The Sprawl is independent local journalism. It's crowdfunded, ad-free, and made in Alberta— a reinvention of news in tough times.
We launched in September 2017 to cover Calgary’s municipal election. It began as a zany experiment. And hey, it worked! A surge of community support turned our tiny shop into a stable online publication.
Today we’re supported by ordinary Albertans—2,000+ monthly members and counting!—who want to see local journalism done differently. We mostly focus on Calgary but sometimes we add Edmonton stories into the mix, too.
In 2018, we won a national Digital Publishing Award for best news coverage (small newsroom). In 2019, we won a Digital Publishing Award for general excellence in digital publishing. In 2020, we were shortlisted for another Digital Publishing Award ("best news coverage") for our Alberta election coverage, alongside The Globe and Mail, Le Devoir and Radio-Canada.
In 2020, The Sprawl won $135,000 in grant funding from the Facebook Journalism Project specifically to build our membership program. Additionally, we received a $30,000 grant from the Canada Periodical Fund.
The Sprawl is a member of the National NewsMedia Council, a voluntary self-regulatory organization that deals with ethical and journalistic practices in gathering and reporting the news. See mediacouncil.ca or call 1-844-877-1163 for more information.
Our commitment to journalism that reflects Alberta.
At The Sprawl, we recognize that systemic racism and discrimination have created a society where the voices of many Albertans aren’t uplifted. We're committed to amplifying these voices by publishing the work of journalists and creators from a variety of underrepresented backgrounds. This includes staff and freelancers alike: writers, editors, photographers and illustrators. We're committed to building and nurturing these relationships—creating journalism that reflects the full diversity of Alberta. For more details, please see our policies page.
The Sprawl endorses the seven calls to action on media diversity from the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and Canadian Journalists of Colour. We will collect information on the demographic makeup of our staff and editorial contributors, and will relay this information publicly in an annual transparency report starting in 2021.
Who We Are
Jeremy Klaszus is a Calgary journalist who has written about the city for nearly two decades. He's been a staff reporter for Fast Forward Weekly, a columnist for the Calgary Herald and Metro, a radio reporter for CBC and a freelancer for Swerve, Alberta Views and Monocle. A two-time winner of National Magazine Awards, he launched The Sprawl in 2017 to help fill the ever-widening gaps in the city's media landscape.
Hamdi Issawi is an Edmonton journalist born and raised in Alberta’s capital. He got his start delivering newspapers at 13, but never considered a journalism career until 10 years later, when a fortune teller found a “writer’s fork” on his palm. Since then, he’s covered the environment and energy beat for StarMetro Edmonton, the West Coast as an assistant editor for Maclean’s, and sundry Alberta stories as a freelancer for national news outlets. Follow Hamdi on Twitter at @hamdiissawi.
Jeremy Appel previously gained notoriety at the Medicine Hat News, and is the co-host of two podcasts—The Forgotten Corner and Big Shiny Takes. His work has also appeared in CBC Calgary, Jacobin and Alberta Jewish News, among other publications. His focus is the intersection of municipal and provincial politics in the run-up to the 2021 civic elections in Alberta.
Taylor Lambert has written three non-fiction books about Alberta, including Darwin’s Moving, which explored class divides through the lens of the furniture moving industry and won the 2018 W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. His writing and reporting has appeared in fine publications like Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Vice, and the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. He lives in Calgary, and at @ts_lambert.
Sam Hester is a Calgary-based graphic recorder and longtime indie comics creator who has collaborated with a wide range of organizations in Canada. She captures visual stories by drawing upon deep listening skills, a unique graphic style, a passion for community-building… and a lot of markers. She makes The Listener, The Sprawl's comics journalism series.