National Observer is a daily, progressive national news publication that publishes tough investigative reporting, in-depth analysis and daily news coverage.
We vigorously pursue stories that seek to identify and investigate problems in society. We also aggressively pursue stories about success, innovation and solutions to ensure that decision makers and members of the public are empowered to make informed choices.
We have a special focus on highlighting how governments and industry make decisions as well as the factors that influence their policies. We also strive to pursue coverage about human rights, democracy and justice, by shining a light on stories that are not always told.
National Observer strives to be a leader in reporting on the new economy to deliver stories that can be used to protect public health, rights, the environment and hold governments to account on addressing and mitigating the threat of climate change.
Founded in March 2015, National Observer strives to meet a high standard of ethics and to build trust and a loyal, engaged audience through transparency, accountability and evidence-based reporting.
To see our ethics guidelines, go here.
National Observer was the first digital only publication ever to receive a Michener Foundation citation for public benefit journalism from Canada's Governor General. Also, the first digital-only recipient of the National Newspaper Award for business reporting, National Observer leads Canadian reporting on energy and the environment.
We vigorously pursue stories about success, innovation and solutions, with a special focus in 2018 on the shift to a clean energy economy. Other stories on the 2018 editorial calendar are: Truth and Reconciliation, toxins in rivers, and threats to human rights. Our main offices are in Vancouver and Ottawa, with staff in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and we work with freelancers nationwide. Our reporting on success stories from First Nations communities is led by Canada Fulbright scholarship recipient and journalist Emilee Gilpin.
The publication made history in May 2017 as the first digital-only news site ever to win a prestigious National Newspaper Award. The award came in the business reporting category to honour a story on the wealthy Irving family by Bruce Livesey. We're also the proud recipient of a 2016 investigative reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for Mike De Souza's series on alleged conflicts of interest within Canada's federal pipeline regulator.
Making history again, this investigation landed us as a finalist for the Michener Awards, one of the highest honours in Canadian journalism. National Observer was the first online-only publication ever to receive a Michener citation of merit from the governor general at Rideau Hall.
Recently, National Observer was named a finalist by the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in the following categories: 'Best News Website' in Canada, 'Best Column or Blog, 'Best Continuing Coverage of a Story,' and 'Best Photo Journalism.' In November 2016, the COPAs named us 'Independent Publisher of the Year," and gave us top awards in the following categories: 'Best News Coverage', 'Best Digital Solution,' and 'Best Column or Blog,' for associate editor Sandy Garossino's powerful and popular commentary.
National Observer ranked second in COPA's all-Canada competition for 'Best News Website,' right behind the Toronto Star, and has previously received two other nominations for investigative journalism awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists.
Ownership and collaborations
National Observer is published by Observer Media Group (OMG), a privately held company, that also publishes the Vancouver Observer. Some employees share ownership and everyone receives a living wage. The company was founded by journalist Linda Solomon Wood in 2009, because, she says, "Democracy requires an urgent and fierce journalism."
National Observer's seed funding came from two Kickstarter campaigns: 'Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds,' and 'Reports from the Race Against Climate Change and equity from Canadian social impact investors and convertible loans.
Solomon Wood is the majority shareholder of Observer Media Group. Other shareholders include National Observer's senior staff, Jenny Uechi and Mike De Souza.
In July 2016, the company launched a paywall and starting generating support through subscriptions. The company's goal is to become 100 per cent reader-funded over the next three years.
National Observer has collaborated with the following foundations on 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).
Current collaborations: BC Real Estate Foundation, McConnell Family Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Catherine Donnelly Foundation, Echo Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Investigative Journalism, The Donner Canadian Foundation, and the Ivey Foundation. See our 'Special Reports' page for more information on this. National Observer is also part of The Facebook Journalism Project.
Essential annual revenue comes from thousands of readers who through subscriptions and donations fund our reporting as well as enterprise subscribers, including businesses, foundations, and universities. Advertising provides revenue as well.
Need a speaker or panel moderator?
Meet the team here. National Observer's reporters, editors, and outreach experts are available as speakers, panel participants and television and radio commentators. Click here for information on booking and rates and visit our team page to see a complete listing of our staff.