Ive never been so sure

I’ve never been so sure r1 ... The Narwhal's masthead logo The Narwhal's co-founder Carol Linnitt gazes out at the ocean while wearing a Narwhal toque. It’s uncomfortable, how fragile we can become when we enter into a state of hope.

With cynicism, there’s a certain invincibility one gets to enjoy. But when you allow yourself to dream — to truly, desirously dream — your vulnerability becomes unavoidable.

I’m reflecting on the uncomfortable stakes of hope as The Narwhal celebrates its fifth birthday. Thinking back to the moments just before we launched this audacious new publication (a non-profit online magazine focused exclusively on the environment? Good luck!) actually makes my heart race to this day.

Looking back at this screenshot of a conversation between me and The Narwhal’s co-founder, Emma Gilchrist, from April 16, 2018, the day we officially created The Narwhal News Society, gives me a shot of nervous excitement:
Screengrab of a Slack conversation: Emma Gilchrist: There was no way of knowing then what we know today, which is thousands of other people shared our same dream. And those thousands were willing to join to make the dream of non-profit, member-driven, public-interest journalism a reality.

It almost gives me whiplash to fast-forward and look at what, together, we’ve built today:
  • The Narwhal is now a bustling pod of 24 staff
  • Our team has consistently swept the awards circuit, taking home gold for not only environment reporting, but photojournalism, investigations, digital design and labour and human rights reporting
  • In the last year we’ve partnered with the Toronto Star, The Weather Network, VICE World News, CTV, the Winnipeg Free Press and others
  • In the last half-year alone, our team has filed more than 230 freedom of information requests all across the country and is at the forefront of the nation’s reporting on Indigenous-led conservation, species at risk and mining
  • In the last three months we’ve had reporters on the ground in places as far-flung as Windsor, Ont., Kitimat, B.C., Fort Chipewyan, Alta., and Vivian, Man.
None of this happened on the shoulders of hope alone. It’s taken a momentous outpouring of public generosity — a miracle of sorts — to arrive at this incredible place just five years into The Narwhal’s existence.

More than 6,000 individuals donated to The Narwhal last year to make all of this magic happen, helping us become one of the fastest-growing member-funded media organizations in the country.
I WANT TO HELP MAKE MORE MAGIC HAPPEN When I reflect on those early days of The Narwhal, when it was still just a glimmer of hope on the media horizon, I can recall how painful it was to hear the voices of critics. Emma and I were told The Narwhal was not practical, it was too cute, too flippant, too idealistic, not possible.

And the thing that proved them all wrong? You. Our readers. And in particular our members — the everyday people across Canada who are so inspired by the importance of high-quality, high-stakes journalism they’re willing to throw their hat into the ring with us.

Will you become a member today? As a huge bonus, anyone who joins our pod today will receive a copy of our Narwhal print edition, hot off the presses.

As we cast our minds forward to what we can accomplish in the next five years, we’re again ready to embrace the fragility and vulnerability that comes with the dream of The Narwhal. And it’s once again we remember the thousands of people who have our backs. We hope you’ll become one of them today.

Take care and keep the dream alive,

Carol Linnitt
Executive editor
Carol Linnitt headshot

P.S. Our members are the unsung heroes behind our biggest investigations and most ambitious storytelling. Become a Narwhal today to support the blockbuster investigations of tomorrow and we’ll send you a copy of our limited-edition 2023 print magazine!

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