CBC Radio Doc Makers

Pitch directly to a CBC Radio show

Some CBC Radio shows accept pitches from freelancers in Canada and around the world. Here's how.

Some CBC Radio shows accept pitches from freelancers in Canada and around the world. Before you reach out directly, here's some background reading:

Ready to pitch? Here are some shows that want to hear from you:

 The Current accepts all types of docs. We usually look for items that range from 20 to 25 mins but are open to shorter. The docs we select need to be relevant, have some kind of tension, strong, compelling characters and a clear narrative - but that allows for tons of room for creativity in both treatment and subject matter.

An ideal pitch gives us a clear idea of the focus, the characters and the narrative arch. We need to know if you've had experience with doc making before, if you need to travel, that you know you will be able to get us the interviews you are suggesting and that you have ideas on the scenes and sound you can gather. The pitches should not be too long - but they need enough information to make us interested and curious.

Please submit pitch to Joan Webber at joan.webber@cbc.ca

Every week on Now or Never, hosts Ify and Trevor leap into the action with Canadians who are taking a step — big or small — and putting themselves out there. We're all about inspiring our listeners to take a leap, too.  For example, recently we tagged along with a 70-year-old grandmother with terminal cancer as she fulfilled her life-long goal of climbing to the top of the CN Tower. We were a fly on the wall as a painfully shy Bangladeshi immigrant prepared for her first public singing performance. We eavesdropped on a dad and his teenage son having a conversation about consent and respect in the age of #MeToo

We're always on the lookout for freelancers who are personally going through a 'now or never' moment right now, and are willing to record themselves as they're doing it. We want stories that are intimate, active, vulnerable, and a little bit complicated.

If you'd like to find out about upcoming episodes, you can sign up for our freelancer email list. You can also pitch us your story ideas at nowornever@cbc.ca. In one or two paragraphs, you should be able to tell us:

  • Why is this important to me right now?
  • What is the deeply personal reason I'm doing this?
  • What action or scenes would you record?
  • Who are potential secondary characters in my story, who might coach or nudge me along the way?

Nahlah Ayed has covered major world events for nearly two decades in Europe, Asia and Africa. (CBC)
Content on Ideas is wide-ranging. From the French thinker Simone Weil to ideas about oceans. From ice cream to Einstein. Dante to spy novels. Robin Hood to the culture of pain. Almost any subject can become an IDEAS program, as long as there's an important idea at the core and a fascinating story to be told.

Our approach is eclectic, but we focus on the documentary, using story-telling and narrative techniques to convey ideas. Our attitude is one of open exploration tempered by skeptical inquiry. We look for original perspectives and draw on the knowledge, insights and character of our contributors in shaping our programs.

Many of our programs are based on proposals we receive from freelance contributors. We accept proposals once a year, in February. The next submission deadline is Friday, February 8, 2019. For more information, including a detailed guide to preparing proposals, visit our pitch page.

 Spark accepts a limited number of freelance pitches each season. But before you do any of that, consider: Does it meet the criteria of what a Spark story is?

The show's mission statement: Spark is an ongoing conversation about our rapidly changing world. Along with you, host Nora Young explores how technology, innovation and design affects our lives. The show's values are:

  • Connecting the dots / Tying the future to today
  • Forward thinking
  • Creative production and storytelling
  • Refreshing – hear things you've never heard before
  • Solutions /Strategies / Something to take away

Email a brief and focused pitch to michelle.parise@cbc.ca telling us:

  1. What the story is (not the topic). What is the arc of the piece?
  2. Why you are telling it (as opposed to us just doing it.) What is your stake in it?
  3. What voices/sound will we hear. Is there a sense of place?

From Tapestry producer Erin Noel: The docs we air vary in length from 7-20 minutes. We favour sound-rich docs that take us out of the studio and into the world.

Tapestry docs take you deep inside a person's unique lived experience and, at the same time, investigate bigger questions about what it means to be human. We are a small team with limited ability to work with freelancers, so we only accept pitches from people who have experience making docs and who bring the full skill set (tape gathering, editing, writing, mixing, etc.). If you have a doc idea for Tapestry but you need more guidance or development, the Doc Mentorship program is an excellent resource.

An ideal pitch contains a narrative arc, guests who are good talkers, and scenes, and it identifies the deeper Tapestry question(s) at the heart of the piece.

Pitches can be emailed to Tapestry Senior Producer Erin Noel: erin.noel@cbc.ca

The Doc Project is always on the lookout for creative material: documentaries that break the rules, that transport you to unexpected places or allow you to eavesdrop on someone's life.

Whether you're a CBC reporter/producer/journalist, an experienced Canadian audio freelancer or podcaster, or an international producer with a Canadian story to tell, pitch us! Email: docproject@cbc.ca and put 'Commission' in the subject line. But first, please take some time with the resources on this page that will help you ensure your pitch is ready, and is a fit for our show. 

CBC Podcasts podcasts that engage, enlighten and entertain. We are the #1 podcaster in Canada, reaching more Canadians than any other podcast publisher. With more than 20 series in genres such as true crime, comedy, human interest and audio fiction, our podcasts are downloaded 16 million times per month. Our suite of programming includes Someone Knows Something, Personal Best, Love Me, and Uncover.   

We accept pitches on a rolling basis. Visit our pitch guide for more information on what we're looking for and how to submit.

The World This Weekend brings Canadians the latest developments on the key issues of the day, as well as interesting stories from all corners of the world.

We air docs from Canada and around the globe, generally between 4-5 minutes, but occasionally longer if the story merits. They can delve into everything from the environment, politics and health...to education, culture and sports — as long as they have a newsy element, i.e. why this story now? We look for compelling stories with good scenes, lots of sound, and engaging characters.

We accept pitches only from people with experience making radio docs. Please lay out in a few paragraphs: the focus of your story, its timeliness, the scenes, and the characters. You can send pitches to: twtw@cbc.ca with "Freelance pitch" in the subject line.