The Discourse provides community-powered journalism to underserved communities.

What we do.

Local news is good for democracy. But with the collapse of community newspapers, many people can’t find in‑depth journalism that accurately reflects their communities and lives. The Discourse is working to change that with a new approach to local news.

  • 🙌🏼

    Keeping you connected

    Our weekly email newsletters are community newspapers, reimagined. We share news and events that help you stay informed and connected.

  • 💪🏽

    Beyond daily news

    We investigate solutions to the issues facing our communities. We untangle complexity. We tell stories with respect and empathy.

  • 👊🏾

    Challenging the status quo

    We strive to tell stories that represent the diversity of our communities and give voice to those who have been left out of the conversation.

  • 🤝

    Always listening

    We tell stories with, not about, the communities we serve. We are always asking questions, getting input and working hard to hear from you.

Our work.

Two children sit in chairs in the grass, talking to each other. In the foreground is an out-of-focus string of objects, hanging between two poles.
Cowichan Valley

“10,000 steps towards a better future”: Q’shintul/Mill Bay Nature School holds ceremony to launch new project

The “10,000 Gifts: Witnessing Q’shintul” project honours the history of the land, lives lost to residential “schools” and the difference Q’shintul/Mill Bay Nature School is making.
Three people standing and holding signs that read, "Racism is the pandemic," "Duncan we have a racism problem" and "Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nation for Black lives." The farthest left person and the person in the centre hold their fists in the air.
Cowichan Valley

Unique to Cowichan study sheds light on discrimination in the region

The first-of-its-kind study surveyed over 600 community members about their experiences with discrimination and sense of belonging.
Older residents gather on a street corner waving protest signs that read "Don't Bully Seniors."
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Why is this Nanaimo housing provider rolling back services for low-income seniors?

Tenants say that services have deteriorated since Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society took over. Julie Chadwick investigates for Part 2 in our series It Takes a Village.
A had in the foreground holds an object that looks like a round glass bead with a hole in the middle. It is a still from the film being produced for Q'shintul/Mill Bay Nature School.
Cowichan Valley

Small school, big impact: A story of 10,000 Gifts

Q'shintul/Mill Bay Nature School aims to collect 10,000 objects to help document stories of land, learning and connection.
A woman in red raises a fist in a gesture of protest.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Opinion: Indigenous Peoples Day should be a reminder of Indigenous-led resistances

'For non-Indigenous people, June 21 must be about more than joining in on community celebrations, because Indigenous people around the world are still fighting for freedom,' writes Erin Blondeau.
A group of tenants at Buttertubs seniors complex hold up signs in protest at the loss of services.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

‘We want our village back!’ These Nanaimo seniors say they lost the ‘heart of their community.’ Now they’re fighting back.

Tenants say Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society is putting money over their wellbeing. This is Part 1 in our series It Takes a Village.
Text reads: 100+ Canadian news outlets are being shut out of the Online News Act. Support the fight to #FixBill18.

Canada’s Online News Act must be transparent, fair, and include news innovators

Without amendments, Bill C-18 risks disproportionately benefitting large news organizations and shutting out digital startups and independent media.
thimbleberry flowers are shown nestled in bright green leaves
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Hul’q’umi’num program at Nanaimo Ladysmith schools teaches students to ‘walk in this world with gratitude’

"When we learn Indigenous languages we are better able to understand all our plant and animal relatives," says former director of Indigenous learning, Ted Cadwallader.
A 1925 map showcasing the Cobble Hill area as well as south Cowichan and parts of Greater Victoria.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Twists and turns: Establishing early roads in the Cowichan Valley

Why are the roads so winding? These streets tell a story of history, geography and colonization.
A portrait photo of Randy Thorensen, a white man with white hair and a beard. He is wearing a raincoat over a black jacket, with a black baseball cap on.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Seniors are becoming the new face of the Cowichan region’s housing crisis

With an aging population and an escalating housing crisis, more low-income seniors in the Cowichan region are facing homelessness.
Graduates of NewToBC's Library Champions program stand with their certificates
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island newcomers can soon become Library Champions

The Library Champions Project at the Vancouver Island Regional Library aims to connect new Canadians to resources and community in the new place they call home.
The Arbutus Canyon trestle on the E&N Railway near the Malahat has spent more than a decade sitting idle, pictured surrounded by forest.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Q&A: Island Corridor Foundation’s big pitch to revive Vancouver Island passenger rail

Island Corridor Foundation CEO Larry Stevenson explains why it’s time for First Nation, provincial and federal governments to come to a resolution regarding the land that was stolen to build the railway corridor.
Lead reporter Shalu Mehta hangs a Discourse Cowichan poster in a window.
Cowichan Valley

Join The Discourse Cowichan’s scavenger hunt!

Find a Discourse poster for the chance to win a local gift card
Smiling people walk down a wide trail with a happy dog in front.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

The ​​Q’ushin’tul’ Ancestors Walk: Learning to walk together

How four days on an ancient path with a group of strangers showed me the way.
Daniel Elliott and Kim Trotter stand on the rocks at the beach smiling at eachother.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

To tackle anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare, this community group connects healthcare providers with Indigenous mentors

“We are relationship building,” says Culturally Committed mentor Daniel R. Elliott. “That's some of that groundwork that really needs to happen.” 

What people are saying.

“So often in today’s information-saturated world, I skim read. I approach your stories differently, as they bring me closer to the people in my community. I set aside quiet time to let your words sink in.”

Pamela Williams
Community member, The Discourse Cowichan

“This article makes me so excited for the future. I feel a sense of awakening and reassurance that maybe we’re headed towards a positive future.”

Deepak Sharma
Community member, The Discourse
The Discourse

About us.

Discourse Media is on the frontlines of journalism innovation in Canada. Founded in Vancouver, B.C., in 2014, our goal was to reimagine journalism from the ground up: how it is produced and delivered, how it is funded and, most importantly, how it can serve communities.

In 2018, we narrowed in on the local news market, launching our first outlet in the Cowichan Valley, on Vancouver Island. Since then, we have launched new outlets in Nanaimo and on the West Shore. Our journalists are committed to meaningful reporting and shifting journalism practices to better serve the community.

The Discourse is part of Discourse Media’s broader journalism network, which includes IndigiNews, focused on independent Indigenous-centred journalism, and Indiegraf, which supports the growth of indie news entrepreneurs. We are a founding member of Press Forward, Canada’s association for independent media.

👉🏾 These are the 10 principles that guide our business and editorial decisions.

Local Journalism Initiative
McConnell Foundation
Media Lab OFC
Marigold Capital
Inspirit Foundation
Facebook Journalism Project