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CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION
a citizens advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes,
less waste and accountable government.

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Job Description: CTF Investigative Journalist

July 11, 2019
Job Description: CTF Investigative Journalist

Job Description: CTF Investigative Journalist

Overall Job Description and Purpose:

The CTF’s mission statement is to fight for lower taxes, less government waste and more government accountability. The CTF’s investigative journalist is the person doing primary research into, and reporting on, government waste and lack of accountability. While the CTF employs many talented communications directors, whose job it is to communicate the CTF’s messages to the public, the investigative journalist’s job will be to use journalism techniques to dig into government spending and actions and report those stories to CTF supporters, the news media, and the Canadian public. All stories researched and reported on will be consistent with the CTF mandate.

Reporting and Parameters:

The CTF is divided into four broad areas: board, communications, administration and field services. While the investigative journalist will interact with each, primary reporting is to the Vice President, Communications (VP). The VP reports to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The investigative journalist, along with all CTF staff and board members, are not permitted to hold a membership in, or contribute to, any candidate or political party. The investigative journalist may not seek elected office while in the employ of the CTF.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

External:

  • Uses journalism techniques (eg. access-to-information requests, development of trusted sources, documents searches, undercover/surveillance work, etc.) to discover and research questionable use of taxpayer dollars by public bodies. Further to the CTF’s mandate, may also research government accountability and taxation issues.
  • Develops, breaks and reports on those stories in a fact-based way, leaving primary policy and opinion commentary to the CTF’s communications directors. Stories may be published in various ways, including through press releases, on the CTF website/social media, via video presentations or podcasts or in CTF publications. All publications must be approved by the VP.
  • Consistent production will be required and tracked.
  • Authors and issues press releases of relevant findings/stories where appropriate and may be required to discuss the findings/stories with media outlets.
  • Writes at least one original-research government waste story for the CTF’s flagship magazine, The Taxpayer, three times a year. Also authors the CTF’s Waste Watch section of the magazine.
  • Develops and nurtures a contact base of sources, stakeholders, media, bureaucrats and politicians to assist in advancing stated goals.

Internal:

  • To the greatest extent possible, is available during normal business hours and is dressed appropriately at all times for public and media presentation.
  • Works with the CTF’s relevant communications director to decide timing of any public releases (to be approved by the CTF’s Vice President, Communications).
  • Handles contact with CTF supporters, field staff and board members in a professional manner.
  • Attends meetings with field representatives when requested by the National Field Manager or CEO. Provides material and support to field services as well as other fundraising avenues on request.
  • Provides materials and meets deadlines at the request of the VP and CEO es including: The Taxpayer magazine three times a year, Action Updates as required throughout the year, and an annual survey of supporters. The VP may request other material be reviewed or updated by the investigative journalist including: fundraising appeals, campaign and project prospectuses, brochures and correspondence.
  • Prepares and attends planning meeting each year in April-May and is available for monthly staff conference calls at the discretion of the VP.
  • Manages any staff, contracted personnel or interns by providing leadership, fair supervision and the potential for advancement in the organization.
  • Takes part in staff committees and related assignments including helping to coordinate events and campaigns.
  • Keeps a variety of lists maintained and updated including media and related contacts.
  • Works within the confines of an assigned budget.

Working Conditions/Expectations:

  • The investigative journalist’s job is a salaried position. And while the investigative journalist can establish their own schedule there is an expectation of regular and timely production of original content. Long hours and weekends filled with work-related commitments may be required at times.
  • In-house support is minimal. The investigative journalist relies primarily on division of tasks among staff within an office locations and budgeted clerical resources.
  • The investigative journalist must be self-motivated and prepared to work independently as peer interaction is limited.
  • After a probation period, employees are entitled to participate in a group extended benefits and health plan. All expenses are covered as are warranted training and educational expenses upon approval.

Performance Measurement and Reporting:

  • Each month the investigative journalist is required to submit a monthly activity report to the VP measuring activity and semi-annual progress on goals and tactics;
  • After an initial six-month review, the CEO (in consultation with the VP) conducts a comprehensive job evaluation that is repeated annually thereafter.
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