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Media

50 Milestones from The Tyee’s 20 Years

So many heroes and high points we couldn’t possibly list them all. Join us tonight as we celebrate!

Tyee Staff 30 Nov 2023The Tyee

Tonight we celebrate The Tyee’s 20th birthday with a party that includes a raucous debate about whether journalism is a dead fish or alive and leaping forward. There are still a few tickets available and everyone is invited! Doors open at 6:30 at the Rio Theatre and we’d love to see you there to high-five.

To put you in the mood, here’s a fast retrospective of those two decades, from first rickety website to slews of scoops and awards as we aimed to make good on our pledge to give British Columbians the independent, quality news voice they deserve.

You’re the reason we at The Tyee have the privilege of proving journalism can thrive with community support. Thanks for making all these milestones possible!

The Big Reveal
Oct. 18, 2003

David Beers, on Media Democracy Day at Simon Fraser University, pledges a new B.C. news outlet to diversify media dominated by giant Canwest, which controls B.C.’s three big papers, top news station, top web portal and more. Michelle Hoar, having led publicizing the launch, becomes The Tyee’s first business director.

We’re Launched!
Nov. 23, 2003

The Tyee takes off before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iPhones or other wireless devices. The BC Liberals face no formal opposition in the legislature as there are just two NDP MLAs. Canwest gives political funding to the BC Liberals.

The first complete edition of The Tyee features a B.C. child labour investigation by Alisa Smith.

Other first-month bylines: Steve Burgess, Crawford Kilian, Charles Campbell, Tom Barrett, Barbara McLintock, Shannon Rupp and Monte Paulsen.

The Tyee’s Founding Investors
Nov. 23, 2003

The Tyee launches as a partnership with David Beers and Working Enterprises, a holding company owned by the BC Federation of Labour and several unions. B.C.’s labour movement shows vision by financing and catalyzing a new, editorially independent media entity. Working Enterprises continues its vital financial underpinning into 2018, as The Tyee grows its budget by attracting reader member support, more investment and other revenue. The B.C. labour movement's substantial contribution lays the foundation for The Tyee’s continued success.

The Tyee’s First Big Scoop
Jan. 30, 2004

Barbara McLintock uncovers a plan to soften B.C.’s drunk driving law — after Premier Gordon Campbell’s own DUI. At a hastily called news conference, Public Safety Minister Rich Coleman scuttles the idea.

First Award Nod
September 2004

Chris Tenove’s reporting on “heartland” towns hard hit by cutbacks is named a Webster finalist.

First Angry Call from a Politician
Dec. 1, 2004

Tory MP Stockwell Day, a creationist, phones to vent about a Murray Dobbin column, “The Man Who Walks with Dinosaurs.”

Early Warnings
Jan. 31, 2005

The Tyee’s Charles Campbell and David Beers testify to the Senate on why Big Media mergers are bad for democracy and, ultimately, the news business. “Promote different kinds of ownership,” urges Campbell.

‘Yoga Mogul Has Critics Tied in Knots’
Feb. 17, 2005

Scott Deveau’s exclusive lands Chip Wilson in The Tyee’s pages for his provocative words on child labour and garment workers. Wilson affirms our story in the comment thread.

Rafe Mair Comes Aboard
March 28, 2005

The maverick former Socred MLA and top radio host pens his first of years of fiery columns. Upon his passing in 2017, The Tyee creates the Rafe Mair Memorial Fund for environmental reporting.

‘Donategate’
April 25, 2005

Tyee reporter Dee Hon breaks the biggest story of the 2005 election: the BC Liberals illegally “duped” towns into giving campaign funds.

‘100-Mile Diet’
June 28, 2005

Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon decided to try living on food produced only within 100 miles of their Vancouver home. Their Tyee locavore series grows into a bestseller, TV show, foundation and global phenomenon.

Let’s Try ‘Crowdfunding’
Dec. 6, 2005

We ask readers to donate to The Tyee’s Investigative and Solutions reporting funds that award $5,000 to freelance applicants. More than $35,000 rolls in the first time we ask and readers go on to fund more than 20 major projects.

Not ‘Feeling Good’
April 7, 2006

After Mark Mushet writes on male crooners, unfavourably comparing Michael Bublé to Morrisey, we get a voice mail from someone saying he’s Bublé (and sounding a lot like him). He’s angry, wants to fight Mushet, who does not take up the offer.

Terry Glavin, Heavy Stoker
Oct. 18, 2006

The free-swinging journo Terry Glavin arrives at The Tyee with the headline “Is the Left Too Smug? New Column Aims to Stoke Debate.” Glavin does just that for the next several years.

Tieleman Starts His Run
Oct. 31, 2006

Former NDP strategist Bill Tieleman writes his first of hundreds of spicy regular Tyee columns. His trenchant and often controversial takes on B.C. politics span 14 years.

A collage of beautiful photos featuring landscapes, cityscape, mountains, a hummingbird and people.
Our readers take beautiful pictures. These were selected from 'Your BC: The Tyee’s Photo Pool' on Flickr to illustrate a photo essay capturing all of the seasons of 2019.

Click!
April 24, 2009

We start a Flickr pool for Tyee readers. Their stunning photos pour in.

We’re Honoured
Summer 2009

The Tyee lands the North America-wide Edward R. Murrow Award for digital news. Previous winner: the Washington Post. We win again in 2011.

Creative Juice
August 2009

The Tyee is named one of the province’s most innovative companies by BCBusiness magazine.

Crawford the Sage
May 14, 2010

Prolifically brilliant Crawford Kilian publishes one of The Tyee’s most read stories ever: "The 10 Most Harmful Novels for Aspiring Writers." The story lands him on U.S. National Public Radio.

Hockey (Riot) Night in Canada
June 16, 2011

Tyee regular Mark Leiren-Young goes to watch the Canucks win a Stanley Cup. Instead he writes “A Social Media Riot Made for TV.”

Gimme Shelter
Aug. 9, 2011

The Tyee launches “The Housing Fix” series, hundreds of stories on affordable housing solutions, with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC.

Occupy Vancouver
Sept. 26, 2011

We interview the Occupy Wall Street movement’s culture-jamming co-founder Kalle Lasn and publish student Katrina Orlowski, who tells corporate media to stop its scoffing.

A protester wearing a black baseball cap and a bandanna over their face stands in the street holding a cardboard sign that reads 'Re-evaluate value. Redefine wealth.' In the background is a line of officers in neon green vests over black uniforms.
Members of Occupy Vancouver protest outside the Port of Vancouver, shutting down traffic, on Dec. 12, 2011. Photo by Jonathan Hayward, the Canadian Press.

Sean Holman’s Pivot
November 2011

Sean Holman shutters his path-breaking, muckraking Public Eye blog and pivots to posting scoops on The Tyee, among others.

Ticket to Norway
July 2012

The Tyee sends Mitchell Anderson to learn how Norway keeps far more oil wealth than Alberta. The series goes viral.

Idle No More
Jan. 19, 2013

Tyee coverage includes Heiltsuk councillor Jess Housty’s advice to non-Indigenous people: “Eight Ways to Take Part in Idle No More.” She writes: “Change won’t happen unless we want it, demand it, and work for it, and it’s going to take all of us in each community committing ourselves.”

‘Are We Screwed?’
March 2014

That’s our title for Geoff Dembicki’s 18-part Tyee series on the climate crisis and millennials. It becomes a prize-winning book.

We Won’t Be Censored
Nov. 6, 2014

The Tyee’s Andrew MacLeod publishes internal emails about a B.C. health scandal. A ministry lawyer demands we stop. We publicly refuse and government relents.

Our Most Read Story
Aug. 10, 2015

The Tyee documents 70 cases of misrule by Stephen Harper and his Tory team, who lose election. So far, there’s over 600,000 views and rising.

Testify!
Sept. 27, 2016

Tyee publisher Michelle Hoar and editor-in-chief Robyn Smith speak to the House of Commons on eroding local journalism and solutions. Says Smith: The “$190,000 that launched The Tyee in 2003 may be a little more today. Let's say it's $350,000. Supporting the launch of 20 Tyee-like outlets across Canada would cost $7 million. In my town, that's seven houses.”

Follow the Money
Nov. 11, 2016

The Tyee’s reader-funded Ottawa reporter, Jeremy Nuttall, breaks major national stories on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “cash for access” fundraisers held by Chinese-Canadian business leaders.

That’s the Ticket
January 2017

Culture vulture Dorothy Woodend, who started as The Tyee’s film critic in 2004 and went on to lead the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, gets a rare invite — to join the global Broadcast Film Critics Association, which confers Critics Choice Awards.

Tyee Changes a Law
February 2017

B.C. bans bosses that make restaurant and bar servers wear high heels. Premier Christy Clark credits Rachel Sanders’ reporting on the issue for inspiring the new regulations.

Reporter Jamin Mike holds a recording device in front of Jody Wilson-Raybould as she speaks.
Jamin Mike reporting for The Tyee as Jody Wilson-Raybould gets re-elected in 2019. Photo by Mike Howell.

Supporting Emerging Indigenous Reporters
July 6, 2017

The Tyee begins hosting and training young Indigenous journalists in partnership with Journalists for Human Rights. We and our readers benefit from stellar work by Emilee Gilpin, Jamin Mike, Andrea Smith and Janessa Joy Klukas.

A Boost from New Investors
Aug. 21, 2018

Founding backer Working Enterprises bows out after 15 years of core investment in the publication. Eric Peterson and Christina Munck, who earlier had jointly held a minority investor position, step in as sole investor to fund a new era of Tyee growth, our pivot to non-profit status, and our progress towards gaining charitable status. The duo are B.C.-based philanthropic founders of Hakai Institute, which pursues scientific research related to coastal zones.

‘Champion of Child and Youth Rights’
November 2018

First Call’s award cites Katie Hyslop for reporting on “education, foster care, Indigenous issues, housing and poverty.”

There’s a Good Watchdog
June 27, 2019

“We would not know what we know about TransLink data sharing, RCMP social media snooping or the B.C. connection to the Facebook scandal” without investigations by The Tyee’s Bryan Carney and Andrew MacLeod, says the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association as it gives the duo an award.

Covering Land Defenders
February 2020

Tyee northern B.C. reporter Amanda Follett Hosgood is on the snowy frontlines of the Wet’suwet’en resistance to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a major national story, and later is quoted in a Columbia Journalism Review special report on police tactics against journalists during the standoff.

Pandemic Push
March 2020

The Tyee meets the global crisis by adding health reporter Moira Wyton and other staff while upping coverage 50 per cent. We also partner on science stories with Hakai Magazine. Readers respond with record-level financial support.

Ace Downtown Eastside Reporter
July 3, 2020

Jen St. Denis brings impact from Day 1, helping to spark a BC Housing conflict of interest probe and a coroner’s inquest into a deadly single-room occupancy hotel fire.

How to Stop a Coal Mining Plot
Feb. 9, 2021

When Alberta’s government backed down on plans, hatched in secret, to open the Rockies to open-pit coal mining, much credit for the stop went to Andrew Nikiforuk’s relentless exposés.

An illustration shows three cards: one labelled 'Dutiful Other' with a person emerging from a van carrying packages; one labelled 'Model Minority' showing a man and woman with dark skin tones standing in an embrace; and one labelled 'Tiger Mom' showing a woman with her hand on her hip standing in a doorway.
An illustration from Christopher Cheung’s groundbreaking series 'Under the White Gaze' explaining how new media engage in harmful stereotypes and how to avoid them. Illustration by Stella Zheng.

‘Under the White Gaze’
June 14, 2021

What started as an award-winning essay by reporter Christopher Cheung on ways Canadian news media can better represent racial and ethnic diversity becomes a “pop-up newsletter,” then a Tyee series. Now a book is in the works.

Gosh, Thanks
Sept. 20, 2021

The Tyee receives B.C.’s highest recognition for a journalistic entity, the Jack Webster Foundation’s Bill Good Award for an “individual or organization that makes a significant contribution... or addresses a community’s needs and benefits via journalism.”

Officially Non-profit!
January 2022

With Jeanette Ageson at the publisher helm since 2016, revenues from paying members steeply rise. As ever, all proceeds go to journalism, not hedge funds or shareholders. Now our non-profit status is formal. In 2024 we expect to be able to issue tax receipts for donors.

Now We’re Really Blushing
June 1, 2022

The Tyee wins its second straight prestigious General Excellence Award from the Digital Publishing Awards. Judges say we’re “an independent online institution that has the seriousness of an institution but the honesty of a free entity... no fluff, no busy banner ads, just good journalism.”

‘Escape from Crimea’
Jan. 20, 2023

Ukrainian Yuriy Umansky ran a leading newspaper in Crimea until Putin allies shut it down. When it came time to flee, he picked Vancouver, and wrote about why in The Tyee.

Hiya Neighbours!
March 27, 2023

Noticing Albertans love Tyee stories about their province, we launch a free, fast-growing e-newsletter called “The Alberta Edge.”

Zucked! Meta Blocks Tyee
June 2023

In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s $700-billion corporation blocks all Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram. Google threatens the same, resisting the Bill C-18 legislation requiring tech giants to share profits with media organizations.

‘Surviving, in Their Own Words’
June 16, 2023

Eleven B.C. climate disaster survivors share their accounts. The collaboration with the University of Victoria’s Climate Disaster Project is part of Francesca Fionda’s comprehensive series “Bracing for Disasters” investigating B.C.’s emergency response needs.

New Business Pages for Our Bioregion
Nov. 15, 2023

We launch a new section called “What Works” publishing profiles of people at work on the economy we need from Alaska to northern California.

The Big 2-0!
November 2023

In two decades, our staff of one and a half has grown to 23. Total visits to The Tyee top 100 million. Today, 83,000 subscribe free. Nearly 10,000 are paying member “Builders” (thanks if you’re one!). And though we said goodbye to the leaping salmon logo in 2022, we’ll always swim against the current. Here’s to 20 years more!  [Tyee]

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