Mike De Souza joining The Narwhal as managing editor

De Souza, an acclaimed investigative journalist who comes to The Narwhal with a wheelbarrow full of awards, will help to expand our coverage of Canada’s natural world

Acclaimed investigative journalist Mike De Souza is joining The Narwhal’s pod as managing editor. 

De Souza is one of Canada’s preeminent energy and environment reporters and his journalism has been recognized by the Michener Foundation, the National Newspaper Awards, World Press Freedom Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists. 

“The Narwhal has made a clear commitment to putting resources into journalism that matters at a time when many other media outlets in Canada either don’t have the resources to dig for the truth or they have chosen to look the other way,” De Souza said.

De Souza comes to The Narwhal from Global News, where he is currently the managing editor of enterprise and investigations. His journalism career has also included stints at Reuters, Postmedia, the Montreal Gazette and the National Observer.

“We are absolutely thrilled to add Mike’s journalistic talent and leadership skills to our growing team at The Narwhal,” said The Narwhal’s editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist. “Mike has an exemplary track record of producing impactful investigative journalism — just the type of journalism The Narwhal is known for.”

Mike De Souza
De Souza has broken countless stories in the public interest. He’ll be bringing that critical eye to The Narwhal’s newsroom. Photo: Alex Tétreault

The Narwhal, a pioneer of non-profit journalism in Canada, was launched by Gilchrist and Carol Linnitt in May 2018 and has grown from two to nine staff in three years. The publication is now supported by more than 3,100 members who voluntarily contribute whatever they can afford each month. 

“I have watched with great admiration over the past few years as Emma and Carol recruited some of the best journalists in Canada and built a scrappy, but mighty, media organization,” De Souza said. “It is a diverse, dedicated and hard-working team that is setting the agenda every day.”

In March 2021, The Narwhal became the first English-language publication in Canada to receive a new status that allows the organization to issue tax receipts for all membership contributions and donations. As a registered journalism organization The Narwhal is also able to receive gifts from registered charities, such as foundations, which represents a growing opportunity for the publication to expand nationwide from its western roots.

“I’m eager to help The Narwhal grow and ensure that the most powerful people in the country are fully aware that we will be there to hold them to account,” De Souza said.

“At a time when all the evidence shows our planet faces existential threats, The Narwhal is assembling an expanding group of journalists to confront this crisis. The growing support from The Narwhal’s audience has also been instrumental in the publication’s success and I want to thank them for making it possible for me to join this incredible team.”

In early May, The Narwhal received nine award nominations from the Canadian Association of Journalists and reporter Sarah Cox won a World Press Freedom award for her investigative reporting on B.C.’s beleaguered Site C dam

Canada’s independent news landscape is growing quickly. In November, The Narwhal helped launch an association of independent news organizations called Press Forward, which advocates for a stronger voice for the burgeoning sector.

“Mike joining our team at The Narwhal is yet another sign that new models for journalism are thriving and represent a promising future for Canadian journalism,” Gilchrist said.

De Souza will start at The Narwhal on June 14 and can be reached at mike@thenarwhal.ca.

Linnitt, The Narwhal’s co-founder, will now take on the role of executive editor, with an increased focus on overseeing special projects.

New title

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And since you’re here, we have a favour to ask. Our independent, ad-free journalism is made possible because the people who value our work also support it (did we mention our stories are free for all to read, not just those who can afford to pay?).

As a non-profit, reader-funded news organization, our goal isn’t to sell advertising or to please corporate bigwigs — it’s to bring evidence-based news and analysis to the surface for all Canadians. And at a time when most news organizations have been laying off reporters, we’ve hired five journalists over the past year.

Not only are we filling a void in environment coverage, but we’re also telling stories differently — by centring Indigenous voices, by building community and by doing it all as a people-powered, non-profit outlet supported by more than 3,500 members

The truth is we wouldn’t be here without you. Every single one of you who reads and shares our articles is a crucial part of building a new model for Canadian journalism that puts people before profit.

We know that these days the world’s problems can feel a *touch* overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like what we do doesn’t make any difference, but becoming a member of The Narwhal is one small way you truly can make a difference.

If you believe news organizations should report to their readers, not advertisers or shareholders, please become a monthly member of The Narwhal today for any amount you can afford.

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