British Columbia

Want to write an opinion or point of view piece for CBC British Columbia? Here's how

CBC is looking for British Columbians who want to write 500-600-word opinion and point of view pieces.

Tell us why the topic matters and why you are the person to write about it.

CBC is looking for British Columbians who want to write 500-600-word opinion and point of view pieces. (Shutterstock/Suradech Prapairat)

Do you have a strong opinion that could change how people think about an issue? A personal story that can educate or help others? 

We want to hear from you.

CBC Vancouver is looking for British Columbians who want to write 500-600-word opinion and point of view pieces. Send us a pitch at bcvoices@cbc.ca and we'll be in touch.

How can you contribute?

Send us a 100 word pitch for a topic that you want to write about. Let us know what you think the headline should be (this might change, but it's a good starting point). If you can't sum your pitch into a one sentence headline, then it's likely the topic is too broad. 

A good point of view or opinion piece will explore one angle in depth, rather than a broad overview. 

For example: 

  • "B.C. needs to do something about climate change" is a big beast to tackle in 500 words.
  • "B.C. needs to provide incentives for purchasing electric cars" is more feasible and clearly sets up your position, while also setting up a debate.

Tell us why this topic matters and why it would be of interest to an audience. Perhaps the piece isn't for everyone, but it should still be worth reading for people from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life.

Once your pitch has been approved, you'll work with a producer to finesse your writing. 

Who can send in a pitch?

We're looking for passionate writers, but passion alone won't be enough. While you don't need to be an academic expert or have a PhD on the subject, you do need to make the case that you're qualified to talk about it. First-time contributors are welcome, and you must have a clear connection to British Columbia. 

We do not accept pitches from politicians, people running for office or employees of political parties.

We also encourage writers and people reading opinion columns to participate in the comment section attached to published submissions and on social media.

Why is CBC News doing opinion?

Opinion isn't new to the CBC — we've offered it in different forms on radio and television for decades, and many of our regional websites run opinion pieces written by members of our audience.

This section is intended to bring those voices together in one place and to help develop and showcase a wide range of commentary from across the country. Our goal is to give the audience access to competing ideas which will complement our news coverage and provide additional insight.

What is the difference between analysis and opinion?

Good journalism does more than report facts; it also provides context. Our journalists will continue to bring their own experiences, knowledge and insight to bear in analysis pieces. Opinion pieces, though, go further; there is more latitude for the writer to be definitive about which side of a particular argument deserves support.

However, engaging in this way should not spark questions about the independence and impartiality of CBC News journalism. So every opinion column will be clearly labelled to prevent confusion, and anyone who writes opinion for CBC News will not be involved in our traditional news coverage. You can read more about this in an editor's blog post on the topic.

What's the difference between an opinion and a point of view?

A point of view is a personal story that you want to share. This is your opportunity to write in first person about something specific that happened to you. Your story should be something that our readers can relate to through your writing, because it might be something they too have experienced or it offers a unique perspective on a situation. 

An opinion offers just that. Ideally, you're arguing a specific position based on your collective experience and scientific research.

Examples of a point of view:

Examples of opinions:

How do you disclose conflicts of interest?

Anyone writing an opinion piece for CBC will be asked to disclose any potential conflicts of interest. CBC will determine which conflicts need to be brought to a reader's attention in the author's bio field when the submission is published.

Some more examples for inspiration: 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

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