The Sprawl is independent local journalism. It's crowdfunded,
ad-free, and made in Alberta—
a reinvention of news
in tough times. The 11 principles of the Sprawl Manifesto guide all we do.
We do depth,
The Sprawl doesn’t do press release journalism. Instead of trying to cover everything all the time, we ask: What stories are being missed? We go deep to bring fresh clarity and insight on the issues that matter.
We do context,
The Sprawl is a local riff on a global movement toward “slow journalism”: nuanced, high-quality, curiosity-driven reporting for people who want more than the daily news grind. We ask: How can our journalism deepen Albertans’ understanding of their province?2,000+
members (and counting!)
In a world of noise,
we embrace quiet.
We don’t publish every day — on purpose. No one needs another incessant torrent of fragmented information flying at them. We take our time, telling stories when we have stories to tell.
We aim to surprise
Since we have no beast to feed — no next day’s newspaper, no nightly newscast — we’re free to use different platforms and formats for Sprawl storytelling. Instead of just cranking out one article after another, we ask: How might we tell this story in a new way?
We are constructive,
We seek solutions in our reporting rather than just gleefully pointing out mistakes. We ask: As a community, what can we learn from this situation? And how can our journalism contribute to a better, more connected Alberta?302
We reject polarization,
seeking common ground.
We’d rather engage Albertans than enrage them. And we’d rather dig beneath labels than unthinkingly apply them. In an age of fear, divisiveness and insularity, we ask: How can we better understand each other?
We see our members as engaged citizens and local experts, not passive consumers.
Our journalism isn’t a product that we package up and deliver. That’s the old news model. Instead, we invite readers and listeners into our editorial process, actively seeking their expertise and insight throughout.
We question our own
assumptions and privilege.
Rather than pretending to be objective, we are upfront about where we come from and how it informs our work, always recognizing that we have more — much more! — to learn. We welcome feedback without defensiveness and own our mistakes.1,140
Cups of coffee (est.)
We strive for inclusiveness that goes beyond tokenism.
The Sprawl is not a “voice for the voiceless.” Instead, we recognize that in Alberta, as elsewhere, some voices are heard more than others. We ask: How can we amplify diverse local voices, building reciprocal relationships instead of extracting quotes?
We’re a work in progress.
The Sprawl is not some grand, hidebound journalistic institution. We’re bigger than when we started, but we’re still local, nimble and experimental. And we’re always open to change.
Now that you know where we stand, you can hold us accountable. Go!