The Price of Oil
Launched in January 2017, the series has gathered more than 50 journalists, students and teachers from three newsrooms (Global News, The National Observer and The Toronto Star) and four universities, including Concordia. The investigations involved hundreds of interviews, nearly 100 access-to-information requests and vast amounts of data. The impact so far has been wide-reaching:
- The series has exposed the deadly risks of hydrogen sulfide leaks to workers and residents in the Canadian prairies, and the lack of public warnings about ongoing emissions.
- The investigations shed light on health concerns in Ontario’s petrochemical valley, resulting in long-awaited policy changes.
- The combined effort has led to more than 70 published articles and broadcasts nationwide with several more to come.
- Over a half-dozen prestigious national and international awards have been received by the group.
- At a time when newsroom budgets are shrinking, the group achieved a highly ambitious project that required rigorous reporting in remote and underserved communities.
- The project test-ran a collaboration pairing student journalists with professional reporters. It worked.
- The team broke through a culture of silence and fear surrounding the oil and gas industry that has gone unchallenged for years. They provided a voice for marginalized communities — including a First Nation — living in the shadow of industrial giants.
Support for the Price of Oil was provided by the Michener Foundation and the Corporate Mapping Project, which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.