Discourse Media eyes national growth with key hires

New digital and data roles signal our commitment to innovation in investigative and data journalism: EIC and CEO Erin Millar

Discourse Media is excited to announce two new hires: media innovation editor Anita Li and data reporter Francesca Fionda. Having just celebrated its third birthday, Vancouver-based digital journalism startup Discourse Media is positioning to bring its impact-driven media model to audiences across Canada in late 2017.

“Anita and Francesca will both be key in realizing our next stage of growth,” says Erin Millar, editor-in-chief and CEO. “For the past three years, we’ve been experimenting with both our journalism practice and new revenue models and we now have our sights set on a clear path to scaling nationally in 2017 and 2018.”

Millar’s announcement comes on the heels of multiple recognitions from both Canadian and international journalism awards, including the Canadian Journalism Foundation, National Magazine Awards, Digital Publishing Awards and the Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Anita Li becomes Discourse’s first team member based in Toronto Ontario and brings experience from Canadian national newspapers and American digital media startups to the role of media innovation editor. Li comes to Discourse from Fusion in New York, where she was responsible for its flagship justice vertical. She previously held senior editorial roles at Complex Media and Mashable, and reported and edited for the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. Li will lead Discourse’s coverage of journalism innovation as well as contribute to social media, digital and community engagement strategies.

“Throughout my career, I’ve fought to tell stories that marginalized communities care about, but mainstream media have historically overlooked,” says Li. “Because of its mission, Discourse is an ideal place for me to advance this work back in Canada.”

Francesca Fionda brings investigative research expertise to Discourse as a data reporter. As an award-winning journalist at Global’s investigative program 16×9, Fionda was responsible for technical and scientific elements of original investigations. She has also worked as an investigative associate producer at the CBC’s The Fifth Estate.

“I really admire the innovative work and original research Discourse does,” says Fionda. “Data was often the driving factor in finding original investigations in my previous roles, and I’m looking forward to deepening my data work at Discourse during this exciting time of growth.”

The Discourse team also welcomes interns Anya Zoledziowski and Brent Holmes, both of whom are students in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. [end]

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