Journalistic Standards and Practices


  • Our Mission and Values

    Our Mission

    We are Canada’s national public news and information service. We are rooted in every region of the country and report on Canada and the world to provide a Canadian perspective on international news and current affairs.

    We provide Canadians with information when and how they want it, through an evolving range of media.

    To serve the public interest

    Our mission is to inform, to reveal, to contribute to the understanding of issues of public interest and to encourage citizens to participate in our free and democratic society.

    To reflect diversity

    We are committed to reflecting accurately the range of experiences and points of view of all citizens. All Canadians, of whatever origins, perspectives and beliefs, should feel that our news and current affairs coverage is relevant to them and lives up to our Values.

    We have a special responsibility to reflect regional and cultural diversity, as well as fostering respect and understanding across regions.

    To protect our independence

    We are independent of all lobbies and of all political and economic influence. We uphold freedom of expression and freedom of the press, the touchstones of a free and democratic society. Public interest guides all our decisions.

    To act responsibly and to be accountable

    We are aware of the impact of our journalism and are honest with our audiences. We do not hesitate to correct any mistake when necessary nor to follow-up a story when a situation changes significantly.

    The office of the Ombudsman reviews our practices against the standards set out in these policies. We openly provide the public with the means to judge and hold us to account by sharing with it research we may use to measure the quality and standards of our journalism.

    We manage our resources responsibly. We strive for journalistic excellence and best practices in all of our journalistic endeavours.

    Our Values


    We seek out the truth in all matters of public interest. We invest our time and our skills to learn, understand and clearly explain the facts to our audience. The production techniques we use serve to present the content in a clear and accessible manner.


    In our information gathering and reporting, we treat individuals and organizations with openness and respect. We are mindful of their rights. We treat them even-handedly.


    We contribute to informed debate on issues that matter to Canadians by reflecting a diversity of opinion. Our content on all platforms presents a wide range of subject matter and views.

    On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time.


    We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.


    The trust of the public is our most valued asset. We avoid putting ourselves in real or potential conflict of interest. This is essential to our credibility.

  • Scope

    Journalistic Standards and Practices (JSP) apply to news, current affairs and public affairs personnel and to information content produced, broadcast and posted online by these teams. This includes user-generated content when incorporated in news, current affairs and public affairs stories. JSP also apply to personnel and news content in specialized areas such as sports and culture.

    As stipulated in CBC Program Policies, general-interest programs and content and the staff producing them on all platforms must comply with the values of balance and fairness as set out in JSP when dealing with current issues, especially if controversial.

    Moreover, in an election or referendum period, JSP apply to all content related to the campaign, parties or candidates that is broadcast and published by CBC, regardless of the department concerned.

    The senior officers of information programming of the French and English services are responsible for interpreting and applying JSP and must be consulted in case of doubt by those responsible for general-interest programs and content. When sports, arts or other specialized units prepare news content, they are accountable to the senior officers of information programming who have final editorial authority over it.

    News, current affairs and public affairs content commissioned by CBC and produced by third parties:

    JSP apply to all news, current affairs and public affairs content commissioned by CBC and produced by third parties.

    A manager commissioning content produced by a third party ensures compliance with JSP. A proposal for content that is not fully in compliance must be referred to senior editorial management.

  • Editorial Responsibility and Upward Referral

    Personnel assigned to research, gather, produce, edit, present or manage information content comply with CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.

    We apply these guidelines to each situation in good faith and according to our best judgement.

    We keep up with best journalistic practices, share our experiences and ask ourselves questions before making editorial decisions.

    We refer to senior editorial management any question raising a doubt or any decision that could affect CBC’s credibility, independence or reputation as a provider of high-quality information.

    Journalistic Standards and Practices specify on occasion that certain matters must be referred to a specific level of management.

    The employee or manager making an editorial decision is accountable for that decision.

    Questions of a legal nature may be referred to CBC’s Law Department.

    The Law Department provides advice on legal matters to the employees and managers concerned. The final editorial decision rests with the managers responsible for programs and online content.

  • Program Funding

    CBC maintains complete editorial independence and control over all its programming material.

    The use of outside funding cannot influence a program or segment or create the perception that the funding body has any influence.

    If a program or segment is published using external funding, that fact is disclosed to the audience.

    The use of outside funding, either from an NGO, federal agency or professional scholarship or fellowship must be approved by the Director.

    These conditions apply to productions acquired by CBC. If there are any funding relationships or conditions attached, they must be fully disclosed to CBC in writing.

    Similarly, CBC does not allow sponsors to use commercial time to run information programming they have created. CBC is responsible for all information programming, no matter where it is placed on the schedule.

  • Brand protection; fiction

    CBC’s credibility and brand as an information provider must never be compromised. Information content may be accompanied by advertising or promotion. However, we do not commercially exploit the brand of our information programs and content in any way detrimental to our independence, credibility or integrity as a public service.

    Any proposal to have journalists simulate their work in fiction, parody or advertising must be referred to the General Manager and Editor in Chief.

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