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Editor in Chief

A New Destination for Debate at CBCNews.ca

Categories: Canada, Community, Featured, Journalism, World

You'll see something a little different today on our website - we're dedicating a section to opinion columns.

The goal is to give our audience a destination for intelligent, provocative debate and commentary on the issues of the day. To do so, we'll be calling on a diverse range of contributors - most of them freelancers.

As the public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada has a long history of offering different viewpoints to Canadians. From the long-running "Commentary" segment on CBC Radio, to our "At Issue" panel on the National, to our weekly phone-in show Cross Country Checkup, sharing insights and perspectives contribute to the national conversation and complement the rest of our journalism. You see it regularly in the comments section under many of our online stories.

Most of you know that we already publish the occasional opinion column. The creation of this new section will allow you to find more easily the range of ideas on offer.

CBC reporters will not be allowed to contribute to this opinion section. That is an important line to draw in order to preserve our journalistic values of impartiality and independence. As always, many of them will provide analysis items that are based on facts, observations and their own reporting experience. I have spoken before in this blog about how I define the difference between "analysis" and "opinion".

I'm happy to share with you that one regular contributor to the new Opinion section will be the CBC's Neil Macdonald, who will now cease reporting, and focus his efforts exclusively as a columnist. Neil's analysis pieces already generate passionate response, and this move from news to opinion will take advantage of his tremendous strengths. In addition, we welcome Robyn Urback to the CBC as a columnist and the producer of the new section. I'm confident our audience will let them both know how we - and they - are doing.

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

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