Support Independent Journalism in Hamilton, Become a Supporter

Covering a major fire scene at 1 a.m. in the morning, with livestreaming camera in hand and broadcast kit on back (Michael Canton photo)
It’s a great time to be a journalist. The tools that power journalism are better than ever, enabling us to better connect with audiences to engage and to inform, and to do so in more innovative ways than ever before.

Today, I’m asking for your support to continue my role as a city journalist. For your support to continue delivering high-quality, accurate, and immediate journalism in Hamilton. For your support to expand the scope of coverage and to keep improving Canada’s first crowdfunded news outlet – right here in Hamilton.

Ten years ago, it was impossible to connect with our community in real-time using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Five years ago, it was impossible to go live at the scene of a major fire from a backpack.

Three years ago, if someone said a model for delivering high quality, local journalism could be through crowdfunding, the idea would have sounded impossible.

Two years ago, if someone said I would be Canada’s first crowdfunded journalist, even I would have dismissed them. I couldn’t see myself brave or daring enough to try blazing such a difficult path towards expanding and enhancing local journalism.

One year ago, I launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign based upon a simple idea: cover our City accurately 24/7 and livestream every single meeting at City Hall. With your help, we raised $10,000 to buy the equipment needed. Only a month later, the largest fire in our city since Plastimet happened and we proved how valuable live video can be. Hundreds of people were able to watch live as the Fire Department briefed us.

Today, we launch the next phase. Today, we’re looking to get make Hamilton’s unique 24/7 news source sustainable and build the foundation for expanding the number of Hamiltonians able to be journalists in our City.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 a.m. in the morning or 3 p.m. in the afternoon, if it’s happening in Hamilton, we’re covering it.

Your monthly commitment as a monthly support will enable our high-quality journalism to continue.

Why Should You Become A Supporter?

This independent local journalism site is entirely supported by voluntary contributions, it is not affiliated with any mainstream media publication or shareholder company.

The costs of producing high-quality original journalism is not inexpensive.

Livestreaming costs are approximately $500 per month presently (this will increase to $1000 per month during elections due to more mobile coverage), there are data charges, there is the cost of audio and video equipment, rent for office space, transportation costs, and journalism itself.

The monthly expenses of providing livestreams of all City Hall meetings, the public school board, police services board, community meetings & events, and live accurate information during breaking news is approximately $2500 per month. This doesn’t include any wage for myself, this just covers the expenses.

Any contribution is welcome, but the suggested annual sponsorship contribution is $25.00 per month.

What $25 does:

Livestreaming 6 hours, 45 minutes into a meeting Livestreaming 6 hours, 45 minutes into a meeting
- Cost of GO Transit to Toronto and back to cover announces such as Metrolinx’s Big Move update on Hamilton’s LRT, questioning politicians at Queen’s Park about Hamilton’s issues, and covering the Metrolinx Board meetings;
- Cost of one hour of journalism; - The cost of one day of livestreaming and video replay hosting; - A taxi ride to a fire scene at 2 a.m. in the morning; - One week’s mobile data stick bandwidth; - One week’s cell phone cost; - Three days office space rental; - A week’s bus transit costs; - A day’s food to fuel the guy behind the camera; and - Much more

Help support an hour of journalism a month by using the secure options below, or choose your own contribution. Each contribution adds up. You may wish to support with a higher amount that will ensure even more coverage, through a monthly contribution or a one-time amount during future capital campaigns.

Whichever option you choose, or even if you don’t opt to donate today, thank you so much for your support.

As the number of supporters grows, we will increase the amount of coverage of these issues. In April, we hope to hire journalism students from Mohawk College to start covering the complex issues that will impact our City for the next decade as we prepare to vote in October’s municipal election.

We’ll hire more journalism students in September to make sure every single election race is covered in Hamilton from Winona to Campbellville, all 15 Wards, all School Boards race, and the Mayoral campaigns.

Your support helps build up editorial muscle to do the quality work we need more of.

Thank You

Thanks again for watching the livestreams, for your feedback, and for your support – financial, written, and verbal. I believe 2014 will be an even more exciting year in this ongoing experiment in local journalism in Hamilton. By contributing, you ensure this will be the case.

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