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.
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.
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 (single piece published on a single day) or a series of no more than five related pieces, published at any time in the preceding calendar year.
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 (single piece published on a single day) or a series of no more than five related pieces, published at any time in the preceding calendar year.
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 (single piece broadcast on a single day) or a series of no more than five related pieces, broadcast at any time in in the preceding calendar year.
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. The intent of this category is to recognize items that are not predominantly feature length, produced as part of a regular broadcast. Documentary length productions and series are best suited for the Open Broadcast Feature category. An entry is one piece (single piece broadcast on a single day) or a series of no more than five related pieces, broadcast at any time in the preceding calendar year.
Entries of any length welcome for any piece, predominantly audio and/or video, of any length, 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 — the committee reserves the right to ask for proof of broadcast on the local/regional station for any items picked up by networks for national newscasts. 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 (single piece broadcast on a single day) or a series of no more than five related pieces, broadcast at any time in the preceding calendar year.
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. Entries are limited to five related items, published or broadcast at any time in the preceding calendar year — this count does not include any datasets published as part of the submitted items.
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. Entries of online work that “wrap” around something that has been broadcast or published in print are best entered in media or broadcast categories, with the online work as one of the permitted items. This is a more equitable for those entries rather than simply excising broadcasted or printed materials from an entry in this category.
This really is a category to recognize work done exclusively for online, only available online. Entries limited to one URL or up to five related URLs, all posted in the preceding calendar year.
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. Entry limited to a single piece published or broadcast on any single day in the preceding calendar year. A supporting letter with details on how the entry was a regional/national scoop is a required element of this category.
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. We want to consider the result of a single day’s work where the research, interviews, writing, editing, etc. all took place on the same day. Entry limited to a single piece plus related element (ex: sidebar, online hit, etc.) published or broadcast on a single day in the preceding calendar year.
Entries welcome for any primarily text-based article published in print or online in Canada that is not specifically investigative in nature. Entries limited to a single piece published on a single day in the preceding calendar year.
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/
Entries limited to a single piece, published or broadcast on a single day in the preceding calendar year.
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. Entries are a single piece, published or broadcast on a single day in the preceding calendar year. Should the judges determine it appropriate, one award may be handed out for reporting done in English and another in French.
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. Entries may be a single piece, or series of up to five related pieces, published or broadcast at any time in the preceding calendar year.