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Have you ever looked at the top 100 charts for news and politics podcasts in Canada? 75% of Canadian news and politics podcast downloads are actually American content. Milquetoast centrism and dangerous far-right extremism make up the majority of popular shows.
Well-funded outfits like the CBC offer Canadian perspectives to a certain degree, but the Toronto-based media establishment doesn't challenge the status-quo.
More than 20% of Canadian podcast listeners are tuning in to at least one episode of the Joe Rogan Experience in any given month. Why are one in five Canadians listening to a rambling and often radically right-wing podcast?
More likely than not, you'll find shows like Ben Shapiro, the Rebel and other right-wing shows. In a world where progressive ideas are so popular, these shows shouldn't be doing so well.
But these groups have vast networks behind them, funded by corporate ad dollars that will never challenge the status quo.
If we want to push for bold, progressive ideas and create media that challenges the status quo, we won't find it with the CBC. We have to build our own network, one that can work together and go head-to-head with them, by empowering a new generation of leftist media creators.
This is why we're launching the Harbinger Media Network.
Harbinger Media Network is group of leftist podcast and content creators joining forces to create a media network that will challenge existing right-wing and corporate media dominance.
Technical expertise, finding good guests, shifting narratives, finding listeners - it's an extreme challenge for new or even long-standing shows.
The reason many established shows like CBC and Canadaland do so well is because they have a massive network of listeners who help their shows grow. A single leftist show by itself will struggle to reach that scale. But by working together, creating a shared network that amplifies each other's work, we can collectively grow and reach more people.
We have something these networks don't - solidarity. We aren't trying to wring every dollar from our listeners. Our vision for Harbinger is that it's a space where leftists shows can collectively work together, sharing ideas, resources, and helping each other build media platforms that thrive.
Just like good ideas aren't limited by geography, Harbinger won't just be a Canadian network. We've got plans to expand internationally, helping elevate and grow under-heard shows that want to reach new audiences.
We also plan to create shows exclusive to the network. Our podcast members already have some exciting ideas we can't wait to share with you. With our combined expertise and ideas, there's no limit to what we can create.
We're confident we can create a network that challenges mainstream corporate media. But to bring our vision to life, we need your support.
What We'll Do With Your Contribution
We've crunched the numbers and consulted with our team to figure out how to use your donations as wisely as possible.
Since we're a nonprofit, we don't have to worry about massive executive salaries, or making a profit. All money will be reinvested in the network, paying people fair wages and compensating them for their time.
We're aiming to hit $3,000 in monthly revenue with our crowdfunder by October 2nd. We realize it's a big ask, but to challenge corporate media and kick Ben Shapiro off those charts, we need to think big.
We want to be as transparent as possible. Along with our amazing board of directors who will help oversee spending, we want to lay out exactly how we'll spend your donations:
But to challenge right-wing and corporate media, we can't just do podcasts. We need to be present on every type of media
In 2021 we'll launch an aggressive expansion plan by promoting and partnering with video producers to create more compelling Canadian YouTube content.
And we plan on massively growing the network by bringing on shows outside Canada to create a truly international network.
You might be thinking this is an aggressive plan. You're right. But we cannot afford to think small with the world careening out of control. We have to shoot big. And we're confident we can do it with your help.
Meet the Network Shows
We've lined up 20+ of the most widely listened-to left podcast shows in Canada. Stay tuned for the announcement of new ones over the next two weeks.
The popular and influential Calgary-based Alberta Advantage, featuring political commentary, news and analysis from a left-wing perspective.
Broadcasting from Vancouver Island, host Chris Markevich presents LEFT BEHIND, a weekly series of interviews articulating a vision of what a socialist society could look like in an age of right-wing populism.
Edmonton-based The Progress Report offers news, analysis, and caustic media criticism on Alberta politics every two weeks from host Duncan Kinney and producer Jim Storrie.
Oats for Breakfast
Popular bi-weekly Toronto eco-socialist podcast Oats for Breakfast approaches questions relevant to socialist strategy from an open, non-dogmatic perspective with hosts Umair, Sadia and a rotating panel of guests
2018 Paris Podcast Award-winning Fil Rouge, the Ricochet Media series featuring stories and perspectives from Wendake, Mashteuiatsh, Unamen Shipu and other communities in Quebec’s far north,
Le Plancher Des Vaches
In collaboration with Ricochet Media, hosts Julie Dufort and Ludvic Moquin-Beaudry present a weekly french-language round-table conversation on Le Plancher Des Vaches. Season 3 focuses on America’s November 2020 election with special guests including investigative journalist Martin Forgues, best-selling humourist Léa Stréliski and more.
In collaboration with Ricochet Media, Montreal’s enormously popular ‘Les Ficelles’ podcast joins HMN for it’s 3rd season as Amelie, Robin and Solene cast a critical eye on society and politics as they explore the unique world of Quebec pop culture through a feminist lens.
New releases, throwbacks, TV and more get covered on KINO LEFTER, a socialist podcast about movies and culture from Edmonton’s Evan MacDonald.
Ideological influencer and Twitter titan Rob Rousseau explores the hellish nightmare world of modern reality with listeners every two weeks on Montreal’s 49th Parahell.
Tech Won't Save Us
Radical urbanist, Jacobin contributor and Newfoundlander Paris Marx hosts the weekly podcast Tech Won't Save Us, offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world.
Big Shiny Takes
On the world’s only anti-free speech podcast, Big Shiny Takes hosts Eric, Jeremy and Marino punish the pundits and dismantle the sorry state of Canadian media in a bi-weekly conference call between Medicine Hat and the GTA.
Out of Left Field
Broadcasting from the Gulag Archipelago of Victoria, British Columbia a prosecco prole (Ben), a Crown Royal commie (Anthon), and a Colt 45 commissar (Mackenzie) team up to take on the world of socialist politics through a prism of camaraderie and alcohol every two weeks on Out of Left Field.
Bread and Poppies
Hilary Agro gets 'high' 'Marx' for her series of conversations on the War on Drugs and a post-capitalist future on the Toronto-based Bread and Poppies
Grab a cup of mint tea and join Mississauga's Nashwa Lina Khan and friends as they explore issues in politics, pop culture and beyond with special guests on Habibti Please
Join Vancouver comedian Charlie Demers (author of Property Values, The Horrors and Vancouver Special) as he engages with fiction and non-fiction books of interest to the left.
People's Media Platform
On every episode of People's Media Platform, Geoff Sharpe interviews leading progressive media publishers, podcasters, YouTubers and Twitch streamers and hears about their challenges and successes and explores how leftist media is challenging the status-quo.
Stay tuned for more shows announced over the next few weeks
Our Board of Directors
We've assembled a team to help shape the network and help our team hit the aggressive goals we've set. We'll be announcing them shortly.
Dr. Roberta Lexier
Historian Dr. Roberta Lexier teaches at Calgary's Mount Royal University with a focus on social movements, left politics, and social change. Her research explores student movements in English Canada and the intersections between social movements and the NDP. She appears regularly on The Alberta Advantage and other podcasts. Find out more about Dr. Lexier work at robertalexier.com
Dr. Jessica Green
Political scientist Dr. Jessica Green teaches at the University of Toronto with a focus on climate governance, non-state actors and transnational regulation. Dr. Green is a Jacobin contributor and blogs regularly for The Washington Post.
Kai Nagata is the Energy and Democracy Director at Dogwood, an environmental advocacy organization based in Victoria, BC. A former TV journalist with CTV and the CBC, Nagata's writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, the Tyee, DeSmog Canada, the Vancouver Sun and elsewhere. Visit Dogwood for more information on Kai's work
Should I continue supporting individual podcasts in addition to supporting Harbinger?
Yes! Harbinger is a network connecting individual shows— and those individual shows still need your dedicated support. We're creating new exciting shows that otherwise wouldn't get made, signal boosting existing shows, and challenging corporate media. Harbinger can't exist without your continued support of existing individual shows.
When does the network launch?
We're aiming for November for the full rollout. It's a quick turnaround but we're already working hard to get ready for launch
Who is running the network?
The network will be run by Andre Goulet who will manage the day-to-day operations but is run by all the shows that are a part of it.
Can I donate monthly?
Yes, you can donate monthly or yearly. We emphasize yearly because it ensures we have the resources we need early to agressive start creating new shows.
Can I pay in CAD?
Just like Patreon or Substack, we are only accepting USD (at the moment). This is the easiest way for our payment platform and more importantly, ensures consistency as we expand internationally.
I saw a logo for Passage. How are they involved?
The good folks at Passage are donating their time to help with the crowdfunder, building this landing page, as well as initial financial support (stay tuned for that!). We're excited to have them on as a founding partner and look forward to partnering with them on new shows and help build the broader left media ecosystem.
Will you be running ads?
Nope, we won't be accepting any corporate advertisements.
I'm a show that wants to join the network. How do I do this?
We are always looking for new shows. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about being a part of the network.
I'm not ready to donate, is there a way to stay updated?
Yup! Sign-up for our mailing list