Your story ideas for 2021

Here’s what people in Nanaimo want us to dig into next year

The Discourse Nanaimo is a community-powered news outlet, and that means our editorial agenda is informed by you.

Last month, we asked community members from all sectors of life, like education and business, to join us for an informal conversation about the big issues facing Nanaimo and how local news can help. 

On a cold, dark afternoon, more than a dozen of you joined us to Newsthink Nanaimo on Zoom and weigh in on three big questions about local affairs. We came away filled with energy—and story ideas. As one participant put it: “I’m looking forward to what’s next. I was feeling pessimistic about the state of local news. I’m left feeling hopeful.”

Here’s a summary of what we heard. And if you haven’t already weighed in, tell us what stories you think need to be told.

What’s the current state of local news in Nanaimo?

  • Local reporters are doing the best they can, but have little capacity for in-depth work
  • The lack of reporting on homegrown solutions and people doing good work leaves people feeling pessimistic
  • Shallow reporting can lead to ill-informed online discussions and counterproductive gossip
  • Wading through advertising can be a drag
  • Sometimes accuracy is lost in the rush to get content online

How can journalists better serve Nanaimo?

  • Take the time to listen and have an actual conversation. Don’t have the message decided in advance
  • Remind people why they like to live in Nanaimo and the many vibrant communities that belong here
  • Do the decolonizing work that needs to be done. Serve Indigenous communities with reporting that matters to them
  • Collaborate with local bloggers and engaged citizens who are gathering information on the ground
  • Digital media outlets like The Discourse need to plan for the future as publishers of the first draft of history
  • Fill the gaps in important information beyond breaking news, like how to find a family doctor
  • Report in ways that build community, public discourse and empathy

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What would you like to see more in-depth reporting on?

  • More stories that connect the dots on complex, ongoing issues, like homelessness 
  • What do globalized realities mean for people locally (i.e. climate change)
  • Stories in service of Snuneymuxw
  • The local affordability crisis
  • What Nanaimo’s rapid growth actually means
  • Homegrown economic opportunities and success stories
  • Building Nanaimo for the future (transportation, infrastructure, housing)
  • Mental health and access to local supports 
  • How local businesses are surviving COVID-19


The Discourse Nanaimo is here to stay building from the values you’ve shared. In 2021 we’re going to start digging into these topics, one by one. If you have a story that you think needs to be told tell us here, or email Julie Chadwick.

And, if you haven’t already, sign-up to receive news and updates on our latest investigations straight to your inbox.  [end] 

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