The Media Co-op has been publishing grassroots journalism online in the Canadian context since 2006, and its roots in The Dominion print publication go back even farther. We are a media organization with a co-operative structure, but in practice that has looked very different at different moments – check out this account of the history and structure of the organization. Today, we are small, national in scope, and online-only, and we are hard at work refining our role in this country's always-evolving independent media landscape. What has not changed is our commitment to being reader-funded and member-run, and to producing media from a grassroots perspective.
For us, "grassroots" means that when we cover a topic, we start from the people directly affected by the policies or activities in question first. Once a journalist thoroughly understands the story of those directly affected, she brings their questions to those making the decisions: politicians, corporate executives, and so on.
This approach stems from a certain kind of common sense: if we start by talking to the people who have a vested interest and experience in spinning, framing, or outright lying to their own advantage, then we're not likely to get the real story. This approach also takes the position that what is actually happening on the ground is more important than what people with power are saying about what's going on.