CAJ award categories
The Canadian Association of Journalists recognizes Canada’s best journalism in the following categories. If you have any questions about the awards, please contact the CAJ awards committee by clicking here.
* = revised name and criteria for 2013 program
For the rules of entry and other information, click here.
These categories recognize journalism in a variety of media as set out below. Entries don’t have to be purely investigative to qualify; investigative entries are given added weight. Direction to judges include such items as effective use of the medium the entry was published or broadcast in, thoroughness of research, relevance and any outcomes arising from the entry’s publication or broadcast. Items based on the same body of research, regardless of which medium they were released in, can only be entered in one category. Entries are awarded in the categories below, with the winner of the Don McGillivray Award for Investigative Journalism chosen from amongst these categories.
Open media *
Entries welcome for predominantly text-based entries published in print or online, in any Canadian media outlet, regardless of publication frequency, circulation or audience reach. An entry is one piece or a series limited to five related pieces.
Community media *
Entries welcome for predominantly text-based entries published in print or online in any Canadian media outlet. Print entries limited to those media printed fewer than five times a week or with an average daily print circulation of under 25,000. Online-only entries not from a print newsroom must provide verifiable proof the website serves a regional or community audience. An entry is one piece or a series limited to five related pieces.
Open broadcast feature *
Entries welcome for any piece with a runtime of over five minutes, predominantly audio and/or video, broadcast to an audience of any size over the air or online. An entry is one piece or a series limited to five related pieces.
Open broadcast news *
Entries of any length welcome for any piece, predominantly audio and/or video, broadcast to an audience of any size over the air or online. These entries can be of any length—judges and the CAJ committee reserve the right to recommend entries with longer runtimes be moved into the Open broadcast feature category. An entry is one piece or a series limited to five related pieces.
Community broadcast *
Entries of any length welcome for any piece, predominantly audio and/or video, whose broadcast is targeted to a community or regional audience over the air or online. Over the air broadcast submissions must come from a local or regional station. Online entries not from a TV or radio broadcaster must provide verifiable proof the website is targeted at and serves a regional or community audience. An entry is one piece or a series limited to five related pieces.
Entries welcome from any media in any format published or broadcast in Canada where data journalism / CAR techniques played a key and indispensable part in developing the story. This category is meant to highlight the use of data journalism, but not at the expense of good journalism and good storytelling.
Online media – NEW CATEGORY
Entries welcome in any online-only format. No part of this entry can include any element that was published in print or broadcast on television or radio.
The following categories recognize exemplary journalism as laid out below. The winning entries in each of these categories is not eligible for consideration for the Don McGillivray award.
Entries welcome showcasing a portfolio of up to 20 photographs demonstrating journalistic vision, consistent quality and a reflection of the entrant’s professionalism and journalistic abilities. Photos (including soundslides or equivalent) must have been first published or broadcast by Canadian media (URL or other proof of publication required).
Entries welcome from any media in any format published or broadcast in Canada that can show how it was the first to bring new or significant information to light of regional or national importance.
Entries welcome from print, radio and television journalists for items published or broadcast in Canada demonstrating excellence in daily, deadline-driven reporting based on same-day research.
Text feature *
Entries welcome for any primarily text-based article published in print or online in Canada that is not specifically investigative in nature.
What is human rights reporting? This prize rewards journalism that puts a human face on situations where
human rights are not respected and/or holds authorities to account to do a better job of protecting those rights. As a result, the story builds awareness of human rights and social justice issues, and shows the human impact and the human cost of abstract political and economic forces. To qualify, a story must also be international in scope.
For examples of human rights reporting, visit www.jhr.ca/success/
The details: The winner receives the opportunity to travel with jhr to one of its African project sites over 14 days. Travel (flights) to the site is provided by jhr, as is on-the-ground travel in the host nation. The CAJ provides the winner with a $500 cash prize. The winner agrees to be responsible for covering pre-departure costs (visas, vaccinations, etc.) as well as accommodation costs while in Africa, which are booked in liaison with jhr (est. $1,000+). The winning entrant will be have her/his registration fee to the 2013 CAJ conference waived and be invited to give a presentation sharing the award’s experience with CAJ conference delegates.
What are labour issues? Judges will be instructed to reward those entries that effectively bring to the public’s attention important labour issues. The award seeks to honour journalism that goes beyond a work-to-rule, strike, lockout or other job action and shows skill in reporting on the social, economic and political factors that impact the labour environment in Canada. Entries showing impact on policy, law or public awareness are encouraged. This award is meant to recognize great journalism on labour issues that can make a difference in the lives of Canadians.
Does an entry have to be reporting on a union? No– judges are looking for the best journalism on labour issues. While Canada’s unions are integral to the labour movement, not all of the labour issues that are reported on in this country involve unions. It’s expected many entries will include the labour movement and unions, but this is not a requirement of the award.
Entries are encouraged in either official language. Should the judges determine it appropriate, one award may be handed out for reporting done in English and another in French
CAJ / CNW Group Student Award of Excellence
The award recognizes excellence in the field of journalism at the student level. Submissions will be accepted from all students enrolled (at the time of publication or broadcast) in an accredited degree/diploma program offered by a Canadian post-secondary institution. Feature-style entries are preferred, but any format or style permitted. Proof of enrolment and a cover letter speaking to the origins, difficulties and resulting change / impact / action must accompany entries. Entries will not be considered complete until these have been submitted.