Rules of Entry for 2018





 The National Newspaper Awards are intended to honour the best journalism created by and for news organizations approved for participation in the competition.

Governors will establish categories and descriptions of those categories, entry procedures and entry fees for each year of the awards program, and will publicize that information on the NNA website.

Rules set out in this document are in effect for the 2018 contest year, which covers work published between January 1 and December 31, 2018.




  1. To be eligible for participation in the competition, an entry must have been published first in 2018 by an eligible organization as defined under Rules 2 and 3, with the work having been performed by an eligible entrant as defined under Rules 4, 5, 6 and 7.
  1. In order to be approved for participation, an organization must agree to pay entry fees and must be either:
  1. a Canadian daily newspaper (print and/or electronic version);
  2. a Canadian news agency;
  3. a Canadian digital publication;
  4. a Canadian division of an internationally owned news agency; or
  5. a Canadian division of an internationally owned digital publication.

In all cases, the organization must gather news and information daily in Canada and disseminate news and original journalism intended for the reception of Canadians at least five days a week in the case of printed newspapers, or news content uploads of such news and original journalism at least five days a week in the case of electronic versions of newspapers, digital publications and news agencies.

The competition is not open to organizations whose primary purpose and/or primary source of revenue are television or radio broadcasting; magazine publishing; or publishing (digital or print) that is less frequent than daily.

Entries from magazines or magazine sections inserted in a printed daily newspaper are not eligible if such magazines or sections are inserted for distribution or circulation purposes and have not been edited, produced and published by the printed daily newspaper.

  1. If an entry has been published by a news organization that has not previously been accepted as eligible for participation in the competition, the organization must apply for eligibility to the Governors by December 1, 2018. The Governors will determine eligibility on the basis of the following criteria:
  1. its output is intended for the general reception of the public in Canada;
  2. it is not intended to be in itself a promotional or marketing effort of any company, political party, government, institution, cause or person; and
  3. it is a daily publication as defined in Rule 2.

No entry shall be accepted into the awards program if the issue of eligibility has not been pre-determined under this rule.



  1. The contest may be entered by or on behalf of:
  1. Journalists who were permanently or temporarily an employee of an eligible news organization at the time the entered work was performed.
  2. Journalists who provided the entered work to an eligible news organization on a freelance or contract basis, subject to requirements and restrictions set out in Rules 5, 6 and 7.

“Entrant” means any individual or group of up to five individuals who submit(s) an entry and who is/are identified in the entry submission.

  1. With one exception noted in Rule 6, the contest is not intended to be entered by individuals who do not work regularly in daily journalism in Canada. For this reason, all entrants who were not permanently or temporarily an employee of an eligible news organization at the time the entered work was performed must submit with their entry a description of their journalistic endeavours during the year for which work is being submitted. For greater clarity, this requirement extends to all individuals who supplied the entered work to an eligible organization on a freelance or contract basis.
  1. Work supplied to eligible organizations by “citizen journalists” (individuals who do not work regularly as journalists but participate in the coverage of breaking news) may be entered in two categories: Breaking News and News Photo. All such entries must be accompanied by a letter from a senior editor at the organization providing details about the role the individual played in the entered work and the nature of that individual’s relationship with the organization.
  1. Work performed by an individual who was not a permanent or temporary employee of an eligible organization may be entered in the competition provided that the individual has entered into a contract granting the organization the right to publish the entry. This includes an individual who enters such a contract with an eligible organization after the entry was created and without prior involvement, assignment or direction of the eligible organization. An entry by such person shall not be disqualified under Rule 1 by reason only that the entry was first published by the individual on her/his personal social media feed.



  1. Any decision of the Governors in all matters relating to the eligibility of an organization under Rules 2 and 3, or an individual entrant under Rules 4, 5, 6 and 7, is final and binding on all parties and remains in effect until the Governors rescind any such decision. Rescinding such decision is not reviewable and is final. The Governors will give notice of rescission to all interested parties and will post the notice on the NNA website ( The rescission is effective as of the date the notice of rescission is given.
  1. If an entry does not comply with restrictions and requirements of the intended category, the Governors may, in consultation with the entrant, amend the entry to bring it into compliance.



  1. For an entry to qualify, any funding, involvement or support for the work from outside the organization must be clearly identified at the time of publication, in any online archives of the work, and as part of the entry through the provision of a supporting letter from a senior editor of the organization.

For the purposes of this rule, “funding, involvement or support for the work from outside the organization” includes any of the following: the payment of fees, salary or honoraria; any form of sponsorship; employment; the provision of supplies including travel and/or living expenses; co-productions and joint reporting endeavours involving more than one news organization; bursaries; scholarships; residencies; training or instructive assistance in the context of journalism courses.

The Governors may determine that the receipt or use of such funding, involvement or support falls below the highest standards of journalistic ethics in the circumstances and the entry is therefore ineligible.

In their deliberations in this matter, the Governors will consider the following matters, without excluding any other elements or matters thought by them to be relevant in the circumstances:

  1. whether the concept for the entry was initiated by the entrant/news organization;
  2. whether the entry contains any support, direct or indirect, for the purposes, aims, products or services of the provider of the outside funding/involvement/support;
  3. whether the provider of the outside funding/involvement/support sought any input or approval of the output of the entrant before publication.
  4. whether the outside support was made available to anyone applying therefor, or was an opportunity exclusive to persons associated with a particular organization.

Additionally, in the case of entered work for which outside funding was provided to the entrant and/or entering organization, the Governors will also consider whether the entrant/news organization applied for outside funding in an application which (i) specified the use of the funds; (ii) placed conditions on the content of the work to be produced; and/or (iii) included peer review of the application.

The decision of the Governors is final and not subject to review.


  1. In the case of co-productions involving more than one news organization working in partnership, all work submitted with the entry must have been done entirely or substantially by journalists working on behalf of the eligible organization. For greater clarity, eligible organizations may enter work that was done in partnership with news organizations that are not eligible to enter the competition, but work done entirely or substantially by or on behalf of the ineligible news organization may not be entered.



  1. Each qualifying entry will be considered, in competition with all others duly entered in the same category, by a panel of three or more judges selected by the Governors.
  1. In evaluating the merit of an entry, judges shall consider:
  1. the criteria for the respective categories;
  2. professional journalistic ethics and commonly accepted standards; and
  3. the resources (staffing, financial or otherwise) available to the entrant.
  1. Judges will identify to the Administration the three finalist entries in their category that they found to be most worthy of an award, using guidelines provided. Judges will distinguish among the finalists in terms of their relative worthiness, determining one to be the winning entry in that category.



  1. The person submitting an entry, and entering organizations, warrant that the representations in the entry submitted are accurate, that the entry is an original work, and that any photograph submitted as part of the entry has not been manipulated or adjusted so as to mislead the viewer or misrepresent the subject in any manner.
  1. Judges’ recommendations will be accepted by the Governors so long as the warranty of accuracy and originality has not been breached, nor the integrity of the awards program compromised. The Governors may at any time revoke an award if in their view the accuracy, originality and integrity terms have been breached.
  1. Prizes must be accepted as awarded and are not transferable.
  1. Before an entrant is declared the winner of an award by the Governors, the entrant and the entering organization must sign a declaration of compliance with the rules, a release, an indemnity and a licence to publish, record or present the entry. By submitting the entry, the entrant grants to the Governors the right to publish the entry in any manner and use the name and/or photographs of all award winners and entering organization without compensation in any advertising or publicity.
  1. The Governors accept no responsibility for any entry that is lost, stolen, destroyed, misdirected or delayed.



  1. For the purpose of these Rules, “Governors” are directors of the Canadian Daily Newspaper Awards Programme Administration Corporation.


Canadian Daily Newspaper Awards Programme Administration Corporation, 2018

(updated to October 3, 2018)