The Discourse is building a new kind of journalism from the ground up: community-powered journalism that genuinely reflects all of us. But what does that actually mean? These 10 principles guide our editorial and business decisions:
1. The Discourse is for everyone.
We want to live in a Canada where political agendas and media coverage are influenced by people as diverse as our population. We’re working hard to build a genuinely inclusive journalism outlet — from our content to our research sources, from our staff to our internal culture, from our funding sources to our supporters. We value contributions from community members with different backgrounds, politics, ages and more.
2. The Discourse serves diverse communities.
Not advertisers. Not interest groups. Not foreign investors. Our work responds to the needs of the communities we serve. We want most of our funding to come from our communities, so that we’re directly accountable to them.
3. The Discourse is always listening.
Journalists often decide what stories to pursue in closed meetings with colleagues who have similar educational and socioeconomic backgrounds. We aim to produce valuable, relevant, trustworthy stories by listening without an agenda to the communities we serve. We involve our audience at every stage of our work, from story selection and research to conversations after publication.
4. The Discourse is committed to getting it right — every time.
We’re rigorously dedicated to fairness, accuracy and editorial integrity. We maintain the highest journalistic standards, while questioning the status quo ethics of mainstream media. We think critically about our sources of information, seeking lived experiences and community-based knowledge, in addition to sources that are conventionally considered authoritative. We’re transparent about our mistakes.
5. The Discourse practises slow journalism.
We’re dedicated to sharing nuanced, untold stories that reveal hidden truths. We dig up and analysis data to understand the patterns that impact our lives every day. Our editorial agenda isn’t set by breaking news or press releases. Instead, we dive deep into important issues that don’t fit neatly into the daily news cycle. We focus on systems — not symptoms — and stick with the story for the long haul.
6. The Discourse encourages productive conversation.
To solve the complex problems facing us, we need to have honest conversations with people we disagree with. Our journalists set the table for conversation between people who wouldn’t normally engage with each other.
7. The Discourse prioritizes impact over clicks.
We measure the success of our journalism by the value it gives our community. In addition to informing readers about problems, we highlight solutions and ways for our supporters to take action. Instead of trying to reach the largest audience possible to sell to advertisers, we focus on empowering people to effect change in their communities.
8. The Discourse is radically transparent.
Journalists are among the least trusted people in society. We want to earn your trust by being transparent about why we chose a story, what we don’t yet know, our biases and our mistakes. Radical transparency applies to our business practices, too, which is why we share our funding sources, how we spend our money and what we’re grappling with as a company.
9. The Discourse is always experimenting.
We never assume we have all the answers, and we invite our community to participate in our experimentation. We value ideas from everyone, and strive to create a culture in which disagreement is accepted, risk-taking is encouraged and failure is viewed as valuable learning.
10. The Discourse collaborates to have a larger impact.
We partner with media outlets and other organizations that share our values to pool resources, data and stories. Whenever possible, we make the data behind our investigations open source and publicly available.