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Terms of Collaboration

1. Confidentiality

This project should not be discussed with anyone who isn’t a member of the team. To that end, all team members sign a confidentiality agreement.

2. Radical sharing

We are all working in cooperation, not in competition; we all contribute to the project. For our group to produce content together, we must share all of our research, analysis and data. Detailed instructions on areas such as recording interviews and uploading data and documentation are available.

3. Simultaneous publication

Our media partners will avoid scooping each other. (And we would never scoop them – see #1.)

4.  Co-crediting and appropriate credits

All participants must receive appropriate credit for their work. Media companies have different formats for credit that need to be accommodated.

Who can apply:

Whether you are a journalist, a professor or simply a concerned citizen, you are invited to propose a project to our network, which unites news organizations and journalism programs at universities and colleges across the country on an investigation of national importance.

Proposals may be submitted by an individual, an organization, or a group of individuals or organizations.

The adjudication process:

Our national editorial board is composed of a faculty member from every participating educational institution in the reporting network, along with some additional expert members.

All proposals are kept confidential: Concerns about maintaining control of intellectual property and safeguarding trade secrets are understood by all board members. Before a proposal is presented to the board, any members who may have ties to competing news organizations will be asked to recuse themselves from the discussion.

How proposals will be adjudicated:

Our goal is to support local reporting across Canada – and our nation’s democratic processes. Potential projects are judged according to the following criteria:

  • feasibility, including the amount of travel needed and any funding required
  • the applicant’s or the applying group’s ability and willingness to follow standard collaborative methods
  • the research completed to date and the supporting documents and data that are available
  • the resources our member institutions will have available
  • the project’s potential impact
  • whether small news organizations can be empowered to take part
  • above all, whether the project is of national importance

If your proposal is selected:

We will form a new research collective encompassing you or your organization(s), and across which funding and other resources are shared. We will introduce you and your team to the journalists, faculty, researchers and students at the participating institutions and together we will develop a research plan encompassing all members of the group. One important step is to ensure that everyone has access to basic collaborations training, plus the necessary software and systems.

The timeline:
*Please note that this timeline is under development and subject to change.

  • Feb. 7, 2019: All project proposals must be submitted by midnight.
  • March 2019: The organization/s or individual/s that submitted the winning proposal will be notified.
  • March 2019 through August 2019: Project planning and some preliminary research will take place.
  • Sept. 2019: Research by all participating journalism students will commence, continuing through the end of classes in March and April 2020.
  • May 2020: Publication of some aspects of the project may commence, continuing over the next six months and perhaps the next year or two. In general, publication dates are not set beforehand. Experience shows that a body of research of this magnitude tends to spark further ideas and ongoing reporting.

Where to direct questions about your proposal:

Please email

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