The National Newspaper Awards have an important role to play in addressing systemic barriers to equity and opportunity in the Canadian journalism sector. An audit we recently performed analyzing data about finalists of the past 10 years confirmed our belief that the awards program has not come close to reflecting Canada’s diversity. This is a problem we intend to fix.
The Board of Governors is in the process of reviewing our policies to ensure the awards program is inclusive, and equipped to recognize the outstanding work done by journalists from equity-seeking groups, including women, Indigenous, Black and persons of colour.
Our review, which is already under way and receiving helpful input from members of Unifor, will consider the barriers to entry and to having work fairly judged. It will also explore the possibility of creating new categories.
We will also encourage the news organizations that enter the contest to highlight the work of a more diverse cohort of journalists when they submit their entries. We will provide more information as this work unfolds in the coming days and weeks.