MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

Press Forward is an association of news organizations dedicated to ensuring people in Canada have strong, independent and community-focused journalism. We unify, elevate and advocate for independent media organizations and work to strengthen innovation, inclusivity and diversity in media across the country. 

 

As a membership-first non-profit, Press Forward is platform agnostic. This means that members can be digital-only publications, printed newspapers, radio stations, podcasts or a hybrid of any or all of these or other platforms. 

 

Media innovation is rapidly accelerating in Canada right now, and we’re excited to welcome new members to our midst. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. 

 

To become a Press Forward member, we ask that you fulfill a few (very basic) requirements:

1. Members must have consistently produced original reporting for at least three months prior to applying. Reporting can be on any subject matter, but it must reflect a rigorous journalistic process and can not consist solely of opinion/analysis. 

 

2. Member organizations must be incorporated under the laws of Canada, a province or a territory, and can be either non-profit or for-profit.

 

3. Member organizations must be actively working to create revenue. This does not mean that the publication must be a proprietor’s primary source of income. It does mean, however, that proprietors are actively working to generate revenue from producing journalistic content.

 

4. Member organizations have independent ownership. This means you are not primarily or majority owned by a publicly traded company, advocacy group, hedge fund or private equity firm and/or political or religious institution.

 

5. Members must have a publicly posted ethics and privacy policy that describes their journalistic standards and practices, and includes a clear approach to how the organization responds to requests for corrections, complaints and other feedback. If you do not have a policy yet, you are welcome to use the Press Forward guidelines.

 

6. Members must not primarily exist to promote the views or objectives of any particular person or organization. Members also must not campaign in elections and/or for partisan interests.

 

7. Members must not be affiliated with an umbrella group (research, or otherwise) that seeks to use journalistic practices as a platform to promote hate or advance partisan interests, as determined by Press Forward’s board of directors.

 

8. Members must have a publicly posted diversity, equity and inclusion policy in place and be willing to report publicly on the composition of their organization. If you do not have a policy or self-reporting process yet, Press Forward can provide a template and assistance.

 

Membership is subject to board approval. The board reserves the right to request further information or decline membership at its sole discretion.

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Members have access to exclusive membership events and programming where you can connect with news organizations across Canada and discuss topics like funding, community journalism and the state of the industry.