gradually earned a dedicated readership within the province and around Canada and the world. With a warm reception from its new and returning readers, the team used the months ahead to refine and improve its online home. In the process the project’s reins were passed on to a small team committed to the idea of an independent media source for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Justin Brake, Hans Rollmann and a group of dedicated contributors now form the close-knit team which works to make The Independent possible.
Swimming against the current, The Independent is determined to continue providing an independent and professional source of news and commentary that is inspired and written by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. To be sure, there are many opportunities ahead, but our small team is limited by our own personal time and resources.
We believe an independent media plays a vital role in providing a space for dialogue, coverage and analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador’s place in the world – in questioning who we are, who we want to be, what we are doing and where we are going. The Independent has clearly carved a special place in the heart of Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities, and our team is striving to carry on that vision that began a decade ago – but we can only do this with your help.
The Independent needs your support to keep this vision alive, and to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador continues to have an independent, professional media source to carry its voice, its experiences, and its debates about our future into the 21st Century and beyond…
We hope that you may consider a voluntary subscription or one-time donation to support us. To learn more, click here.
If you would like to support The Independent by advertising on our website, click here for more information.
Thank you for reading and supporting The Independent!
P.O. Box 692
Corner Brook, NL