The Discourse is building a new kind of journalism from the ground up — a media outlet optimized to serve people, not to sell ads. But what does that actually mean? These 10 principles guide our journalism and business decisions:
We want to live in a Canada where political agendas and media coverage are influenced by people as diverse as our population. We are working hard to build a truly diverse and inclusive media organization, from our content to our sources of research, from our staff to our internal culture, from our funding to our members. We value contributions from members and journalists with a diversity of thought, ethnic backgrounds, politics and ages.
We are rigorously dedicated to fairness, accuracy and editorial integrity. We maintain the highest journalistic standards, while questioning the status quo ethics of the mainstream. We think critically about our sources of information, and seek lived experiences and community-based knowledge in addition to sources conventionally considered authoritative. We are transparent about our mistakes.
The Discourse is dedicated to sharing nuanced, untold stories that reveal hidden truths and patterns in data. Our editorial agenda is not set by breaking news or press releases. We go deep on issues of importance that don’t fit neatly into the daily news cycle. We focus on systems, not symptoms, and stick with the story for the long haul.
Not advertisers. Not interest groups. Not foreign investors. We invite a broad community of Canadians to shape our editorial agenda. We strive to fill gaps in news coverage and respond to community demand for news, information and data.
To solve the complex problems facing Canada, we need to have real conversations with people we disagree with. The Discourse is building a home for constructive dialogue between people of all political persuasions.
We measure the success of our journalism by the value it offers our community. In addition to informing readers about problems, we highlight solutions and ways for our members to take action. Instead of aiming to reach the largest audience possible to sell to advertisers, we focus on engaging deeply with people who can use the information we’ve researched to have an impact on the issues we cover.
Journalists often make decisions about what stories to report in closed meetings with colleagues from similar educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Discourse aims to produce valuable, relevant, trustworthy stories by always listening to a community as diverse as our country. We involve our audience in every stage of reporting, from story selection to research to dialogue after publication.
Journalists are among the least trusted people in society. We aim to earn your trust by being transparent about why we chose a story, what we don’t yet know, our biases, and our mistakes. Radical transparency applies to our business practices too, which is why we share our funding sources, how we spend our money, and what we’re grappling with as a company.
We never assume we have all the answers, and we invite our community to take part in our experimentation. We value ideas from everyone and strive to create a culture in which disagreement is accepted, risk taking is encouraged, and failure is viewed as valuable learning.
We partner with media outlets and organizations that share our values to pool resources, data and stories. Wherever possible, we make the data behind our investigations open source and available to other media outlets, researchers and the public.