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ALICE KLEIN

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NOW has been blowing the whistle on important issues since 1981 – and we don’t plan on stopping – but we need a little help. By ALICE KLEIN

At NOW, we are dedicated to being different. Think Free isn’t just a tag line – it is the foundation of everything we do. Now, for the first time in more than 37 years of publishing, we are asking for your support. Let me explain why.  Keeping indie NOW alive and kicking while bucking convention has never been easy. We have stayed on the scene because we are street-smart and kick-ass. 

But these are tough times for all media. Print advertising revenues are plummeting and Google and Facebook are gobbling up the lion’s share of online marketing dollars. The business model of journalism is off the rails. 

As a result, the alternative media world has suffered serious losses: the Boston Phoenix, the Chicago Reader, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Philadelphia City Paper, the print edition of the Village Voice and more. 

Don’t get us wrong. With great danger, there is great opportunity, too. And we’re adopting new services and pioneering new paths to ensure a sustainable future. We hope you try NOW Access for example, where NOW adds dollars to your dining budget while restos we love get great ads. Maybe you’ve checked out our new online NOW Tickets portal. And there is more. 

But we need a little help in this crazy world because NOW was actually invented for times like these. We are built to resist and overcome. We don’t march to the same narrative beat as the mainstream media. Our coverage strives to foster points of view that broaden and deepen our own. That is a point of pride and passion for us.

We don’t aim to please everyone, but the best of Toronto has embraced us. NOW’s combined print and digital circle of readers and influencers has grown to close to half a million weekly readers. 

That’s a lot of impact for independent media that asks vital questions, like whose voices have been left out of the discussion? How do we get closer to the lives of those impacted by policies and privilege? What is inspiring people that they need to know more about?

NOW doesn’t pretend to come from some fake place of objectivity that has left a lot of conventional media unravelling in the face of the billionaire-funded, right-wing assault raining down on journalism. At NOW, we’re not objective about social and environmental justice – we are crusaders for it.

Resistance is calling more and more of us into action, each in our own way, and the foul, hate-filled agenda all too dominant on the world stage, needs all the progressive media might it can get.  

NOW has been blowing the whistle on important issues since forever (well, since 1981, close enough). And we don’t plan on stopping. 

In this week’s issue we take the pulse of  #MeToo to gauge how social media hashtag campaigns are galvanizing Toronto women, who’ve been pushing for real change when it comes to rape culture. 

NOW has brought you to the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movement and the daily, lived experience of anti-Black racism. Our coverage of Canada 150 contributed conversations around Indigenous genocide. We delve into brave efforts to decolonize post-secondary curricula and the frustrating reality of how  continued prohibition is contributing to the opioid crisis.

We are dedicated to peeling back the onion layers of cisgenderism and patriarchy, colonization and inequality. That’s why you can rely on NOW covers to expose gender issues in the film industry or the way the justice system criminalizes people with HIV. And that all comes along with the best in Toronto food culture and music and art scenes. 

Our free listings give you access to the best events out there – regardless of budget. Deep into our fourth decade as culture shifters and indie economy builders, we keep you up on all that makes the city fun.

This is no time to stop doing our thing. The need for independent journalism and the values NOW represents is greater than ever. 

We will always be free and think free. But if you like what we do, consider sending us a little love, 10 or 20 bucks, or whatever your budget allows.

Let’s build the resistance, and together make connection, community and creativity synonymous with the Toronto of tomorrow