Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 86: Media and Reconciliation (84-86)

British Columbia Institute of Technology – School of Business and Media

April 24, 2024


You are curious and creative. You know what’s going on in the world and you want to make a difference as a multi-media storyteller. Join BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program to take the first steps in your new career. Our reputation in industry means that more than 90% of our graduates are employed. From day one you’ll be working as a hands-on journalist in news, sports and current affairs. Students will be mentored by experienced faculty and connect with professionals in the field. Our emphasis on multi-platform production puts this program on the cutting edge of journalism schools across the country.

About the program

  • Two years, full-time
  • Program runs from September to May
  • Prepares students for a range of journalism and media positions

To see more specifics about how BCIT’s unique training prepares you for a fast-paced journalism career, visit our Program Details page.

Work integrated learning

Every full-time diploma program has a practicum component where students spend time with an industry partner (TV and Radio stations; production, sports and entertainment companies). Practicums are typically four weeks in duration. In addition to practicum, students may have the opportunity to enter co-op in level four.

Who should apply for the Broadcast and Online Journalism Diploma?

This program was developed by industry professionals for people who have a strong curiosity about the world and want to develop critical thinking skills related to news and current affairs storytelling. You should also have strong written and oral communication skills.

If this sounds like you, apply today through our Entrance Requirements page.

What grads can do

There is always a strong demand for writers, reporters, video journalists, producers, and researchers who are skilled in producing radio, television, and online content. Our graduates work in newsrooms, sports stations, and media relations firms, including government and production houses. Some have established their own video production companies.

The School of Business and Media’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

The BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism Program recognizes its responsibility to respond to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action No. 86, urging journalism programs to require education on the history of “Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.” Since the release of the TRC Report in 2015, BCIT Broadcast and Online Journalism has adjusted its curriculum and course content to include more Indigenous knowledge and voices and to engage with Indigenous issues.

This commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and meaningful response to CTA 86 includes:

  • Initiation of an Indigenous Journalism Circle consisting of members of the BCIT community, Indigenous educators and Indigenous journalists. The Circle meets quarterly.
  • Ensuring curriculum includes information on unlearning and relearning collective histories.
  • Ensuring faculty have sufficient training in Indigenizing and decolonizing the curriculum, reflected in all courses across the two-year diploma program.
  • Incorporation of regular guest speakers and visits, learning resources, and reading materials to help students synthesize these concepts and apply them to the practice of journalism.
  • Developing a collection of Indigenous course materials for the program, such as Indigenous writing guides for students.
  • Equipping students with intercultural skills to foster understanding and context in journalism involving Indigenous people and issues.
  • Respecting Indigenous people through use of accurate language and terminology.
  • Recognizing biases in writing and reporting involving Indigenous people and working to eliminate bias by further developing critical thinking skills and empathy.
  • Exploring new methods of student recruitment, through Indigenous Education programs in school districts and through direct connections with B.C. First Nations.
  • Developing new ways to support student success for those in the program who identify as Indigenous, including through mentorship and the breaking down of barriers in industry.
BCIT’s Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

BCIT’s A Framework for Action and Accountability: An Indigenous Vision states the following:

“By embracing Truth and Reconciliation and promoting Indigenization throughout the BCIT community, we will honour Indigenous people, knowledge and culture, while preparing learners for success in a complex world through an education that is complete and relevant.”

As we implement the Indigenous Vision, we have agreed on our main areas of focus. These align with both the CICan principles and our objectives. With the learner at the centre of our planning, we have developed three types of actions:

  • Inclusion actions are people-focused and intent on building awareness and understanding around Truth, Reconciliation, Indigenization, the legacy of colonization, and the contemporary reality of Canada and Indigenous people.
  • Accountability actions strive to create an environment in which all learners, and specifically Indigenous learners, find themselves reflected across the Institute and supported by programs, policies, and services designed to meet their needs.
  • Relationship actions foster a culture in which respect and collaboration underpin all that we do. Based on authentic and sustainable partnerships, these actions represent progress towards a future in which we work together to promote the place and space of Indigenous people.

Call to Action # 86

We call upon Canadian journalism programs and media schools to require education for all students on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. 

Mandatory Course: Yes. Content integrated into multiple courses

BCST 1134 – News Writing – Credits: 3

This core first-year news writing course includes a learning module about the residential school system and TRC calls to action. Students are required to complete two assignments related to this learning, including a reflective journal written after listening to a podcast about the residential school system and an editorial photo gallery based on the theme of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In addition, students are required to write a personal land acknowledgment.

BCST 1331 – Media Law – Credits: 2

BCST 3340 – Advanced Journalism – Credits: 3

In these courses, students learn about Indigenous legal rights and history, Crown/Indigenous relations, treaty law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Learning is reinforced through Indigenous guest speakers.

BCST 2230 – News Reporting – Credits: 2

This course includes a module on Indigenous storytelling, led by an Indigenous journalist.

BCST 4430 – Documentary Production 2 – Credits: 2

This course includes a module on working in and with Indigenous communities and telling Indigenous stories. It is led by an Indigenous filmmaker.

BCIT has a free non-graded Indigenous Awareness course. However, this free course is non-mandatory.

1The history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools
Yes. Topic is addressed in BCST 1134
2The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Yes. Topic is addressed BCST 3340.
3Treaties and Aboriginal rights
Yes. Topic is addressed BCST 3340.
4Indigenous law
Yes. Topic is addressed in BCST 3340.
5Aboriginal–Crown Relations
Yes. Topic is addressed in BCST 1134 and BCST 3340

Land Acknowledgement

All program large gatherings and meetings begin with a Land Acknowledgment, as do all streaming news and sportscasts produced by Broadcast and Online Journalism at BCIT.

The institute’s broader statement of acknowledgement is found within the Inclusivity, Equity, & Accessibility: Bringing an Inclusion Lens to your Classroom document and the Indigenous Initiatives webpage:

“Acknowledgement of Territories”:

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)”

All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. The British Columbia Institute of Technology – School of Business and Media reviewed and approved the document..

Managing Editor: Douglas Sinclair: Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog
Lead Researcher, Timothy Maton, Ph.D