From podcast to news network: Canadaland preps for expansion

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A podcast made possible one of the biggest media scandals of the last year, more than a dozen allegations of sexual abuse surrounding “Q” radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

Canadaland was important to the story because my primary source only approached me in the 1st place because she had been told that I was the journalist willing to investigate and publish stories about the Canadian media. When she came to me, I didn’t have to ask any editor for permission – I just investigated it,” Brown told Through the Cracks via email.

The story was published last October with help from Toronto Star. Ghomeshi was fired by CBC and in a matter of weeks 15 women came forward. He now faces multiple sexual assault charges.

Three Milestones

Concerned with a lack of media criticism in Canada, in October 2013 Brown started Canadaland, but after a year he announced that he would need to raise money or shut down. So Brown launched a subscription-based campaign on Patreon with three milestones.

In part with the help of some weird but funny tweets, it took less than a day for the site to hit the $1,000 a month mark necessary for Brown to continue the once a week podcast.

Weeks later, shortly before the Ghomeshi story became international news, Through the Cracks reported that the campaign was bringing in more than $4,500 a month.

Today Canadaland brings in about $9,600 a month from 1,900 patrons, in addition to sponsorship revenue.

Once the site hits $10,000 a month, Canadaland will reach its final stated milestone and Canadaland will become a full-fledged media organization with reporters, a podcast network and a national politics show.

“I’ve already hired a part-time editor for the website, and he’s busy commissioning work from freelancers. And I’ve been searching for the right host(s) for the politics show,” Brown said.

Stay tuned to Through the Cracks for word on when Canadaland hits $10K.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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