TORONTO, October 1, 2019 – Staggered entry deadlines, revised photo categories and new freelance eligibility rules are among changes to the National Newspaper Awards approved by the organization’s Board of Governors at a meeting September 30.

Here is a summary of changes effective for the 2019 contest, which covers work done during the current calendar year:

  • The overall entry period will continue to be between December 15 and January 15, but individual categories will have final entry deadlines starting as early as January 9.
  • The two-year-old Photo Essay category has been eliminated.
  • The News Photo category has been divided into two categories: Breaking News Photo and General News Photo.
  • Published descriptions of many categories have been amended to provide greater clarity and guidance for entrants.
  • Guidelines for judges in each category are being published on the NNA website, along with a general “mission statement” that will be provided to judges.
  • Rules with respect to eligibility of freelance journalists have been changed. Entrants whose entered work was done on a freelance or contract basis rather than as an employee of the publishing organization are eligible to enter provided that they work regularly in journalism. That rule previously required evidence of work in daily journalism. Evidence of regular journalistic activity is now required from freelance/contract entrants in the following categories: Local Reporting, Short Feature, Long Feature, Explanatory Work, Investigations, International, Beat Reporting, Business, Sports, Arts and Entertainment, Politics.
  • Restrictions on the number of entries entrants can submit in the Investigations and Breaking News categories have been eliminated.
  • The number of entries organizations can submit in the Project of the Year category has been reduced to two, from three.
  • Entrants in Beat Reporting must now submit a portfolio of four stories (down from five).
  • Entrants in Columns and Editorials must submit portfolios of three columns or editorials (instead of the previously stipulated “up to three”).
  • Organizations submitting work in the Breaking News category must provide detailed information on which stories are part of the entry in cases where work archived online includes work published outside the 36-hour period covered by the category.

In keeping with longstanding practice, all changes approved by NNA Governors are in effect for the 2019 competition, which covers work published between January 1 and December 31, 2019.

More information about these changes, including a full list of the new deadlines for each category, is available on the NNA website (

The National Newspaper Awards were established in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in Canadian daily newspaper journalism. The contest is also open to Canadian news agencies and other organizations (outside of broadcasting and magazine publishing) that publish original content at least five days a week.

For more information, contact:

Paul Woods
Executive Director
National Newspaper Awards