National Observer is a Canadian publication founded by Linda Solomon Wood and an award-winning team of journalists in response to the opportunities afforded by a changing media landscape. National Observer's corporate offices are in Vancouver, while Managing Editor Mike De Souza and our growing East Coast team, can be found in Ottawa. Lead investigative reporter Bruce Livesey is based in Toronto. National Observer focuses on news and in-depth reports on under-covered Canadian stories in the area of climate, energy, business, culture and politics. The publication also highlights inspired business innovations and lifestyle hacks that build sustainability and resilience and help in the transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels.
National Observer provides its journalists days, weeks, sometimes even months, to do the investigative reporting that is vital to defending Canada's democracy. Many of our long-term investigations and features can be found in our Special Reports section.
Since inception, more than 12 million pages have been viewed by nearly 7 million unique users, which is a technical way of saying 'people'. Most of our readers are Canadian and they spend an average of about 4.5 minutes on the site, which is on par with the New York Times. Some of our readers spend as long as 19 minutes reading a single article.
Funding and Ownership
Owned by Observer Media Group (OMG), which also owns Vancouver Observer, National Observer's seed funding came from a Kickstarter campaign, 'Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds', followed a year later by a second Kickstarter campaign, 'Reports from the Race Against Climate Change'. Linda Solomon Wood is the majority owner of Observer Media Group. The company is also owned by National Observer's senior level staff and Canadian social impact investors. In July 2016, the company launched a paywall and began generating support through subscriptions and donations from readers. The company's goal is to become 100% funded through subscriptions and other forms of reader support over the next three years. National Observer has received 5% of its funding from a total of five grants from: United Way of Lower Mainland (for Syrian refugee reporting), Vancity, Teck Inc. and Tides Canada (for Great Bear Rainforest reporting and a future reporting project on coastal communities and marine protection), and Tides (US) for general reporting.
In November 2016, the Canadian Online Publishers Awards (COPA) honoured National Observer as 'Independent Publisher of the Year." COPA also gave National Observer its top awards in the following categories: 'best news coverage', 'best column,' for Associate Editor Sandy Garossino's powerful and popular commentary, and 'best digital solution.' National Observer ranked second in COPA's all-Canada competition for 'best news site,' right behind the Toronto Star. In April 2016, National Observer received three nominations from Canadian Association of Journalists and a nomination from Canadian Journalism Foundation for overall excellence.