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While the media often focuses on chasing one unrelated event after another — what did another country's president tweet? Who is pregnant? Who is apologizing for a racist costume? — we are actively slowing down. For real. This is something we talk about amongst ourselves all the time.

It's not that "news" isn't important, and it's not that we don't do news coverage. It's just that our priority is making sense of the world.

Take for instance our two-part series revisiting the Mount Polley mine disaster. Christopher Pollon and photographer Louis Bockner went back to see how the community is recovering, and what environmental effects linger four years after one of the country's worst environmental disasters.

Or, look at Jimmy Thomson's work this week on the "zombie mines" afflicting the North. There is literally no news here. But it's likely you didn't know that cleaning up after the last generation of mines is costing us — all of us — enough money to run the entire Northwest Territories government for a year and a half.

Other times, the best story is the one behind the story. That's the case for Gloria Dickie's latest piece — a follow-up on her investigation of the muzzling of Parks Canada staff. The follow-up piece spills the beans on the rather illuminating (and yet totally not illuminating) call we had with the CEO of Parks Canada. The upshot is we're now calling on more Parks Canada staff to speak up about what's really happening.

Few people would call these stories news. No maple syrup heist has occurred. No moose madness (although an albino moose was just spotted and that's cool).

But as with all of our work, we hope these stories are something more. We hope they make us better citizens, better informed, more able to apply our empathy and wits to solving the problems we face as a country.

Sometimes the news does that, and sometimes it leaves us more confused and divided than ever. That's why we choose take it slow, take a breath and ask ourselves what's really going on. On that note, I'm en route right now to a training for journalists on how to do a better job of telling complicated stories that increase understanding, rather than increase polarization (more on that next week!).

Emma Gilchrist
Editor-in-Chief, The Narwhal

Parks Canada denies it has a problem, despite journalists flagging muzzling concerns

By Gloria Dickie

We published an investigation into Parks Canada's ongoing resistance to the media. The agency denied our claims. Here's what happened next. Read more.

‘Be prepared to be surprised’: What’s next for the Site C dam?

By Sarah Cox

BC Hydro has said 13 areas of cultural importance for the Dunne-Za nations will be clear cut and bulldozed as early as the beginning of November, but the question of whether the Site C dam violates treaty rights has still never been tested in the courts. Read more.
Thanks for showing up!

Our first Nights with the Narwhal event was a great success. We were thrilled to see so many of you crammed into our little venue for the evening, and amazed at the thoughtful contributions to our topic: how to improve Canada’s environmental assessment processes. We'll see you next time!

Canada’s northern ‘zombie mines’ are a lingering multi-billion dollar problem

By Jimmy Thomson
These zombies may not eat brains, but they sure won't die, either. And they're everywhere. Read more.

Lake interrupted

By Christopher Pollon
Part two of Christopher Pollon's investigation into how the community is recovering after the Mount Polley mine disaster, and what environmental effects still linger. Read more. Meet the caribou guardians In a quiet pen in B.C.’s northeast corner, pregnant caribou cows and their calves are fed hand-picked old growth lichen, provided 24-hour armed security and are the subject of one of Canada’s boldest and most experimental efforts to save a species from extinction. As Narwhals, we love the water and take every chance we can to dive in. Did you know that more than 400 readers give what they can each month to make our journalism possible? Join them and become a Narwhal today. It's a crazy world, but doing this one thing will make you feel good. Pinky swear. We're out in the world chasing down stories, climbing up mountains and catching waves. Follow us on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes peek. Are your friends experimenting with second-rate newsletter options? Stop the suffering. Send them this newsletter signup link. Copyright © 2018 The Narwhal, All rights reserved.
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