Help build a strong media ecosystem in Kamloops (Tk’emlúps)

We’re building The Wren with people like you, who care about the future of our community

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Over the past 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside many Kamloops journalists who care deeply about their community and their work. First in public relations, then as Sun Peaks Independent News’ publisher for the last several years, I’ve learned so much about our region and our communities,  

Over the last year, I started hearing from residents in Kamloops about the strong need for in-depth, original reporting and the local desire to explore solutions and create understanding around important issues.

One resident told us, “[I want to see] Community leaders, people or businesses that are making our city a better place. Some news outlets always highlight the same things over and over and are never interested in focusing on what’s new and changing. We live in a very livable place and there isn’t enough highlighted about it.”

That’s why we’ve decided to launch The Wren. 

Wrens are small wild birds who are known for their loud and complex songs. They are also known to represent spring and rebirth, often making their home across Interior B.C. Our team felt this would be an appropriate symbol to represent our ideas around in-depth community news and solutions-based reporting. 

I’m proud to lead a network of independent community news outlets, Discourse Community Publishing, that aims to reimagine journalism to better serve communities. Its members include The Discourse, focused on delivering in-depth local journalism on Vancouver Island; IndigiNews, breaking the mold on independent Indigenous-centred journalism; and now, Sun Peaks Independent News and The Wren.

While each news outlet serves the unique needs of the communities they serve, we share a belief that community journalism is for everyone. We don’t hide our reporting behind a paywall.We’re funded by a combination of reader support, community partners, and grants, so we are accountable to the community, not corporations. 

As a community-driven outlet, feedback from people like you, who also care about the future of Kamloops, help guide our values and reporting. From past experience we’ve found that people with deep ties and knowledge of communities ask some of the best questions.

As a community-funded outlet, we’re accountable to our readers. We’re also part of a strong network of community new outlets who are proving this model works. We have a proven blueprint and a solid foundation to start from. 

It’s this sense of optimism and innovation that I want to share with people in the Kamloops region. 

So far we’ve heard people want in-depth reporting on local water issues and sustainability, local arts and culture, social justice and reconciliation — to name a few. They want to hear about the change makers, youth, entrepreneurs, and everyone who is working to improve their communities. They are worn out from overly negative stories focused on ongoing problems, alongside a lack of representation of age, gender, and race.  

Help shape The Wren and tell us what topics and issues deserve deeper attention in your communities by filling out our survey. We’re funding journalists to write and publish a series specifically addressing the highest identified need. Your feedback will directly inform this first series of reporting. 

We’ll keep in touch every step of the way to let you know how it’s progressing. 

Thank you for helping us build a diverse and healthy media ecosystem in Kamloops.

P.S. Do you know a Kamloops-based storyteller or photographer that would like to be a contributor? Send us an email.

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The Wren was founded by local residents who saw gaps in existing news coverage and believed our community deserved better.

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