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.

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.” 
Councillor Erralyn Thomas and Chief Michael Wyse of Snuneymuxw First Nation sign an MOU with the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce to adopt principles of UNDRIP and partner to promote an economy inclusive of First Nations people
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Snuneymuxw First Nation and Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce MOU marks a ‘commitment to respect’

"The reconciliation road that we are on is not a destination or a finish line. It is a commitment to respect one another, ” said Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse as the MOU was signed on April 22.
VIU student Brant Cartwright, left, stands beside his brother Riley with a white backdrop smiling in Inclusive Clothing T shirts
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Nanaimo student stitches inclusion into new clothing company

Inclusive Clothing offers sensory friendly garments in a wide range of sizes while celebrating the strengths and diversity of people living with disabilities.
Blare Conlin stands in front of the food pantry, smiling and arms crossed
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Free food pantry in Duncan aims to connect and create a sense of ‘home’

The food pantry at Kin Park is a judgment-free zone where community members can give what they can and take what they need.
planting cedar
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Quw’utsun Elders lead cedar planting ceremony at Bright Angel Park

They planted trees as a memorial for children lost to residential 'schools' and as a gift for future generations.
An Elder holds a book and purses her lips to read outloud.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Nanaimo-based Indigenous Elders’ literacy circle takes flight across the country

Indigenous-led FEATHERS literacy circle will empower even more Elders to reclaim their education starting in Penticton and Dawson Creek.
Shane Jung sits in the ring at Black Box MMA
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

The fighters: Processing trauma and finding a home through martial arts

After a difficult childhood, Shane Jung is passing on hard-won lessons to a new generation.
Passengers endured hours of delays on a Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay sailing April 13. Pictured, the Queen of Oak Bay finally docks at the Nanaimo terminal shortly after 1 a.m.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

‘I’ll swim, it’s fine’: Nanaimo-bound passengers make the most of hours-long ferry delays

Resident recounts being left out at sea — literally — after mechanical issues leave BC Ferries vessel stranded at sea.
An apartment complex with blue facade and balconies in Nanaimo is shown from the driveway.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Rental prices in Nanaimo jumped 30 per cent in the last year: Here’s what you need to know

It’s not just that rents are going up in Nanaimo, but also the speed at which they’re rising compared to income.
Community members gather under a tent around Ariel Reyes Antuan, who is teaching them how to build burlap sack gardens. They are in front of a youth community garden.
Cowichan Valley

Food and connection at heart of Duncan gardening workshop

Community members gathered to learn how to build burlap sack gardens and grow their own food at home.
A black and white archival photo showing four people standing on cut down logs in a body of water.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Timber, tourism, and tall tales: How Mill Bay got its settler name

And how the small logging town grew into the destination community it is today.
Garden beds at the Tofino Botanical Gardens
Cowichan Valley

Tofino Botanical Gardens transformed to honour Indigenous knowledge and conservation

The Naa’Waya’Sum Coastal Indigenous Gardens will provide place-based education and inspiration to support Indigenous-led conservation.
A packed crowd get ready to view VISFF films in Malaspina Theatre in 2020.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island short film festival reveals ‘complex, intimate portraits’ from the island and beyond

In its second year online, VISFF continues to innovate and support local filmmakers, says festival director Hilary Eastmure.

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