Editorial policy

Welcome to CITIZENShift, a National Film Board of Canada website dedicated to citizen engagement and social change.

CitizenShift is a participatory media site that puts the focus on social issues via our collaborators: all of us who are working to make difference in our society.

Online since October 2004, CitizenShift connects with people through a wide variety of networks created around the issues that we feature on the site. CitizenShift is an active and engaged community, both online and off. Our ranks include artists, activists, teachers and students, filmmakers, citizen journalists and ordinary people who have a point of view and who use media to put their voices forward.

To find out more about us see About

We host and support a wide variety of media including:

  • Short films (maximum 20mins. although exceptions on length are sometimes made)
  • Clips from feature films
  • Audio
  • Photos
  • Texts (text, Word, PDF, or PowerPoint formats)
  • Links
  • Comments
  • Blogs

We welcome documentary, fiction, animation, music, spoken word, poetry, art, slideshows or any combination of these as long as the piece clearly explores, exposes, celebrates, or somehow deals with a social issue of concern to fellow citizens.


Visitors who sign up with a profile become CitizenShift collaborators. You must be a collaborator in order to submit content. Collaborators can submit materials that complement existing content on the site, or make a suggestion for a new dossier and add a new piece to it.

Collaborators who contribute content to CitizenShift attest that they hold all rights and authorizations needed for distribution on the Internet, including rights for music, stock footage, photographs and/or graphics contained within the work.

As a collaborator, you remain the producer of your works and have full control of its availability on the site. As long as you keep your work on CitizenShift, we retain non-exclusive rights to display and distribute the work on the CitizenShift platform, worldwide and in perpetuity.

Collaborators must choose either a Creative Commons licence, or a pre-arranged CitizenShift licence agreement for each and every work submitted to the site.

To arrange for a CitizenShift licence, please contact us before uploading your proposed content.


The CitizenShift team moderates all submitted media content BEFORE it goes online. (please allow up to 2 days for content to appear)

We moderate content for a few reasons: one is to assure that materials submitted to the site fits our mandate of media for social change.

We also screen for any materials that might be offensive, as well as for copyright infringements.

Comments are post moderated, meaning that they go online immediately, but will be taken down if considered offensive or inappropriate in any way.

Here's what we are looking for:

  • Works that put forth the issues and rally for social change.

    We strive to make this a high-quality site and seek artistic, narrative and technical quality in the works we host. We invite innovative, original, fresh and pertinent content that depicts social, cultural or environmental themes. We will also accept a piece of inferior technical quality IF it somehow gives a powerful testimony to the issues and reflects the world we live in.

Here's what we will not accept:

  • Any material that is libelous, racist, sexist, obscene or contains hate propaganda.
  • Self-promotion, advertisements or sales initiatives that do not directly pertain to specific social issues.
  • Copyright infringements: we shall treat your contribution as content in which you hold all rights and which you agree to allow to be reproduced, published, broadcast, transmitted to others, modified or used in any other way for the purposes of this site. CitizenShift shall not be held liable for how this material may be used.

For the case of a video embedded from another site, we cannot control the origins or copyright status of all materials submitted, but we will do our best to remove and report infringements back to the hosting site.

Works considered as announcements, publicity or advertisements are permitted only if they are considered by the editorial team to be pertinent and relevant to the mandate of the site.

We will make every effort to organize and contextualize submitted pieces by placing them in multiple dossiers, or by adding tags. In this way we can help ensure that people will find all related and relevant media when searching for specific topics.




Last update: December 2007

A production of the National Film Board of Canada © 2004-2007