C-18-online-news-act

How to stay connected with climate news in Canada

We can no longer see our own Instagram feed. At a time when climate reporting is more important than ever, threats by social media giants won’t stop us from reaching our readers

I can no longer see posts, stories or The Narwhal’s own feed from our Instagram account.

As some of you may know, I’m The Narwhal’s audience engagement editor and it’s part of my job to interact with readers like you about all of our award-winning reporting. So it’s a problem when someone blocks me from doing that job.

It’s not a quandary I’m facing alone; outlets like the CBC, Chatelaine, The Tyee, The Breach and others have recently written about similar experiences. “People in Canada can’t see your content,” a message reads, as part of testing being done by Meta to simulate what the platform would look like without Canadian news.

You’ve read all about it, but here’s the short version: Google and Meta have said they will block Canadian news content for readers in Canada — on Instagram and Google products like Search, Discover and News — in response to the federal government’s Online News Act, a law that requires tech giants to negotiate deals with news outlets and pay for featuring news content on their platforms.

This means all recent stories you might have read — Yukon First Nations adopting a youth climate plan; how an Olympic coach is teaching young racialized women to swim; or what causes wildfires — will no longer be available on apps you use most on your smartphones. 

We know people across Canada are worried. Not only have we heard it firsthand, but a recent poll by Angus Reid Institute suggests about 63 per cent of readers are concerned about what those smartphone apps, that are a part of so many people’s daily routine, will look like once the law comes into effect.

Even if you miss seeing us on your feed, we won’t go anywhere. After all, The Narwhal was born to produce in-depth environmental journalism in Canada — which can often feel dark and hopeless — to find hope and imagine what’s possible for the natural world.

And as this tug-of-war plays out, we haven’t lost that hope.

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Independent, investigative journalism you won’t find anywhere else. Stay in the loop by signing up for our newsletter.

So how can you make sure you don’t lose sight of The Narwhal’s reporting?

Have more suggestions for The Narwhal’s reporting to reach more people despite threats by social media giants? Email me at karan@thenarwhal.ca.

We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

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… which means our newsletter has become the most important way we connect with Narwhal readers like you. Will you join the nearly 90,000 subscribers getting a weekly dose of in-depth climate reporting?
A line chart in green font colour with the title "Our Facebook traffic has cratered." Chart shows about 750,000 users via Facebook in 2019, 1.2M users in 2020, 500,000 users in 2021, 250,000 users in 2022, 100,000 users in 2023.
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