The National Newspaper Awards Board of Governors has announced several initiatives aimed at making the competition more diverse and inclusive.
These changes, which flow from a commitment made as part of the 2021 awards ceremony in May, include:
- Reduced fees for freelance journalists who enter the competition independently, and journalists who work for digital news organizations, outside the traditional realm of newspapers. Those journalists will be charged $20 per entry, compared to $50 for entries from traditional news organizations that do not participate in the NNA Benefactor program, and $40 for organizations that do participate as Benefactors.
- An outreach campaign aimed at encouraging all eligible news outlets, from both the traditional newspaper realm and digital organizations, to submit the best work done by journalists from equity-seeking groups, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+.
- The addition to the Board of a representative of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists (Dexter Brown) and a representative of Indigenous Journalists (Jim Compton). Because two large organizations, Postmedia and Torstar, voluntarily reduced their own representation on the Board, three other positions have recently become vacant. We intend to fill those spots in the coming weeks with journalists who will also provide important perspectives to the Board.
- Taking steps to develop a pool of judges that is more representative of Canada’s diverse nature. In addition to using existing channels to recruit and retain judges, we plan to publicly solicit new judges in an effort to expand and diversify the pool.
- Putting a strong emphasis on seeking viable candidates from equity-seeking groups as we move to fill a pending vacancy in one of our administrative positions, Program Director.
You can read more about the changes to the program here.