Join our team!
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us just how close to the line food security is, not just in far away places, but right here at home. We saw store shelves stripped of canned goods. We saw restaurants close. We saw the virus rip through - and shutdown - a meat-packing plant. We still see long, long lines outside grocery stories. Food - and the security, or lack of security, around it - is one of the most important topics in Canada today.
This could be your beat. And you would be doing it at Canada’s National Observer.
For more than a decade, Observer Media Group, the publisher of Canada’s National Observer, has led the digital re-invention of Canadian media, driven the national conversation on energy and climate change, and made history as the first all-digital publication to win a National Newspaper Award and a Michener Award citation.
Now we are seeking an excellent reporter with outstanding writing and storytelling skills to tackle a critical beat.
The ideal candidate has an abiding interest and some expertise in covering food security in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. The beat will include food policy and regulations, the impact of climate change on agriculture, food security, safety, sustainability, and agriculture. The safety and security of food is a civic matter, so you will also cover governments that determine food laws and regulations, at the federal, provincial and municipal level.
But you won’t just cover food in crisis in this local beat. BC has a strong food industry. Almost half the food consumed in BC is grown and produced in the province. BC has a food and beverage industry worth $9 billion. And Vancouver has been a leader in food movements such as urban agriculture and sustainability. You get to cover all that.
And this beat will cover food and technology, food and the environment, food system transformation and the people who work in the industry from harvesting to food production.
You will bring an innovative approach to the beat with explainers, fun food graphics and food profiles (on farmers who produce food, of course, but why not on kale, or bees, or wild salmon!)
During this nine month contract you will be expected to produce 4 - 6 stories weekly. Reporting to National Observer's Managing Editor, Laurie Few, you will collaborate with an editorial team across Canada. All your stories will be published on Canada’s National Observer and uploaded, as well, to a news portal of The Canadian Press. The articles will be available to other news media through Creative Commons.
The job begins - July 1, 2020
Salary: competitive. 9 months with 3 month probationary period. Your salary will be paid to you by Canada’s National Observer through a grant from The Government of Canada.
Here's what we're looking for in you:
- At least five years of experience working for a major news outlet
- Strong talent as a researcher and as a journalist, a love of language, exceptional storytelling skills and excellent reporting
- Excellent people skills. A good communicator. A good listener.
- Hunger to be first out of gate with breaking news
- Strong interviewing skills
- An ability to work as part of a team and collaborate as well as an ability to work independently when needed
- Desire to be a part of an emerging media outlet with ideas to promote better audience engagement and outreach
- Strong social media skills
Here's what we're looking for in your portfolio:
- An ability to craft compelling stories with dramatic leads and a strong narrative arc
- A strong, distinct voice
- Solid research, original reporting, network of sources who trust you
- A sense of how to reach a wide audience with essential stories that are urgent to the public interest
- Visual storytelling strength through photography and video is a huge plus
- Strong video and photography skills
- Strength in writing headlines
- 4 - 6 news or feature stories weekly
- Participate in daily editorial meetings
- File by deadline
- Do social media content and coverage for each of your stories
- Assist in the ongoing development of National Observer’s impact and audience
- Write a ‘Food Insider’ monthly newsletter aimed at engaging people more in your reporting
To apply: send resume and a cover letter explaining why you would like to join Canada’s National Observer's editorial team and take this position, specifically. Please include three links to stories. Apply via our online application portal.
We'll be in touch if we would like to follow up with an interview, but we can't respond to all applicants. Thank you to everyone for your interest in this position.
Deadline: Monday, June 15, 2020.