National Observer is a progressive, digital publication that does daily news reporting, magazine-style features, and investigative journalism.

Our focus is on the intersection between politics, environmental issues and energy, and our work highlights business innovations and lifestyle hacks that foster sustainability and resilience, and support the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., the operation is led by founder and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood. Managing editor Mike De Souza and a team of three are based in Ottawa, while lead investigative reporter Bruce Livesey works from Toronto. National Observer's business development leader is based in Montreal.

Meet the whole team here!

What makes us unique in a world of crunched 24-hour deadlines and shrinking newsroom budgets? Our journalists get days, weeks, sometimes even months, to do the investigative reporting that is vital to defending Canada's democratic principles and an inclusive society.

Since our launch in spring 2015, National Observer has had more than 14 million pages and 8 million unique users. Eighty per cent of our readers are Canadian, but our audience reach is international. Top articles garner as much as 20 minutes of reader time on the page.

Ownership and collaborations

National Observer is published by Observer Media Group (OMG), a privately held company, that also publishes Vancouver Observer. The company was created by journalist Linda Solomon Wood in 2009.

National Observer's seed funding came from two Kickstarter campaigns: 'Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds,' and 'Reports from the Race Against Climate Change.'

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 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).

Future collaborations will be published between 2017 and 2018 with the BC Real Estate Foundation, McConnell Family Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Catherine Donnelly Foundation, Echo Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Investigative Journalism and the Ivey Foundation.

Recognition for our work

National Observer is widely hailed as a leader in the evolving world of digital journalism.

The company made history in May 2017 as the first digital-only publication ever to win a prestigious National Newspaper Award, for business reporting 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, Canada's top prize for meritorious public service 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.

Mike De Souza, Bruce Livesey, National Observer, Canadian Online Publishing Awards
National Observer's managing editor, Mike De Souza, and lead investigative reporter, Bruce Livesey at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in Toronto on Mon. Nov. 7, 2016.

Need a speaker or panel moderator?

National Observer's reporters, editors, and outreach experts are in high demand 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.