National Newspaper Awards open 2023 contest with new categories


The National Newspapers Awards will for the first time accept entries in languages other than French or English when the 75th annual contest opened last week.

Submissions in other languages may be entered in the Special Topic category, which was created in 2022 as an opportunity to recognize issues of special significance during a calendar year. Last year’s topic was Indigenous issues / climate change.

This year’s topic, Journalism in a Language other than French or English, was selected as part of an ongoing commitment to make the competition more diverse and inclusive, better reflecting the range of publications and journalism across the country.

Photography categories have also changed.

A new category, Photo Story, was approved by the NNA Board of Governors at a meeting on Sept. 28. The award will recognize a multiple-picture story or visual essay showcasing exceptional photography on a single subject or theme. Photographers may enter up to 10 photos published on a single day or throughout the calendar year.

There are three other photo categories in 2023: News Photo, Feature Photo and Sports Photo.

The contest is open to print or digital publications that publish at least five days a week. Smaller Canadian non-dailies that typically publish at least five days a week online — but may not always meet that threshold — are also eligible for the competition.

All entries must have been published first in 2023 by an eligible organization, with the work having been performed by an eligible entrant, as defined under the contest entry rules. Rules can be viewed here. Entry procedures can be viewed here, while tips on using the entry system can be found here. Categories can be viewed here.

The cost to enter this year’s competition remains at $30 per submission. Finalists will be announced in mid-March, with winners named at an in-person gala on April 26 at The Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. Tickets will be available for purchase next spring.

Entries will be accepted in 23 categories from Dec. 1 to Jan. 15, 2024.

Work that does not fit neatly into the 23 categories, including work done by ineligible organizations such as Canadian broadcasters and magazines, may be eligible for a Special Recognition Citation. The Citation, awarded for the first time in 2022, is meant to open the door to experimentation in journalism: transcending categories, newsrooms and the industry.

All types of journalism will be considered for the citation, including text, video, audio, photos, graphics, newsletters and social media. Last year’s Citation winner, Room Up Front, is a volunteer-run mentorship program seeking to combat inequality in the Canadian photo-journalism community.

Submissions for the Citation can be made by organizations that did the work or by members of the public. There is no entry fee for Citation nominations. Learn more about nominating work for a Citation here.

While supporting letters are not mandatory for all categories, they are encouraged since they provide valuable context for judges. A video on how to write a supporting letter can be viewed here.

After opening for entries on Dec. 1, categories will be closed to entries on a staggered basis, with final deadlines as follows:

Arts and EntertainmentTuesday, Jan. 9

Beat Reporting (Joan Hollobon Award)Monday, Jan. 15

Breaking News (Stuart M. Robertson Award)Monday, Jan. 15

BusinessThursday, Jan. 11

Columns (Mary Ann Shadd Cary Award)Thursday, Jan. 11

Editorial CartooningTuesday, Jan. 9

Editorials (Claude Ryan Award)Tuesday, Jan. 9

Explanatory WorkThursday, Jan. 11

Feature PhotoTuesday, Jan. 9

News PhotoSaturday, Jan. 13

International (Norman Webster Award)Saturday, Jan. 13

Investigations (George Brown Award)Monday, Jan. 15

Local Reporting (E. Cora Hind Award)Thursday, Jan. 11

Long Feature (William Southam Award)Saturday, Jan. 13

Photo StoryMonday, Jan. 15

Politics (John Wesley Dafoe Award)Saturday, Jan. 13

Presentation/DesignSaturday, Jan. 13

Project of the Year (John Honderich Award)Saturday, Jan. 13

Short Feature (Bob Levin Award)Monday, Jan. 15

Special Topic (Journalism in a Language other than French or English)Monday, Jan. 15

SportsTuesday, Jan. 9

Sports PhotoThursday, Jan. 11

Sustained News CoverageSaturday, Jan. 13

This is the 75th year for the awards program, and the 35th under the current administrative structure. The awards were established by the Toronto Press Club in 1949 to encourage excellence and reward achievement in daily newspaper work in Canada. The competition is now open to newspapers, news agencies and online news sites approved for entry by the NNA Board of Governors.

Media Mayor Inc.

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