Announcing the Local News Fellowship

A national collaborative storytelling project from Discourse Media

With the seemingly endless number of cutbacks that have occurred at media organizations across Canada, we know that there is a need for better local news coverage, especially investigative reporting.

For the past few years, Discourse Media has been covering resource development, energy politics, and Indigenous land rights by sending reporters from our base in Vancouver to communities affected by these issues. This has allowed us to start to assess the media landscape, develop relationships in many non-urban communities and surface stories that go beyond the daily news grind.

Now, we want to expand our coverage by supporting continued work from journalists who live in and are part of the communities most impacted by these issues.

The fellowship

From January-June, 2018 Discourse’s local news fellowship will provide support — up to $9,000 each — to three reporting fellows to carry out sustained coverage of issues facing their communities. The goals of the fellowship are twofold. First, it is intended to support journalism on energy and environmental issues that will explore solutions and contribute to expanded public discourse in the selected regions. Second, it will bring stories together to paint a broader picture of shared experiences across the country. This collaborative approach will add much-needed depth and nuance to the wider conversation about these issues across Canada.

What you need to know

This fellowship is intended to support freelance journalists or storytellers, though we are open to discussing the potential of working with staff reporters who have a written agreement from their editor allowing them to take part in the project. Preference will be given to reporters who have deep knowledge of the communities/topics that they plan to report on. The deliverables include:

  • Sustained coverage of an issue relevant to your community over the course of six months.
  • Impact strategy design and implementation.
  • Collaboration with other fellows and Discourse reporters.
  • Weekly meetings.
  • Participation in investigative journalism training.
  • A reflection piece giving an insider glimpse into the fellow’s reporting for the project.
  • Social media content/promotion and an openness to other engagement tools.

Application procedures

To apply, you are required to submit:

  • A two-page proposal detailing:
    • Your motivation and rationale for wanting to take part in the project.
    • The story idea/investigation that you will pursue through your reporting, and how you plan to approach it.
    • What format you think best fits the project (i.e. video, written, audio, data interactive).
    • Ideas for how to engage your community in this work.
  • A proposed budget for travel if needed (there is up to $1,000 available per fellow).
  • Your CV.
  • Up to three examples of your work.

How to submit

  • Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line: Local News Fellowship application.
  • Application deadline is midnight Pacific Standard Time on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
  • Interviews will begin in December. Fellows will be announced in January of 2018.

Who’s involved

The local news fellowship  is administered and produced by Discourse Media through financial support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. The foundations’ financial support does not imply endorsement of or influence over any content produced. Discourse adheres to the highest standard of journalistic ethics, as outlined in the Canadian Association of Journalists’ ethics guidelines.

About us

Discourse Media is an independent journalism company dedicated to in-depth reporting on complex issues facing Canada and the world. We are building a home for new approaches to storytelling that look beyond conflict-driven daily news cycles. We tell stories Canadians need in ways they can trust. We look for gaps in reporting and pursue stories that have the potential for impact. [end]

Double your impact today!

Your contribution to The Discourse's independent journalism will be matched, up to $10,000.

bailey macabre holding the tote they designed for The Discourse in 2022. The tote shows the word

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