The launch of The Conversation Canada is an opportunity to contribute to the quality of explanatory journalism in this country — and the promise such journalism holds for democratic engagement, informed policy and media innovation.
It brings academics and experienced journalists together to share timely analysis and commentary drawing from research, evidence and insights generated by Canadian universities.
The Conversation model is based on fostering the broadest circulation of content and amplifying the impact of ideas and research. All articles are free to republish by the media. The site is not just a destination but serves as a distribution hub for academic knowledge.
The innovation also lies in the funding model. Many new journalism non-profits have a mix of backing because it is such a challenging space. Similar to the early co-operative days of The Canadian Press, The Conversation Canada is based on a membership model. It has received funding from 17 Canadian universities, foundations, federal research funding, and a research institute.