Our crowdfunded model

The Sprawl is a trailblazer of crowdfunded local journalism in Canada. Since launching in 2017, The Sprawl has proven that readers and listeners will pay for in-depth local journalism—not because they have to, because they want to. We do not paywall our stories. Instead, we invite our readers and listeners to support our work if they value it.

Our members cover two-thirds of our annual budget. Thanks to them, The Sprawl can pay our writers, photographers and illustrators fairly and competitively for their work.

Associations and additional funding

The Sprawl is a member of the National NewsMedia Council, a voluntary self-regulatory organization that deals with ethical and journalistic practices in gathering and reporting the news (see mediacouncil.ca for more information).

The Sprawl is also a member of Press Forward, Canada’s association for independent media, along with the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

While crowdfunding is the engine that drives The Sprawl, we augment this with additional funding where possible. Since our inception, we have received funding from the Meta Journalism Project (totalling $100,000 in 2018; $142,000 in 2020; and $39,000 in 2021), along with a $30,000 grant from the Canada Periodical Fund in 2020. The Sprawl is also a participant in the Meta Journalism Project’s News Innovation Test.

The Sprawl is registered in the province of Alberta as Sprawl Media Ltd. and is owned by founder and editor-in-chief Jeremy Klaszus.