Entry Categories for 2019

  1. PROJECT OF THE YEAR

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For the most exceptional journalistic endeavour of the year: deep, compelling and ground-breaking treatment of a subject of vital importance to the community. These projects enlighten and inform the public interest and often transform elements of society.

REQUIREMENTS: There is no restriction on the volume of content, but entries should emphasize quality, not quantity. A supporting letter explaining the purpose of the project, its impact, and any other relevant information about the circumstances of the work is required.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use all journalistic tools, including text, video, audio, photos and social media. However, photos submitted as part of an entry must not be the primary element of the entry.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of two submissions per entering organization.

NOTE TO JUDGES: A special project is a major investment in journalistic effort that can draw on any combination of reporting, investigation, feature writing, explanatory work, editorial writing, commentary, graphics, photography and multimedia efforts. The award is intended to recognize the excellence of the entire package. An entry may be the work of a small or large number of people. Judges are asked to reward the most exceptional projects of the year, taking into account all circumstances including resources available to the news organization. All the general criteria for excellence in journalism come into play. Is the subject matter significant and relevant? Is the reporting rigourous? Does it show enterprise and initiative? Are the writing and presentation compelling and engaging? Is the package well organized? Is the project original? Does it serve the community or society at large? Does it demonstrate the importance of journalism, and fulfill the news organization’s mission to its readers? Did it lead to change or improvement in society? Is it accurate and fair? Is the impact worth the resources (of staff, time, expertise, other assets) that went into it?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. PRESENTATION/DESIGN

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional design and/or visual storytelling, imaginatively conceived and creatively executed. May use illustration, graphics, design elements and interactive elements, alone or in combination.

REQUIREMENTS: Maximum of three related or unrelated parts.

FORMATS: Newspaper tearsheets, or screens designed for web or tablet.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Focus in this category is on visual aspects: design and layout in print or digital formats. How does the design/presentation support the journalism, regardless of the importance of the subject matter? Among the general criteria for excellence in journalism, those that would most apply here include integrity and impact. Does the presentation add value and meaning to the journalism? Does it serve the reader? Does it display artistry, creativity and originality? Does it impart drama and impact? Does it create an informative or an immersive experience? How rich is the user experience?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, January 13

 

  1. LOCAL REPORTING

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional reporting of a significant local issue.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to 10 elements on a single subject.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use all journalistic tools, including text, video, audio, photos and social media. However, photos submitted as part of an entry must not be the primary element of the entry.

RESTRICTIONS: Open to all organizations approved for entry in the competition, except for (a) news agencies, or (b) the following Canadian daily newspapers – the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, La Presse, Le Journal de Montreal, the Montreal Gazette, the Vancouver Sun/Province, the Calgary Herald/Sun, the Ottawa Citizen/Sun, the Edmonton Journal/Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press, Le Journal de Quebec, Le Soleil and the Hamilton Spectator. Maximum of two submissions per entrant. Entrants may submit work entered in Local Reporting in another category.

NOTE TO JUDGES: This category allows smaller news organizations with fewer resources to compete on an equal level, without competition from larger organizations. The general criteria for excellence in journalism all apply here. Does the work shed meaningful light on a matter that affects the community? Does it show initiative and enterprise? Does it meet high standards in the quality of writing and rigour of reporting? Is it fair and balanced? Does it lead to change or improvement in the community? Has the work been achieved with limited resources?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, January 10

 

  1. SHORT FEATURE

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For an exceptional example of feature writing at shorter length, with an emphasis on original, compelling stories, gracefully told.

REQUIREMENTS: A single written story of up to 1,000 words. Word count must be provided on the entry form. Entries must be submitted in plain text format.

FORMATS: Text only.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: This is a category in which writing style and originality are weighed most heavily. Judges will be comparing many different subjects and styles of features. Primary consideration should be given to compelling and original work of high literary quality, but judges should also consider other criteria for excellence in journalism: subject matter, rigour of reporting, integrity and impact. Is the topic relevant, significant or original? Does the work provide new or original insight into ongoing news, everyday events, trends or phenomena? Does the writer take an innovative approach? How much information or intelligence does the entry fit into a compact, engaging read? Is it creative? Will you remember the writing long after you finish reading the piece?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. LONG FEATURE (WILLIAM SOUTHAM AWARD)

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional feature writing, with an emphasis on original, compelling stories, gracefully told.

REQUIREMENTS: A single written story longer than 1,000 words, or up to three written stories (longer than 1,000 words combined) that clearly form part of a single body of work. Entries must be submitted in plain text format.

FORMATS: Text only.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The scope of this material is wide-ranging, drawing from all areas of the news organization’s work. Judges will be comparing many different subjects and styles of features. This is a category in which writing style and originality are weighed most heavily; primary consideration should be given to compelling work of high literary quality. But judges should also consider other criteria for excellence in journalism. Is the subject matter relevant, significant or original? Does the work show depth or breadth of reporting, and knowledge or exploration of the topic? Does it provide new or original insight into ongoing news, everyday events, trends or phenomena? Does the entry deserve the length allotted to it? Is it creative? Will you remember the writing long after you finish reading the piece?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, January 13

 

  1. EDITORIAL WRITING (CLAUDE RYAN AWARD)

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional editorial expression.

REQUIREMENTS: Portfolio of three editorials

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Editorials can be explanatory, descriptive or prescriptive. Editorial writing can be light or serious, formal or colloquial. The three submitted editorials are to be judged as a body of work. Does the subject matter merit editorial treatment? Does the work help readers identify issues of importance and understand them in new ways? Does it show breadth and understanding of the subject(s)? Does it speak with authority? Is it clear, concise and reasoned? Would it ignite public discussion, debate and/or lead to change or improvement? Does the work show sustained quality?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, January 9

 

  1. COLUMNS

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional analysis or commentary by individuals whose work is published regularly by a single news organization in column format.

REQUIREMENTS: Portfolio of three columns

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Columnists possess a privileged position within any news organization, with the right to regularly give their thoughts and opinions. Column style can vary greatly, with some relying more on reporting and others more on opinion. The three submitted columns are to be judged as a body of work. Among the judges’ considerations should be: Does the work inform, engage, persuade, educate, entertain? Does it exhibit a distinctive voice? Does the columnist’s personality infuse the work? Does the reporting and/or writing show breadth and understanding of the subject? Do the subjects matter to the news organization’s readers? Does the work exhibit sustained quality?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, January 10

 

  1. EXPLANATORY WORK

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional reporting to explain complex or arcane subjects. This category should demonstrate mastery of the subject and answer a single question: why or how?

REQUIREMENTS: A single story with up to 10 elements.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use all journalistic tools, including text, video, audio, photos and social media. However, photos submitted as part of an entry must not be the primary element of the entry.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of two submissions per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: This is not a category for general features, although the approach may be narrative or in the style of a feature. Explanatory work shows readers how things work and why things happen. It may have been produced as a supplement or follow to a news or feature story, but an Explanatory Work entry should be able to stand alone. The subjects are limitless, deriving from all departments of the news organization. Judges’ primary consideration should be how the entry helps readers understand the topic being explained. Is the subject matter significant, timely or important? Are the writing and multimedia creative and of exceptional quality? Are they aimed at making the subject matter clear? Does the work indicate a strong command of the subject through extensive research? Does it give new understanding of the subject?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, January 10

 

  1. EDITORIAL CARTOONING

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional cartooning illustration.

REQUIREMENTS: A portfolio of five cartoons.

FORMATS: JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

RESTRICTIONS: One submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The five submitted cartoons are to be judged as a body of work. Editorial cartooning should be judged for both message and quality of the presentation. Does the work show originality in both message and style? Is the message clear? Does it exhibit bite, wit, cleverness? Is the cartoonist’s style distinctive? Does the work inform readers, entertain readers and achieve its purpose?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, January 9

 

  1. INVESTIGATIONS (GEORGE BROWN AWARD)

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional work in investigations, where powerful reportage reveals information of importance to the public. Emphasis is on enterprise reporting.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to 10 elements related to a single investigation.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use all journalistic tools, including text, video, audio, photos and social media. However, photos submitted as part of an entry must not be the primary element of the entry.

RESTRICTIONS: None.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Investigation is the most demanding kind of reporting, providing opportunities to reveal matters of deep importance to the public, often against the wishes of particular individuals, organizations or public stewards. Malfeasance, systemic malfunction, corruption and wrongdoing are often exposed though investigative journalism. Enterprise, tenacity and depth of reporting are primarily sought here. However, clarity of writing and integrity of reporting are also key factors. Judges should be open to a range of investigative approaches that may include, among others, uncovering important documents or records, mining and analysis of data, and use of sources. Was this work a worthwhile allocation of the news organization’s resources? Does the subject involve a matter of public importance? Does the work involve extensive fact-gathering? Does it expose secrets or wrongdoing? Does it seek accountability? Is the work fair and transparent in its sourcing? Were initiative and tenacity required? Is the investigation original? Is the writing clear? Is the sum of the work a compelling, engaging package? A high value is placed on change that flows as a result of the investigation. However, judges should consider the power and influence of the subject, and the immovability of institutions, when weighing outcomes.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. INTERNATIONAL REPORTING (NORMAN WEBSTER AWARD)

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional, compelling reporting on an important world event or issue.

REQUIREMENTS: Work must result from reporting done outside Canada. Up to three related or unrelated stories, plus sidebars.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of two submissions per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: International reporting should be judged according to the general criteria for excellence in journalism, but compelling writing and enterprise are key factors in this award. Does the work include initiative and tenacity? Is the writing vivid with concrete detail and context? Does it demonstrate an issue important to the world or to Canadian readers? Does it provide a new or unique angle on a widely reported international story? Does this work show authoritative analysis or exclusive details? Does it inform and engage the reader?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, January 13

 

  1. BREAKING NEWS

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For quick, accurate, authoritative, creative, original and comprehensive coverage of breaking news on any platform.

REQUIREMENTS: All content must have been published over a 36-hour period within the first 72 hours of the news breaking. Entries must specify the times when the 36-hour period began and ended. There is no restriction on the volume of content, but entries should emphasize quality, not quantity. In the event that content created during the 36-hour period is archived online alongside content created outside that period, the entering organization must provide information sufficient to allow judges to regard only the qualifying content.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use all journalistic tools, including text, video, audio, photos and social media. However, photos submitted as part of an entry must not be the primary element of the entry.

RESTRICTIONS: None.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Breaking news may have been gathered and presented in one package, or continually updated on a digital platform. It demands fast work, accuracy, integrity, and clarity. Was the news gathering chaotic, dangerous or difficult? Did the reporting require tenacity, initiative and imagination? Was this work complete, accurate, authoritative, timely and compelling? Did it add context or understanding to the events? A breaking news package may be large or small; judges may consider the resources the news organization committed to the story in weighing the heft or depth of the work.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. BEAT REPORTING

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional, authoritative coverage by a reporter regularly assigned to a beat or specialized subject matter, demonstrating evidence of original thinking, initiative, development of valuable sources and expertise, and consistency of coverage. The subject matter need not be the journalist’s exclusive area of work, but must be covered regularly over a reasonable period of time.

REQUIREMENTS: A portfolio of four stories; each may include a single sidebar. A supporting letter is required from a supervising editor explaining the reporter’s qualifications and experience in the subject area and the breadth of coverage that led to the entry.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media. (remove photos as a tool)

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: This category should be judged with all the general criteria for excellence in journalism in mind: subject matter, rigour of reporting, writing style, originality and impact. Evidence of sustained exceptional work and command of the subject matter are of primary importance. Does the portfolio show authoritative coverage of a complex issue? Does it reveal consequences of issues in the public interest? Does the reporting show enterprise, initiative and tenacity? Does it show evidence of relationships of trust with key stakeholders, without being beholden to any stakeholders? Is the submitted work exceptional in grabbing the reader’s attention? Does the work lead to change or improvements?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. BUSINESS

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional, compelling reporting on business, economics and/or personal finance.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to three related or unrelated stories, plus sidebars.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: This is a category in which all the criteria for excellence in journalism should apply: subject, rigour of reporting, writing style, integrity and impact. Business and the economy affect virtually everyone; in weighing the entries, judges should consider the balance between deep knowledge of the business world and making it of interest to the broad public. Does the work explain or reveal the inner workings of business? ? Does it show evidence of initiative and tenacity? Does it show authoritative analysis? Is it compelling?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, January 10

 

  1. SPORTS

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional, compelling reporting and/or writing on sports.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to three related or unrelated stories, plus sidebars.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The world of sports holds the possibility of many elements of compelling story telling: heroes, triumph, heartbreak, courage and failure. Professional sports is also a business. Judges should keep in mind that the range of stories and approaches in this category can be broad. All the criteria for excellence in journalism should apply: subject, rigour of reporting, writing style, integrity and impact. Does this work show evidence of initiative and tenacity? Does it interest and entertain readers with compelling writing? Does it show the human drama of sports, and/or authoritative analysis? In weighing the entries, judges should consider the balance between deep knowledge of the sports world, and making it of interest to more casual readers.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, January 9

 

  1. ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For clever, entertaining and exceptional reporting, features, criticism or columns on any subject within the realm of arts and entertainment.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to three related or unrelated stories, plus sidebars.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Arts and entertainment coverage can reflect our culture back to us. Does the work show breadth and understanding of the subject? Does it show original thought and/or an innovative approach? Does it display authoritative analysis and/or reveal unique details? If criticism or columns are included, does the work exhibit a distinctive voice?

ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, January 9

 

  1. POLITICS (JOHN DAFOE AWARD)

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For exceptional, compelling reporting on politics.

REQUIREMENTS: Up to three related or unrelated stories, plus sidebars.

FORMATS: An entry in this category may use text, video, audio and social media.

RESTRICTIONS: Maximum of one submission per entrant.

NOTE TO JUDGES: Coverage of politics is central to newspapers’ role in democracy. It involves the public and private doings, actions and words of elected or publicly appointed officials. Work in this category can come from any level of politics and government, and can be assembled using a variety of approaches. All the criteria for excellence in journalism should apply: subject, rigour of reporting, writing style, integrity and impact. Does this work uncover a key issue of public interest? Is there evidence of initiative, tenacity and exclusive reporting? Does it expose evidence of secrecy or wrongdoing, or explain the inner workings of government through policies and people? Does the work show authoritative analysis and inside information? Judges should consider the impact of the reporting within the context (federal, provincial, regional or municipal).

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, January 13

 

  1. BREAKING NEWS PHOTO

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For an exceptional photograph that illustrates a breaking, unexpected news event that required the photographer to act quickly, under intense deadline and/or competitive pressure, and/or under difficult conditions. Photos from scheduled events may be submitted in this category if the image captures an important, unanticipated news development for which advance planning was not possible. Photos that involved some advance planning may be submitted in this category if that planning was in response to unanticipated breaking news. Photos submitted in this category must have been published within 36 hours of the news event depicted in the photo.

REQUIREMENTS: A single image, with proof of publication, IPTC metadata and a letter outlining when the event occurred and when the image was first published, in order to meet the 36-hour publishing requirement. Information outlining what was involved in capturing the image is strongly recommended to be included in the letter.

FORMATS: JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

RESTRICTIONS: None. Individuals and organizations may submit multiple entries in this category.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The photo should demonstrate good news judgment, instinct, creativity, imagination and skill. It should communicate a significant story with impact and drama. Deadline pressure, difficulty of assignment and exclusivity are key considerations. The photo should also demonstrate technical expertise including composition, lighting and timing. Judges will not consider how the photo was displayed by the organization that published it.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 15

 

  1. GENERAL NEWS PHOTO

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For an exceptional photograph that illustrates a news event but does not meet the requirements set out in Category 18, Breaking News Photo. Photos submitted in this category should either capture an important element of the event or otherwise help tell its story. Advance planning of the event and/or the image is permitted, but photos must be candid and uncontrived.

REQUIREMENTS: A single image, with proof of publication and IPTC metadata. A letter outlining what was involved in capturing the image is strongly recommended.

FORMATS: JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

RESTRICTIONS: None. Individuals and organizations may submit multiple entries in this category.

NOTE TO JUDGES The photo should demonstrate instinct, creativity, imagination and skill. It should be compelling, have news value and illustrate a news story. The photo should also demonstrate technical expertise including composition, lighting and timing. Judges will not consider how the photo was displayed by the organization that published it.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Monday, January 13

 

  1. FEATURE PHOTO

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For an exceptional photograph of an image that is not associated with an event that would ordinarily be considered news, such as (but not limited to) images that reflect daily life or community, or a new or unique perspective on an everyday scene. Photographs can be from either an unexpected situation or planned and scheduled events. Advance planning is permitted.

REQUIREMENTS: A single image, with proof of publication and IPTC metadata. A letter outlining what was involved in capturing the image is recommended.

FORMATS: JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

RESTRICTIONS: None. Individuals and organizations may submit multiple entries in this category.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The photo should display creativity, imagination and skill. It should be compelling and draw the viewer’s interest even though the moment depicted is not associated with an important news story or event. The photo should also demonstrate technical expertise including lighting and composition. Judges will not consider how the photo was displayed by the organization that published it.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Thursday, January 9

 

  1. SPORTS PHOTO

CATEGORY DESCRIPTION: For an exceptional photograph that captures the action of sports competition (individual or team) and/or illustrates the esthetic and artistic qualities of athletes and their sport on or off the field of play. Advance planning of the event and/or the image is permitted, but photos must be candid and uncontrived.

REQUIREMENTS: A single image, with proof of publication and IPTC metadata. A letter outlining what was involved in capturing the image is strongly recommended.

FORMATS: JPG format, not less than 2048 pixels on the longest side and not larger than 3072 pixels. Compress the JPG file so that the file size is not more than 1.5 megabytes.

RESTRICTIONS: None. Individuals and organizations may submit multiple entries in this category.

NOTE TO JUDGES: The photo should demonstrate good judgment, instinct, creativity, imagination and skill. It should be compelling and draw the viewer’s interest even if the moment depicted is not in itself significant. Deadline pressure, difficulty of assignment and exclusivity will be considered but are not required. The photo should also demonstrate technical expertise including positioning, lighting and composition. Judges will not consider how the photo was displayed by the organization that published it.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, January 10