What Discourse is tackling in 2017

We’re digging deep into several issues, and we want you to get involved from step one

By Lindsay Sample

During these first frightening days of Trump’s presidency, we, like journalists everywhere, are obsessed with the role of media and democracy. More than ever, we want to be digging into complex issues, listening to people and centring our investigations around impact (as we explain in this feature).

We think a key ingredient for journalism that truly serves citizens is opening up our reporting process to them. That’s why we’re reaching out to you from the very beginning of our 2017 investigations, and we’re dedicated to continuing the conversations with you well after our stories are published. To start, inspired by a recent ProPublica article, we want to let you in on what we are investigating.

Take a look at the issues we’re following, and if there’s something you’re curious about or something you’d like to add, get in touch:

Child welfare:

Brielle Morgan has spent months hosting listening events with youth in and from care and their allies. Now, she’s delving into some of the stories she’s been hearing, investigating systemic issues in collaboration with the community. In the process, she wants to work with youth to create resources for media to better serve young people in and from care.

Email brielle@discoursemedia.org or find her on Twitter: @briellemimi

Land rights:

Trevor Jang is reporting on First Nations land rights, self-governance issues and resource development. In particular, he’s closely watching liquid natural gas development in northern B.C., the Trans Mountain pipeline project and the Site C hydroelectric megaproject. Trevor wants to hear from you if you have questions, concerns or a story idea.

Email trevor@discoursemedia.org or find him on Twitter, @trevor_jang

Gender-based violence:

Emma Jones has spent months learning about how media can tell more nuanced stories about gender-based violence. Now, she is reporting on violence against women, especially in remote communities. If you have a story to share about an experience with violence or with access to women’s support services, Emma would love to hear from you.

Email her emma@discoursemedia.org or find her on Twitter: @emma_cjones

Journalism and reconciliation in the media:

Wawmeesh Hamilton is reporting on reconciliation and Indigenous communities. He is continuing to explore how freedom of information and freedom of the press are grey areas in First Nations communities. Wawmeesh is following his past reporting by looking at how Indigenous communities, especially in remote regions, get their news.

Email wawmeesh@discoursemedia.com or find him on Twitter: @wawmeesh

Resource development:

Caitlin Havlak is leading the data team as they dive deep into data around resource development. We’re asking how resource development will impact the economy, environment and society. Do you know of data that should be part of the conversation about resource development in Canada? Let Caitlin know.

Email caitlin@discoursemedia.org or find her on Twitter: @caitlinhavlak

Global energy access:

Discourse’s second Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship is focusing on energy access solutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Managing editor Lindsay Sample is supporting four journalists reporting from Africa on this issue. She’s also examining the role that Canada plays in both energy access problems and solutions in the region.

Email lindsay@discoursemedia.org or find her on Twitter, @lindsaysample

Our next issue area

We’re currently developing one more issue area that we will tackle in 2017, and we want to know what you think our reporters should investigate. What makes a Discourse issue? Stories that are complex enough that they don’t fit neatly into daily news cycles and stand to benefit from deep systemic investigation. Subjects that are under-covered or poorly covered by media. Issues where revealing data and information for public use can help shift the conversation toward solutions. Stories that have the potential for impact because of a policy opening or an acute need for storytelling.

We’re currently considering diving deeper into: the Arctic, the refugee crisis, education, food security and urban development.

We want to hear about the stories you think we should be covering. Let us know by participating in this poll. If you have another idea that isn’t covered here, email us at reporters@discoursemedia.org.

To get in touch with our team of reporters, send us an email at reporters@discoursemedia.org