File Image: Andrew Wilkinson
Victoria’s Capital Daily was profitable, popular and a critical darling. Then the owners of Overstory Media Group fired most of its staff
by Ethan Cox
February 2, 2023
“When we look at these communities, our goal is to be around for the next 30 or 40 years,” explained Farhan Mohamed in a friendly 2021 Guardian profile. “We think in a generational sort of way.”
As it turned out, the honeymoon was closer to 18 months for the CEO and co-founder (with billionaire Andrew Wilkinson) of Overstory Media Group.
As recently as last year the pair were promising to revitalize local journalism across Canada, and committing to a model that would eschew short-term profit-based thinking. Some wondered aloud if these brash tech bros could be the solution to what ailed local news.
On Monday Capital Daily, an innovative and award-winning local outlet in Victoria, B.C. that the Guardian described as Overstory’s “marquee brand,” was gutted like a fresh trout.
In a move that sent shockwaves through the country’s journalism community four of the outlet’s seven full time staff members were fired, including managing editor Jimmy Thomson. As many as six other employees or contractors had already been fired or seen their contracts go unrenewed over the past few months. An award-winning outlet that routinely punched well above its weight and broke major stories, flopping around on the deck. Bleeding out.
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