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.

Carol Linnitt is a journalist, editor, illustrator and co-founder of The Narwhal. Carol has been reporting on energy and environmental…

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