Changes to National Newspaper Awards announced

A new category for sustained news coverage has been approved by the National Newspaper Awards Board of Governors.

The Board has also approved waiving the entry fee for all entries submitted by organizations that have paid their annual benefactor fee by December 1, 2020.

These and other changes were approved by the Board of Governors at a meeting on September 29, 2020.

Here is a summary of the changes effective for the 2020 contest, which covers work done during the current calendar year:

  • A new category, “Sustained News Coverage,” has been created. It becomes the 22nd category in the competition. This category is intended to recognize exceptional ongoing reporting on a single story over a prolonged period of weeks or months. The story may have had its origin in a variety of ways, such as an initial unexpected event, a series of events or the emergence of an important issue. This category is not an alternative to Beat Reporting; rather, it is intended to recognize ongoing coverage of a specific story that would not in itself constitute a “beat” in any traditional sense.
  • Entry fees for “benefactor organizations” will be waived for all entries. Benefactor organizations are news organizations that pay an annual fee, as determined by the Board of Governors, by December 1. For all other entries, the fee will remain at $50 plus HST per entry.
  • The entry period has been expanded by two weeks – entries will be accepted between December 1 and January 15. As was the case for the 2019 competition, categories will be closed to entries on a staggered basis starting January 9. Exact dates for each category can be found on the NNA website.
  • Disclosure requirements regarding work done by freelance and contract journalists have been changed. Journalists who provide work on a freelance or contract basis remain eligible to enter the competition, provided they meet eligibility criteria as set out in the Rules of Entry. To assist administrators with determining eligibility, all entries will now have a requirement to stipulate whether the submitted work was done by an employee (permanent or temporary) or someone working on a freelance or contract basis.
  • Procedures with respect to how entries are credited to those who did the entered work have been adjusted.
  • New procedures have been established for the reporting of results by chief judges in each category, to ensure the accuracy of results.

In keeping with longstanding practice, all changes approved by NNA Governors are in effect for the 2020 competition, which covers work published between January 1 and December 31, 2020.