The business of collaboration
 
Maclean’s reporter Nancy Macdonald needed help with a project — a deep dive into Indigenous incarceration rates in Canada.

She approached Discourse Media, a startup from Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Discourse’s business is collaborative, solutions-based, public interest journalism. Their business model is the first of its kind in Canada.

“It came together because I needed a bit of help with capacity. You know, these are difficult days in journalism,” said Macdonald.

After nine months of investigation, their efforts culminated in a longform, data-rich digital piece and a cover story for print.

Discourse’s ethos is similar to Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica -- a non-profit in the United States that produces public interest investigative journalism. Unlike ProPublica, Discourse Media is in Canada, where there is no precedent for a foundation with a mandate to produce journalism, making it ineligible for charitable status and the ability to issue tax receipts.