National Newspaper Awards seeks new Executive Director

TORONTO, July 14, 2021 – The National Newspaper Awards (NNAs) is seeking a new Executive Director to replace Paul Woods, who is stepping down at the end of the organization’s current fiscal year, next June. We are starting the search for his replacement now, with the intention that the next Executive Director will work alongside Woods for a period of transition and knowledge transfer starting in September.

This is a part-time role with variable work requirements throughout the year. The Executive Director must be fully available during the month of January when contest entries are received, reviewed and approved and the judging process begins. For the rest of the year the role is part-time, with only a modest time commitment required during summer months. In addition to January, the busiest periods are the four to six weeks before winners are announced in early May, and early autumn when judges are being recruited.

This role is ideally suited for an individual who has experience in daily journalism, prefers a part-time role and/or is able to balance other professional commitments with the NNA operation and timetable. Fluency in both English and French would be an asset but is not required. Although our administrative address is in Toronto, the Executive Director may be based in any location in Canada.

The National Newspaper Awards program is committed to improving the diversity and inclusiveness of its operation, and working towards ensuring that future entrants and winners reflect Canada’s diverse nature. We strongly encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds, abilities and perspectives.


Role Description

The Executive Director of the National Newspaper Awards has lead responsibility for strategic direction and non-administrative operations of Canada’s most prestigious and important journalism awards program.

Reporting to the Chair of the organization’s Board of Governors, and working closely alongside the Program Director, the Executive Director serves as the organization’s “chief operating officer,” with overall responsibility for ensuring that the program runs smoothly and efficiently each year.

The Executive Director is required to maintain confidentiality on all aspects of the organization’s operation, and to make all reasonable efforts to maintain goodwill among stakeholders, including individual entrants, organizations that enter the contest, sponsors, service providers, members of the Board of Governors and other individuals and organizations that interact in any way with the NNA organization.

Duties, responsibilities and accountabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Working with Board members and others involved with the National Newspaper Awards to develop policies and strategies that advance the organization’s interests.
  • Supervising and managing all aspects of the contest with respect to the content of entries. This includes ensuring compliance with rules, ensuring entrants are eligible and ensuring entries are submitted in the correct categories and include all required elements. The Executive Director also appoints and supervises individuals who review all entries for these purposes.
  • Working with entrants as needed to address and resolve any questions, issues or concerns with respect to the content of entries.
  • Selecting and assigning judges, and overseeing the judging process to ensure that all categories are judged in a confidential manner with integrity and in accordance with contest rules and deadlines.
  • Identifying issues with, and proposing changes to, rules, categories, entry procedures and judging procedures, and implementing any changes approved by the Board of Governors. The Executive Director serves as an ex-officio member of the Standing Committee on Rules and Judging, and facilitates its regular reviews.
  • Working with Board members and others to encourage inclusiveness and diversity in the contest. The Executive Director serves as an ex-officio member of the Board’s Standing Committee on Diversity, and facilitates its regular reviews. The Executive Director also belongs to an advisory panel on diversity and inclusiveness that includes Board members as well as individuals external to the organization.
  • Writing and/or supervising all content released by the organization for public consumption. This includes but is not limited to news releases, scripts for videos showcasing the work of finalists, social-media posts, and other content released in conjunction with the annual awards presentation. Posting content to the NNA website.
  • Choosing, directing and supervising video producers, show producers, voice artists, social media editors and other individuals associated with the awards presentation.
  • In conjunction with the Program Director, preparing the annual budget for approval by the Board, and reporting to the Board on financial matters at scheduled meetings and otherwise as required.
  • Working in close liaison with the Chair and the Treasurer, and serving as liaison with other Board members and Officers, representatives of the news industry and other organizations connected to the contest.
  • Informal oversight of some Program Director activities, including but not limited to setup of contest categories, judges’ logins and other technical aspects of the entry/judging system.

This is the 72nd year of the awards program, which was established in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to daily newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the Board of Governors.

Individuals interested in being considered for this position should apply before Aug. 4 to:

Paul Woods, Executive Director