Expression of Opinion
Our programs and platforms allow for the expression of a particular perspective or point of view. This content adds public understanding and debate on the issues of the day.
When presenting content (programs, program segments, or digital content) where a single opinion or point of view is featured, we ensure that a diversity of perspective is provided across a network or platform and in an appropriate time frame.
When we choose to present a single point of view:
- it is clearly labeled, and
- it does not misrepresent other points of view.
Our value of impartiality precludes our news and current affairs staff from expressing their personal opinions on matters of controversy on all our platforms.
Designated Opinion Columnist
On an exceptional basis, the Editor in Chief may also choose to appoint certain journalists as columnists, who have licence to express their opinions. In order to protect the integrity of CBC's journalism, we will restrict the role of such columnists to opinion and commentary, which will be clearly identified.
Commentators and Guests
CBC, in its programming, over time, provides a wide range of comment and opinion on significant issues.
We achieve balance by featuring multiple perspectives and points of view to reflect a diversity of opinion.
It is important to mention any association, affiliation or special interest a guest or commentator may have so that the public can fully understand that person’s perspective.
CBC/Radio-Canada News and Current Affairs Employees
We are guided by the principle of impartiality.
We provide our audience with the perspectives, facts and analysis they need to understand an issue or matter of public interest.
CBC journalists do not express their own personal opinion because it affects the perception of impartiality and could affect an open and honest exploration of an issue.
We maintain the same standards, no matter where we publish – on CBC platforms or in other media outside the CBC.
When appropriate, news and current affairs staff offer reports we refer to as "analysis". Here, reporters may make observations and draw conclusions based on facts as well as their own experience and expertise.
Their intent is to give the audience insight into the true nature of events, not to be a forum for the personal opinions or preferences of the author.
We give our audience members an opportunity to express their opinion in order to enhance our reflection of Canadians’ diverse views and sensibilities.
No matter what platform or in what form – online comments, talkback, phone-ins, or digital contributions – this content is separate from our journalism. It is clearly distinguished from journalistic content.
However, we exercise journalistic judgment about what we choose to publish and highlight. When making those choices, we take care that the material featured reflects the range of opinion the audience members expressed on an issue.
Point of View Documentaries
From time to time, we air journalistic documentaries created from a single perspective.
We air these point of view journalistic documentaries for some of the following reasons:
- 1. There is a compelling first person narrative that provides insight into an issue or perspective.
- 2. The creator has special knowledge, expertise or a body of work that has artistic merit, and/or is recognized as an expert in a field.
- 3. There is a compelling argument, well presented, for a single point of view that provides insight into a controversial subject and may provoke public debate.
- 4. The editorial content of the production is independent, and cannot be compromised by any source of funding.
- 5. We broadcast or publish the identity of major sources of funding. Where such financing includes support from advocacy groups or government agencies, we let the audience know.
We label point of view documentaries as such when they are aired.
We ensure balance over time by publishing other perspectives and opinions on the same subject in other programs, program segments or platforms. When the subject is highly controversial, we consider scheduling additional programming with alternate opinions, in an appropriate time frame.
CBC hosts and journalists do not narrate, participate in or create point of view documentaries.
The Director should be consulted before a point of view documentary is procured and aired.