Journalistic Standards

Our vision: The Maple is an independent and 100% reader-funded publication. We believe in public-interest journalism and examining ways to build a fairer society.

Our mission is to develop political consciousness through long-form news reporting, analysis and explainer journalism that examines key policy decisions and political issues, and how they impact ordinary people’s lives. Our goal is to provide readers with the information they need to make informed political decisions in their workplace, in their communities and at the ballot box.

We are an issues-focused publication, and are not interested in gossip, character assassinations or other bad-faith attacks.

How did The Maple get started?: The Maple was founded in August 2021 as the successor to North99, an advocacy group dedicated to building a more just Canada. Unlike North99, however, The Maple is solely a journalistic project, and does not conduct any advocacy work whatsoever. Further, The Maple has no affiliation or relationship of any kind with any political party, advocacy group or third-party adveritizer.

While The Maple is broadly aligned with North99’s aspiration for a more just Canada, The Maple’s managing editor had no involvement with North99, and has full independence and control over the new publication’s content and editorial direction.

Everything we publish is the original work of the publication’s managing editor or freelance professional journalists commissioned to write articles for the publication at an agreed upon rate.

Who funds The Maple?: The Maple is 100% reader-funded. Every dollar of our revenue comes from subscriptions to our daily newsletter and additional monthly donations from readers. We do not accept donations from third-party organizations of any kind, and do not allow our publication to be used for advertising.

Journalistic standards: Our work is dedicated to serving the public interest. By “public interest,” we mean information regarding government policies, elected officials, employers and other high-profile individuals and entities that have the power and means to substantially impact ordinary people’s lives.

The Maple is committed to fair and accurate reporting. We treat sources with skepticism, and only publish information that we are fully confident is true, accurate and fair. We take steps to verify any information that we publish in our original news reporting by independently corroborating source documents and media, or seeking input from experts or individuals with credible, first-hand knowledge of the information being published.

Before publication, every article is reviewed by the publication’s managing editor, who edits each piece for accuracy of information, credibility of sources and quality of reporting.

Sources: The Maple relies only on credible sources for our reporting, such as public documents, data, academic sources, verified media or first-hand accounts from individuals with the appropriate knowledge, experience or expertise to speak on a given topic.

In cases where information already reported by other trustworthy news outlets serves as a premise for our own original reporting in our news articles, we seek to independently verify that information by obtaining or making contact with primary sources ourselves. In cases where our information is based on reporting from elsewhere, we credit the publication by name, note when the story was first published and include a link to the original story. We do not cite opinion articles or commentary as fact.

We may use anonymous sources when important information cannot be obtained any other way, and if the source is likely to face retribution for speaking to a journalist. When anonymous sources are used, we take additional steps to verify their credibility and the accuracy of the information they share.

Content labels: The Maple publishes five primary types of content: a daily newsletter, long-form news stories, explainers, interviews and podcasts.

Our daily newsletter contains a feature section that typically unpacks 2-3 important recent news stories, sometimes with additional quotes, data or analysis that may not have been noted in reports elsewhere.

The feature section of the newsletter summarizes original reporting from The Maple or other trustworthy news sources — giving full credit and providing a link to the source-publication’s original story — with the aim of providing our readers with an easy-to-understand overview of a particularly important issue in the news cycle.

The feature section may also note observations, opinions and reactions to a particular news story expressed by public figures with credible knowledge, experience or expertise to speak on a given issue.

Each story mentioned in the feature section is also accompanied with a line encouraging our subscribers to read the original article, so they can easily read the story with its full context.

The newsletter also lists a selection of news stories that were published by other trustworthy news outlets within the past 48 hours, with the aim of giving our readers a broad sense of the biggest stories currently driving the Canadian news cycle.

The purpose of this section is two-fold: 1) to situate our own reporting in the broader context of the national media landscape and 2) to encourage our readers to consume news from a variety of credible sources and to avoid creating “echo chambers.”

We select stories on the basis of the credibility of the source, the story’s significance in the news cycle or relevance to issues that are of particular interest to our readers, including: climate change, Indigenous issues, housing, labour, affordability, policing, social justice and others. We include links to each story, and state where and when it was first published.

The newsletter also includes links to opinion pieces labelled under the heading “Commentary” to distinguish such articles from regular news.

Our long-form news stories are authored by the publication’s managing editor or freelance professional journalists who are paid at a rate agreed upon before their work begins. Prior to commissioning a news story, we discuss the sources the journalist intends to use, ensuring that they adhere to our journalistic standards.

The stories we publish typically examine an important policy matter or political issue with the goal of bringing to light new information, enriching our readers’ understanding of the issue, looking at issues from an original angle, and including perspectives that might otherwise be missing from existing reports on a given issue.

Once the journalist has submitted a draft, The Maple’s managing editor conducts a fact check, ensuring all the sources are credible and adhere to our journalistic standards and mission. The managing editor may ask the journalist to seek out additional sources to verify particular statements or claims, or remove sources that do not meet our journalistic standards.

Once we are fully confident that a piece is fair, accurate and factual, the managing editor proofreads and edits the article with an eye for clarity, style and quality before publication.

Our interviews typically consist of one-on-one conversations with political figures, policy experts, journalists or activists with first-hand knowledge of a particular issue.

Often, these interviews are transcribed versions of our podcasts. In both written interviews and podcast interviews, we seek to ask questions of politicians that challenge their narratives, and point to inconsistencies in their messaging. The purpose of this is to help our listeners and readers understand precisely where politicians stand on important issues.

As part of our commitment to non-partisanship, we do not allow our platform to be used to advance the interests of any one political party, cause or interest group.

Our explainers unpack political issues in a way that is easily understood by audiences with little or no prior knowledge of a given issue. Pursuant to our journalistic mission of equipping readers with the information they need to make informed political decisions, the purpose of our explainers is to help readers better understand complex issues or issues that are otherwise given scant coverage by other media outlets.

While some explainer pieces may contain limited sections of opinion or commentary, the pieces must be fact-based, and any opinions or value-judgements expressed by authors must be supported by credible information presented in the article.

On occasion, explainer pieces may take the form of a personal essay in cases where the author’s personal experiences are relevant in highlighting important aspects of a particular issue.

Bylines: We include author bylines for every long-form news article, explainer and interview. These pieces also include a short 1-2 sentence author biography located at the bottom of the article, with a link to the author’s bio section on our website. In that section, users are able to browse other articles written by that author for the publication.

All daily newsletters are authored by The Maple’s managing editor unless otherwise stated.

Corrections: As part of our commitment to fair and accurate reporting, we add corrections or clarifications to stories if they are found to contain inaccurate or incomplete information.

Whenever corrections or clarifications are added to articles after publication, we include an editor’s note with the date the changes were made, and an explanation of what was changed and why.

In exceptional circumstances, we will fully retract a story if its central premise is found to be substantially false. In such cases, we will publish a brief explanation of what the story got wrong and why it was retraced.

If new information comes to light within 24 hours of publishing a story that substantially changes facts contained in the story, we add updates through an editor’s note explaining the new information, and note where readers can learn more about the new information.

We welcome feedback if we get something wrong in our reporting. If you would like to submit a correction request, please contact: hello [at] readthemaple [dot] com, and write “Correction” in the subject line.

In your request, please give a concise summary of the precise parts of the story that are inaccurate, and avoid opinionated remarks, diatribes or insults, as these will harm the credibility of your request.

Reader feedback: As a member-supported publication, we regularly conduct reader surveys to get a sense of the issues our readers would like to see being given better coverage in the press. These surveys also help inform our planning for new projects.