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Rights + Justice

The Tyee Is Hiring a Reporter to Cover the Downtown Eastside

The neighbourhood deserves full-time, committed coverage, now more than ever. Applications open until June 14.

By Jeanette Ageson and Robyn Smith 27 May 2020 | TheTyee.ca

Jeanette Ageson is publisher of The Tyee.

Robyn Smith is editor of The Tyee.

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Seeking our next great reporter.

The Tyee is hiring a full-time reporter covering Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood acutely upended by COVID-19 that deserves committed news coverage, now more than ever.

The new reporter will start as soon as possible. This is a contract position with an end date of March 31, 2021.

Why are we seeking a reporter dedicated to the Downtown Eastside?

The neighbourhood is an area of news poverty, both in terms of reporting on the events and issues in the area and the news available to community members. Many residents deal with mental health and substance use challenges, homelessness, poverty and exclusion.

Gentrification has made the lives of most residents more difficult. And now, COVID-19 has brought extreme risk as services are cut and physical distancing remains impossible for a lot of residents.

We envision the reporter to cover the neighbourhood the same way a news outlet would cover any smaller town or district, from hard news to profiles to culture. What’s happening in health care or policing, and how are residents affected? What creative activities are taking place, and who are the people involved? What are municipal politicians saying and doing about the community’s needs?

This reporting is sponsored by the Local Journalism Initiative, published on The Tyee and shared for free with other members of the network, but we will also experiment with alternative ways of reaching the neighbourhood’s residents, including building partnerships with social agencies, community centres and others.

And we intend to amplify the current community coverage being produced in the area.

The Tyee has been a leading Canadian independent news source for 16 years with a reputation for in-depth, important reporting. We have a track record of trusted reporting on stories and issues in the Downtown Eastside, but we want someone committed to it full time.

The successful candidate will report to our editorial leadership team, which includes Robyn Smith, Paul Willcocks and David Beers. Experience reporting on the Downtown Eastside specifically isn’t required, but any relevant background should be noted in your application.

We welcome applications from reporters of all levels of experience, but a track record of reporting, especially in B.C., and/or formal journalism education will be considered an asset. We value investigative skills, too.

The ideal person for this role has demonstrated sensitivity in reporting and the ability to build constructive reporting relationships. They should be familiar with trauma-informed reporting practices and the pitfalls of extractive journalism.

Further requirements (the right candidate will tick these boxes):

The position is full time (37.5 hours/week), Vancouver based. Compensation is $4,166 per month (equal to $50,000 per year).

Please submit your cover letter and resume explaining why you are interested in this opportunity to jobs@thetyee.ca. Please put “DTES reporter” in the subject line. The deadline for applications is midnight PST on Sunday, June 14.

We recognize the importance of a diverse workforce and encourage applications from Indigenous people, gender non-conforming people, people of colour and people with a disability. If you’re creative, hard-working and love independent media, we’d love to meet you.

This opportunity is made possible with funding from the Local Journalism Initiative. For more information on the Local Journalism Initiative, go here.  [Tyee]

Read more: Rights + Justice, Media

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