5 Star Transparency Rating

What DeSmog Canada’s 5-Star Transparency Rating Means

This week DeSmog Canada received a 5-star ranking from the international watchdog initiative Transparify for our commitment to donor transparency.

We’re excited about our Transparify ranking but even moreso about the importance of promoting transparency among media-makers.

The production of fearless public-interest journalism in Canada is a rarity. And in our incredibly monopolized media landscape, there is an urgently growing need for in-depth journalism that holds the public’s right to know as a guiding principle.

But what does it take to actually serve up ad-free and truly independent journalism to Canadians every day? As a non-profit society, profits, corporate interests and advertising revenue don’t play a role in paying our writers and for that reason don’t influence DeSmog Canada’s reporting agenda.

The needs and interests of our readers (you!) are at the forefront of our newsgathering decisions. And our goal is to make complex energy and environment news accessible to Canadians and to shine a light on critical, under-reported stories.

So how do we actually fund DeSmog Canada?

There are three parts to the answer. First, we are incredibly lean with just two full-time staff, a handful of nationwide freelancers and no office.

Second, we are very fortunate to receive ongoing core support from two foundations.

And third, small donations and monthly membership pledges make up a growing portion of our funding. (Check out our donor disclosure and editorial independence pages!)

This past fall over 60 DeSmog Canada readers signed up to become monthly members, collectively funding a part-time position for a new investigative journalist to join our team.

We hope that’s just the start. When our readers step up to fund a photoessay of B.C.’s remote mines or a mythbusting poll about the Site C dam, we are not only filling a gap created by dwindling newsrooms, we’re working to rebuild those bonds between journalists and the society they report on behalf of.

It’s a shared vision of the news we can all get behind. It’s a way for us to maintain our independence as we hold the powerful to account. And it’s a way to combat the growing distrust and disconnect many Canadians feel with traditional newsrooms.

We believe a reader-funded model is a promising way to sustain in-depth journalism in Canada and we hope you’ll consider supporting us.

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

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An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'