Well, friends: we made it. We’re finally in the home stretch of 2021. And with your financial support, we can make 2022 The Independent’s best year yet.

Between several snap elections and a global pandemic, it hasn’t always been an easy year. But The Indy has accomplished incredible things with your support.

We hired former Muse editor Alicia Morry to cover the 2021 snap provincial election through its scheduled 28-day winter campaign (and then through the chaotic six-week extension that followed.) Between Jess Puddister, Hope Jamieson, and Elizabeth Whitten, we covered 37 St. John’s city council meetings this year—and kept you in the loop with all the candidates in September’s municipal elections in the capital city and Mount Pearl (plus the mayoral race in CBS). 

We followed the Greene Report, the provincial budget, the Oil and Gas Industry Recovery Task Force, the third Douglas Snelgrove trial, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and the federal election. We covered issues that other outlets overlooked, from angles they didn’t see—including Justin Brake’s crucial coverage of Indigenous issues and Rhea Rollmann’s deep dive on trans healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador

We unveiled a beautiful new website and kept it flush with material from a wide roster of paid contributors. Editor-in-Chief Drew Brown was a finalist for a Canadian Association of Journalists award, and Brown, Rhea Rollmann, and Ashley Fitzpatrick were all finalists for Atlantic Journalism Awards. We’re even ending the year with Erin Whitney as our new Operations Manager—the first time The Indy has had more than a single paid staff member in nearly a decade. 

And it’s all thanks to the generous support of our readers.

Now, with 2022 approaching, The Independent is ready to do more than survive—we are ready to thrive.

We’re entering a new period of growth, and we’re asking for help to fund the expansion of our journalism to better serve Newfoundland and Labrador. We have big plans for the new year. We’re increasing our organizational capacity and we’ll be engaging with the community about how The Indy can best serve our collective interests as we forge ahead.

We’re asking for your help to fundraise $15,000 and gain 75 new monthly members by Dec 10 to expand our journalism in the new year.

With your support, we’ll be able to deliver more regular features, more often, from contributors you know and love. 

Beyond covering what’s happening at city hall, Elizabeth Whitten is going to be The Independent’s primary St. John’s-based investigative reporter. 

Local television superstar Leila Beaudoin—who published her first story with us just last month—is going to start producing regular video features highlighting issues and voices from Labrador and other rural regions of the province. 

In addition to filing more deep-dive investigations, award-winning journalist Justin Brake is working on a new podcast series for The Indy that draws from diverse voices to tell the story of Newfoundland and Labrador’s evolution into a petroleum province in the face of climate breakdown.

This is only the beginning. Beyond expanding our roster of freelance contributors, by the end of next year we’re also hoping to have hired a second staff journalist and be well underway in rolling back the news desert sweeping over Newfoundland and Labrador by reporting more often from underserved areas of the province.

These are deeply consequential times for both this province and the planet. The last few years have underscored both the promises and perils of our precarious present. But one thing is clearer than ever: The Independent is about to become one of the great Canadian digital media success stories as all of us, together, build the future of journalism in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Drew Brown has been Editor-in-Chief of The Independent since 2019. He holds a BA (Hons.) and MA in political science from Memorial University. He was a PhD candidate in political theory and Canadian politics at the University of Alberta, but left the program to pursue journalism full time in 2017. He was a national politics columnist for VICE Canada from 2015 to 2019, and his work has appeared in CBC, Newfoundland Quarterly, The Deep, The Scope, The Overcast, and The Guardian. He grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor and currently lives in St. John’s, NL.