The Green Line: A year in review
I reveal the numbers behind my Toronto-based indie startup journalism outlet.
Hey y’all! Anita here. As 2022 winds down, I want to reflect on all the progress The Green Line has made since officially launching eight months ago in April, and even before then since the pre-launch and ideation phases two years ago.
I began dreaming of The Green Line — which was then known as “TOmag” — back in early 2020 and started laying the groundwork for my hyperlocal, independent, Toronto-based news outlet as of July. Back then, it was just me. Today, more than two years later, I have a team of nine (including reporters/producers, fellows, a social media manager and a comedian) plus two interns.
Looking back, I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. Here’s The Green Line, by the numbers, in 2022:
Number of platforms launched 8:
TheGreenLine.TO website, launched in April 2022
TGL Instagram, launched in August 2021 (soft launch was in October 2021)
TGL monthly newsletter, launched in July 2022
TGL Discord, launched in February 2022
TGL TikTok, launched in August 2021
TGL Twitter, launched in August 2021
TGL Facebook, launched in August 2021
Number of Action Journeys published: 5
Number of long-form features published: 5
Number of Engagement stories published: 28
Number of Original stories published: 32
Number of TGL community shows aired on CityNews Toronto: 11
Number of partnerships formed: 14
BGC East Scarborough
Toronto Metropolitan University
On The Record
On Canada Project
Crow’s Theatre podcasts
Centre for Social Innovation
Canadian Film Centre
Number of speaking engagements about TGL: 9
The Pivot Fund’s How to “Recession-Proof Your News Business” panel
Pollution Probe’s 2022 Conference
CIVIX’s Democracy Bootcamp 2022
Independent News Sustainability Summit (INSS) 2022
Online News Association (ONA) Conference 2022
Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF)’s J-Talks Live: The New Wave
International Journalism Festival (IJF) 2022
Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Canada Changemaker Series: Building Community Trust
The Walrus Talks at Home: News & Platforms
Number of overall funders: 4
My late grandmother, Oi-Chun Lee
Google News Initiative (this just arrived)
These numbers are particularly impressive when you consider the fact that all of the above was accomplished with just over $100,000 CAD over two years — roughly $70,000 of which was my own personal investment and around $30,000 of which was from external funders. (What’s more, less than $1,000 has gone towards paid marketing, so our traction has been mostly organic.) Late last month, I received just under $15,000 from another external funder, but have not used that money yet.
All of this has been motivated by one thing: The Green Line’s mission to help young and other underserved Torontonians survive and thrive in a rapidly changing city by delivering journalism that actually reflects their lived experiences and doesn’t talk down to them. This mission is my life’s work, and I’m committed to seeing it through.
If you believe in The Green Line and want to support our mission, here’s my pitch to you: This is an early opportunity to invest in a growing news outlet that’s making a real impact on the lives of people in Toronto. Our Action Journey model is recognized around the world, and our team and journalism have earned the respect of the Canadian media industry at large. If you’re interested in investing in one of Canada’s hottest new media startups, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s also another way you can support The Green Line financially: Contribute to our just-launched December fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of this month. You can become a monthly or annual paying member, or make a one-time donation.
This holiday season, help us extend The Green Line into 2023, so we can keep delivering community-driven and hyperlocal stories that actually matter to Torontonians. Thanks so much for your support, and see you in the New Year!
Paid opportunities: TGL producers and freelance pitches
The Green Line is currently hiring News Innovation Fellows who specialize in TV broadcasting and have experience in news production. We’re also interested in long-form pitches that tackle a systemic housing issue in the city through a solutions lens, especially from experienced investigative and/or feature reporters based in Toronto who specialize in housing issues. We offer competitive freelance rates.
If you want to learn more about any of these opportunities, feel free to contact me for more information. Or if you’re interested, please send me your resume, cover letter and links to three clips (multimedia is preferred for Fellowship applicants, longform is preferred for housing-reporter applicants and edited photos are preferred for the photographer applicants).
Quick and Clean
“In my community” and “Cool stuff I like” will be back…
One of my favourite speaking engagements last month was The Pivot Fund’s “How to Recession-Proof Your Business” panel where I spoke alongside inewsource’s Justin Rushing and QCityMetro’s Glenn Burkins.
Last month, a polarizing Nieman Lab op-ed titled “Are journalism intermediaries getting too much foundation money?” made waves in journalism industries worldwide; check out this tweet thread, which is among the most thoughtful responses to this piece, from my fellow LION board member Jay Allred.
I’m a big fan of Big Think, and highly recommend watching “Why the world is going crazy — and how to win back our minds,” which unpacks why “Meaning 1.0” (organized religion) and “Meaning 2.0” (modern liberalism) no longer provide the structure and guidance they used to.
How you can support The Other Wave
My professional mission has always been to support the global movement towards more thoughtful, impactful news coverage, and all the ways that manifests. If The Other Wave gets you to think even a little differently about journalism, especially in Canada, then I will have accomplished what I set out to do. And if TOW gets you to take action and support Canadian media outlets — especially ones that strive to be innovative and inclusive — I will have exceeded my expectations.
If my values and goals resonate with you, please consider supporting fiercely independent media analysis that fills in gaps in coverage of the Canadian journalism landscape. How? Feel free to provide feedback, pass along resources, donate money or simply share this newsletter with your friends.