Opinion

CBC Opinion FAQ

What you need to know about CBC's online Opinion coverage.

What you need to know about CBC's online Opinion coverage

Why is CBC News doing opinion?

CBC Opinion aims to represent a range of commentary and a diversity of political thought from new contributors. Our goal is to give the audience access to competing ideas and perspectives which complement CBC's news coverage and provide additional insight.

Here are some examples of CBC Opinion columns:

What are you looking for?

We're looking for contributors from a variety of backgrounds who have a strong opinion that could illuminate an issue in the news or change how people think about a timely issue. Preference is given to unexpected points of view that challenge preconceptions, have not been widely published before, or covered by CBC News in our reporting. 

Each Opinion column must stand independently, laying out the author's clear position with supporting arguments and researched context. Columns should not simply repeat facts.

Authors do not necessarily have to be professional or high-profile writers. 

CBC does not accept rebuttals or critiques of published columns, but we do welcome pitches for opinion columns expressing a different point of view regarding topics already covered by other authors.

How can I send in a submission? 

If you're interested in writing an opinion column for CBC, you can pitch your idea to opinion@cbc.ca for our editors to review. 

We generally prefer an email pitch summarizing the idea and supporting arguments so that there is not an extra effort made to create a full column, if it is not accepted and commissioned. However, if a draft column already exists, you are free to also send it along as a Word doc. 

We prefer that columns be topical, have a word count of 600 to 700 words, and not be written in the first person unless it's unavoidable due to the subject matter or focus. A column pitched to us should be original work that has not been published elsewhere. 

An editor will contact you if CBC News wants to pursue commissioning your column. Once your pitch has been accepted, you'll work with a producer to finesse your writing. You will be paid for your published column. 

How do you disclose conflicts of interest?

Anonymous columns are not accepted for publication. Anyone writing an opinion for CBC News is asked to fill out a disclosure form about any potential conflicts of interest. Editors will then determine which conflicts need to be brought to a reader's attention in the author's bio when the column is published.

What is the difference between First Person, analysis and opinion?

A First Person column relies on specific experience lived by the contributor. It should be a compelling narrative that readers may relate to because they, too, have experienced something similar or because they are learning something new through a perspective on a situation. 

An Opinion column relies on expertise held by the contributor, allowing them to be more definitive about a particular argument that may have an impact on society. These columns showcase a wide range of commentary to give the audience access to competing ideas and perspectives which complement CBC News coverage, and provide additional insight. 

Analysis pieces are written by CBC News journalists who bring their own experiences, knowledge and insight to provide additional context. 

All of this content — whether it is Opinion, First Person or Analysis — must adhere to CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices. All columns are fact-checked by CBC staff.

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