Investigating the far rightis creating Investigative journalism
Access to patron-only updates that go behind the scenes and update our supporters on the progress of our investigations PLUS access to a bi-monthly conference call with Ricochet editors and journalists to discuss ongoing investigations and solicit feedback from patrons.
About Investigating the far right
At the same time journalism is in crisis, and budgets for investigative journalism have been slashed or eliminated at media outlets across the country. As a result there are fewer resources available to investigate the far right than ever, at a time when we need that coverage most.
“For years the work of investigating and exposing those who peddle racial hatred has fallen to independent researchers and the few outlets that make it a priority.” - Erin SeatterThat's why Ricochet Media is launching a new vertical dedicated to investigating the far right. This will be Canada's first investigative unit dedicated to tracking and exposing right wing extremism.
On May 4, 2019 Ricochet Media won the Canadian Association of Journalists award for online media for our coverage of Fireforce Ventures, an investigative series that exposed the active duty Canadian soldiers and mainstream Conservative party operatives behind a white supremacist web store.
That investigation made national headlines when it came out in October of 2018. It led to a military investigation and disciplinary action against one of the soldiers involved, the expulsion of one of the store's operators from Alberta's UCP and commitments from the military and UCP to do a better job screening their members for extremist views.
“Reporting on the far right, exposing their identities, their networks and their strategies for recruitment and organizing, has never been more critical. Yet this new crisis arrives at a time when few media outlets have the budget to engage in the long-term investigations required.” - Ethan Cox
It also took roughly six months of work by freelance journalist Jon Milton and Ricochet editors Erin Seatter and Ethan Cox. Under today's advertising-supported model of media, that time would have been more profitably invested in pumping out quick hits on the latest viral cat video.
Luckily, we're a reader-supported media outlet, and for the past several years we've invested significant resources in tracking the far right. But we want to do more.
To do that, we need your help.
"Objectivity when reporting on the far right is neither possible nor desirable. There are not two sides to the question of whether people of colour, or of a different religion, are human beings.” - Jon Milton
We've been collaborating with our friends at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network since it was launched, and with your support we'll continue to collaborate with them and other grassroots groups dedicated to tracking the far right. We'll also collaborate with other media outlets and freelance journalists because we don't care who gets the credit. We care about results.
But the only way we will get the deep, investigative work we need on the extremism that threatens our communities is if enough of us reach into our wallets and help fund it.
Your monthly recurring donation will go to hiring more journalists to track the far right, and expose their activities. Because we know that nothing hurts far-right organizing more than being exposed to the light of day. It's why they go to such great lengths to hide their identities.
Now is the time to invest in a sunlight factory.
And let us not forget that this work is dangerous. The people who do it out of an overriding concern for the public interest, and at great risk to their safety, deserve to get paid properly for their work.
The Canadian Association of Journalists received threats over our nomination, the first time that has ever happened. Our journalists have been targeted by name by the social media accounts of Fireforce Ventures, and the company has encouraged their supporters to fund their efforts to take up "arms" against this outlet and our journalists.
Their threats won't stop us. But a lack of funds might.
Every dollar you give will go to support journalists working to expose extremism. Together, we can build the investigative capacity to monitor, track and expose those who peddle hate.
But as always, it all starts with you. Become a patron, and help fund the media we need.