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.

A drone image shows the Koksilah River below, running vertically in the middle of the image. On either side is a forest of lush, green trees.
Cowichan Valley

Learnings from the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo’ (Koksilah River)

A group of citizen volunteers is mobilizing to explore connections and create solutions for the Koksilah watershed.
An ice cream sandwich, oatmeal cookie layers with pink ice cream in between, sits wrapped in black checkered wax paper on a black bistro table.
Nanaimo Vancouver Island

Lys Eats Trucks: Icy treats beat the heat at One Cool Cookie

One Cool Cookie helps alleviate heat woes with childhood callback flavours. Lys Morton reviews another community choice food truck.
A group of seven people stand in a circle
A large, modern apartment building
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Developer sues engineers over structural issues at Magdalena apartment complex

Residents at the Magdalena say they’ve dealt with maintenance disruptions and security issues for over a year.
A red Shawarma food truck with the words Al Khalid is parked at a beach.

Lys Eats Trucks: A taste of Alkhalid Food

What happens when the Alkhalid Food truck meets ‘best visiting customer’? Lys Morton reviews the first community choice for #LysEatsTrucks.
A group of people stand with a banner and balloons with jubilant poses and expressions.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Against the odds, Cowichan Valley women’s shelter finds a permanent home

The new Charlotte’s Place, slated to open in March 2023, will keep twice as many women off the streets.
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Duncan’s got talent: How Richard Dwyer danced his way to local-icon status

The barefoot-boogieing senior has become a fixture at the 39 Days of July festival.
A large crowd dressed in orange shirts marches down a street
Cowichan Valley Vancouver Island

Spune’luxutth (Penelakut) hosts second March For The Children

The event serves to honour and remember children who died at the Kuper Island Residential School, and those who survived.
A man and a woman stand, looking serious, in front of a building facade.
A group of women (and one man) stand in front of a tree in Downtown Duncan posing for the photo. One of the women is holding her baby. Everyone in the photo has a serious expression on their face. They represent a group of abortion advocates concerned about the opening of House of Grace in the community.
Cowichan Valley

Abortion rights advocates raise concerns over new faith-based pregnancy centre in North Cowichan

Placed on a national list of anti-choice groups, House of Grace executive director says the centre respects women’s choices.
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.

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