Code of Ethics

The Narwhal’s mission is to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians. In doing this work, we adhere to a set of professional journalistic principles to ensure fairness, independence and accuracy in our work.

Independence

  • We serve the public interest, and put the needs of our readers at the forefront of our newsgathering decisions. This sometimes conflicts with various public and private interests.
  • We do not show our completed reports to sources before they are published or broadcast, unless the practice is intended to verify facts. Doing so might invite prior restraint and challenge our independence as reporters.
  • We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content. Read our editorial independence policy.

Accuracy

  • When we make a mistake, whether in fact or in context, we correct it promptly and in a transparent manner, acknowledging the nature of the error.

Fairness

  • We give people, companies or organizations that are publicly accused or criticized opportunity to respond before we publish those criticisms or accusations. We make a genuine and reasonable effort to contact them, and if they decline to comment, we say so.

Conflict of Interest

  • We carefully consider our political activities and community involvements. If a journalist does choose to engage in outside political activity or espouse a particular political viewpoint, we publicly declare any real or potential conflicts.
  • Personal online activity, including emails and social networking, should generally be regarded as public and not private. Such activity can impact our professional credibility. As such, we think carefully before we post, and we take special caution in declaring our political leanings online, particularly if there is a chance we will be covering the campaign, activity or group involved.

Accuracy

  • We normally identify sources of information. But we may use unnamed sources when there is a clear and pressing reason to protect anonymity, the material gained from the confidential source is of strong public interest, and there is no other reasonable way to obtain the information. When this happens, we explain the need for anonymity and we independently corroborate facts if we get them from a source we do not name.

We rely on our readers to hold us to these standards, so please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Independence Policy

The Narwhal subscribes to the following standards of editorial independence, based on those adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The Narwhal retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Our news judgments are also made independently of our board of directors, who are not involved in day-to-day news operations.

The Narwhal may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.
We will make public most donors who give $5,000 or more per year, with the only exception being for those individuals who request anonymity due to privacy concerns.

Donor Transparency Policy

The Narwhal subscribes to the following standards of donor transparency, based on those adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. We may receive funds from government programs offered to nonprofits or news organizations, such as the federal labour tax rebate for journalism and the Local Journalism Initiative.

Our news judgments are made independently — not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We will make public most donors who give $5,000 or more per year, with the only exception being for those individuals who request anonymity due to privacy concerns.

As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Our Funding

The Narwhal is incorporated as a non-profit society under the B.C. Societies Act. We are funded by individuals and foundations that care about climate change, democracy, science and the environment. We are proud to earn the financial support of more than 3,000 readers through one-time donations and monthly memberships. In addition, we are grateful to accept funding from philanthropic foundations that support our mission. In 2021, The Narwhal will be a participant in the Facebook Journalism Project’s News Innovation Test. As part of the test, Facebook will pay The Narwhal and other Canadian publishers for the ability to link to our stories.

As a part of our donor transparency policy, we disclose most donors who give The Narwhal more than $5,000 in a fiscal year, with the only exception being for those individuals who request anonymity due to privacy concerns.

the narwhal local journalism initiative

Financial Year Funder (Donor, Client, Partner) Revenue Received Project
2020 Reader donations under $5,000 $238,160 Core Support
2020 Wilburforce Foundation $185,653 Core Support
2020 Boreal Songbird Initiative $98,323 Core Support
2020 Labour Tax Credit $78,779 Core Support
2020 International Center for Journalists $62,784 Facebook Membership Accelerator
2020 News Media Canada $60,932 Local Journalism Initiative Reporters
2020 European Climate Foundation $51,431 Core Support
2020 McConnell Foundation $41,800 Canadian Climate Narratives
2020 Metcalf Foundation $40,000 Carbon Cache
2020 Institute for New Economics $30,195 Salmon
2020 Make Way $25,000 Great Bear Rainforest
2020 Institute for New Economics $24,128 Indigenous Guardians
2020 In-kind Support $18,746 Core Support
2020 Royal Roads University $12,000 Climate adaptation
2020 F. Hansen $10,000 Core Support
2020 Eburne Mill Fund $10,000 Core Support
2020 Environmental Health News $5,269 Sault Ste. Marie
2020 Other revenue less than $5,000 each $6,943 Core Support
Total Received $1,000,143
Financial Year Funder (Donor, Client, Partner) Revenue Received Project
2019 Reader donations under $5,000 $174,845 Core Support
2019 Wilburforce Foundation $164,653 Core Support
2019 Boreal Songbird Initiative $77,782 Core Support
2019 Small Change Fund $54,334 Forestry
2019 Tides Canada Initiatives Society $49,442 EntrepreNorth
2019 European Climate Foundation $59,947 Core Support
2019 Institute for New Economics $45,750 Forestry
2019 Labour Tax Credit $38,125 Core Support
2019 Oak Foundation $31,248 Core Support
2019 In-kind Support $29,868 Core Support
2019 Tides Canada Foundation $25,000 Great Bear Rainforest
2019 LUSH Cosmetics $18,000 Workers in transition
2019 LUSH Cosmetics $12,500 Mining
2019 University of Victoria $9,524 Corporate Mapping Project
2019 National Observer $9,524 Opinion Research
2019 Institute for New Economics $8,235 Core Support
2019 Institute for New Economics $7,320 Indigenous Protected Areas
2019 McConnell Foundation $5,700 Core Support
2019 Other revenue less than $5,000 each $15,742 Core Support
Total Received $837,539
Financial Year Funder (Donor, Client, Partner) Revenue Received Project
2018 Wilburforce Foundation $168,054 Core Support
2018 Oak Foundation $74,995 Core Support
2018 Reader Donations Less than $5,000 $50,920 Core Support
2018 Salal Foundation $35,000 Environmental Law
2018 Private Individual $31,500 Core Support
2018 Salal Foundation $29,570 Mining
2018 LUSH Cosmetics $12,500 Mining
2018 Other revenues less than $5,000 each $8,875 N/A
2018 European Climate Foundation $5,850 Core Support
2018 Salal Foundation $5,800 Natural Gas
Total Received $423,065
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