Reporters are responding to concerns about the oil sector, water, wildfires and sustainable economies.
Cowichan Valley Environment Northwest BC Treaty 4

We’re working to revive local news. Here’s how

Four journalists are surfacing local stories on energy and environment from the Prairies to the West Coast.
Lauren Kaljur April 5, 2018

Over the next four months, The Discourse has three reporting fellows and one staff reporter working to improve coverage of energy and the environment from the prairies to the west coast. It’s part of our push to improve local news by supporting journalists working in their community. 

With the seemingly endless number of cutbacks at media organizations across Canada, we know that there is a need for more in-depth local news coverage, especially by reporters who have context. Local News Fellows Jacqueline Ronson, Brandy-Lee Maxie and Daniel Mesec have that, and will be sharing multimedia stories to help fill the void.

The Discourse is also experimenting with how to support local news remotely. Environment reporter Lauren Kaljur is collaborating with independent local papers, the Pincher Creek Voice in Alberta and the Prince Albert Daily Herald in Saskatchewan, to help respond to community concerns about wildfires.

You’ll find this work across all four of our channels — Cowichan ValleyNorthwest B.C., Treaty 4 Territory and Environment — but it’s important to understand how this work intersects. While each reporter’s work is focused on the unique needs of their communities, the four reporters are actively sharing lessons-learned every week and exploring areas where their local engagement overlaps. 

Jacqueline Ronson

Jacqueline Ronson, a Vancouver Island-based freelance journalist, is investigating land and water issues in Cowichan Valley, B.C., where she lives. She’s connecting with research hubs and community groups to find out what stories they want her to uncover. You can subscribe to her newsletter here.

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Daniel Mesec

Daniel Mesec is an independent multimedia journalist based in Smithers, B.C. His reporting will focus on the shifting Northwest B.C. economy. To do this, he’s listening to people from Kitimat to Smithers to find out how communities are building hope for the future through more sustainable economies. 

Brandy-Lee Maxie

Brandy-Lee Maxie is a storyteller, entrepreneur and mother of three from the White Bear First Nation in Sask. She’s reporting on the impacts of the oil and gas industry on the land, water and culture in the Treaty 4 territory in Southeast Saskatchewan. As Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project is set to traverse Treaty 4 territory, she’ll be surfacing Indigenous perspectives that often go unheard.

Lauren Kaljur

As the environment reporter at The Discourse, Lauren Kaljur’s goal is to move beyond the crisis-driven wildfire coverage by creating a hub for more sustained conversations about wildfires — before the next big crisis. A biweekly wildfire newsletter will relay important findings and community stories to those who need them. What do you want to know about wildfires? You can submit your questions, here, and sign up for the newsletter, here.

Follow this diverse mix of energy and environment reporting and get in touch with the local news reporters through their impact channels.


The local news fellowship is administered and produced by The Discourse 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.

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