National Observer's corporate offices are in Vancouver, led by Editor-in-Chief Linda Solomon Wood, while Managing Editor Mike De Souza and a team of four are based in Ottawa. Lead investigative reporter Bruce Livesey works from Toronto and National Observer's business development leader is based in Montreal. National Observer focuses on news and in-depth reporting on under-covered Canadian stories in the area of climate, energy, business, and politics. The publication also highlights inspired business innovations and lifestyle hacks that build sustainability and resilience and support the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
National Observer provides its journalists days, weeks, sometimes even months, to do the investigative reporting that is vital to defending Canada's democratic principles and an inclusive society.
Since inception, more than 14 million pages have been viewed by more than 8 million unique users, which is a technical way of saying 'people'. Eighty percent of its readers are Canadian. Top articles garner as much as 20 minutes of reader time on the page.
Funding and Ownership
National Observer is published by Observer Media Group (OMG), a privately held company, which also publishes Vancouver Observer. The company was founded by a journalist, Solomon Wood, in 2009. National Observer's seed funding came from a Kickstarter campaign, 'Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds'. This was followed a year later by a second Kickstarter campaign, 'Reports from the Race Against Climate Change'.
Linda Solomon Wood is the majority shareholder of Observer Media Group. Other shareholders are National Observer's senior staff and reporters, as well as Canadian impact investors.
In July 2016, the company launched a paywall and began generating support through subscriptions. The company's goal is to become 100% funded over the next three years.
National Observer gratefully acknowledges the following support for funded journalism projects: United Way of Lower Mainland (for Syrian refugee reporting in 2016); Vancity, Teck Inc. and Tides Canada (for Great Bear Rainforest reporting in 2016); Earthways Foundation (for environmental reporting in 2015) and Tides US (for general reporting in 2015). Since inception, about 10% of Observer Media Group's funding has come from foundations. We will be announcing more exciting news in this area soon.
National Observer is widely hailed as a leader in the evolving world of digital journalism. National Observer made history in May 2017 as the first digital only publication ever to win a prestigious National Newspaper Award. The award came in the business reporting category for a series by Bruce Livesey. National Observer also won a Canadian Association of Journalism award for 2016 in Investigative Reporting for Mike De Souza's series on apparent conflicts of interest in Canada's pipeline regulatory system. Making history again, National Observer was named as a finalist in the Michener Awards, Canada's top prize for journalism in the public interest. National Observer was the first online only publication ever to receive a Michener citation. This took place at a ceremony in Rideau Hall in June 2017 and the governor general presented the citation.
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.
Public Speaking and Panel Moderation
National Observer's people are in high demand as speakers, panel participants and television and radio commentators. Go here for information on booking and rates and to our team page to see a complete listing of National Observer staff.