The National Newspaper Awards were created to encourage excellence in daily journalism and to celebrate the vital role that strong journalism plays in society.

In a time of unprecedented disruption in the media landscape, news organizations retain the trust of their communities because of their integrity, credibility and commitment to high-quality news reporting, information and analysis. Many newspapers and their digital counterparts continue to illuminate local, provincial and national issues in a way that other media do not; they continue to be able to effect change in a way that other organizations cannot.

NNA judges are tasked with recognizing the extraordinary work that constitutes the best in Canadian journalism. The specific elements of that excellence may vary from category to category, and different weights may be given to different factors depending on the nature of the submission. However, there are some criteria that judges  are encouraged to focus on in choosing entries that meet the highest standards of newsgathering:.

  • Subject matter: significance, relevance, originality
  • Rigour of reporting: depth and breadth of information, sourcing, initiative, context
  • Writing style (for non-visual categories): clarity, engagement, insight
  • Integrity: fairness, balance, transparency
  • Impact: benefit, outcome

The resources available to each entrant will be considered to enable judges to weigh entries from small newsrooms, as much as possible, on the same basis as those from large newsrooms. Judges are also reminded that newsrooms of every size have difficult decisions to make in how to allocate resources.