2016 Award Categories

WRITING

Best Arts & Culture Writing

For excellence in arts and culture coverage, either as news or a feature. Arts reviews, previews, criticisms, commentaries and profiles are all accepted in this category. Topics can include movies, music, television, books, dance, visual arts, food, fashion, etc.

  • Does the story provide a complete understanding of an event or issue?

  • Does the writer show significant knowledge of their topic?

  • Is the topic accessible to both an aficionado and a general audience?

  • Are reviews knowledgeable, well informed, and fair?

  • Does the work provide perspective and analysis of its topic/interviewee?

  • Is the work able to relate an arts/culture topic to the community or world at large?

  • Does the writing make an effort to convey personalities, motives, and mannerisms to create additional meaning?

Best Diversity Writing

This award to recognize journalism that addresses racial, economic, disability, gender, and sexual equity issues on campus and in the wider community. This award will be given to a story that builds awareness of social justice issues and/or holds authorities to account.

  • Does the issue addressed in the story fall under the overall topic of diversity as described above?

  • Does the story provide a complete understanding of an event or issue?

  • How well would this story engage a reader of the intended audience?

  • Is the topic reflective of lifestyles and challenges facing those from a diverse background?

Best Feature Writing

For excellence in feature writing, a single story must be submitted and have a minimum of 800 words and a maximum of 4,000 words. Multi-part series of three articles or less will be accepted if they are within the word limit as a whole.

  • Does the writing appeal to the senses?

  • Does the writing feature a mix of informative quotes, quality anecdotes and a wide variety of sources?

  • Is the subject matter original?

  • Does the writer use their word length effectively by utilizing concise and purposeful wording?

  • Does the writer present diverse and varied interviews, statistics and information?

  • Does the story maintain a strong narrative throughout and have a clear beginning, middle, and end?

  • Does the story leave the reader satisfied with a notable takeaway?

Best Investigative Reporting

For excellence in reporting on a topic that reveals a matter of public importance. The article should demonstrate the use of investigative techniques and reveal information that wouldn’t have otherwise been accessible to the public. It may have required more time and research to investigate than a typical story.

  • Does the story provide a complete understanding of an event or issue?

  • Has the writer balanced multiple sources properly?

  • Did the writer take initiative in finding unique sources?

  • Would there have been significant difficulty in getting this information? Was fairly in-depth research required for this story?

  • Were most sources on the record? If there are anonymous sources, are they used properly to present information that would’ve been difficult to obtain otherwise?

  • Does the story take a complicated subject and make it clear and easy to follow for the reader?

  • Is the story written in a compelling manner that obliges readers to keep reading?

Best Labour Writing

CWA Canada, the oldest media union in Canada, sponsors an award to honour journalism that shows skill in reporting on the social, economic and political factors that impact the labour environment on campus or in Canada. Entries showing an impact on policy, law or public awareness are encouraged. Many entries will address unions, the labour movement, strikes and/or lockouts, but this is not a requirement of the award.

  • Does the issue address in the story fall under the overall topic of labour as described above?

  • Is the issue addressed in the story one that would have a significant impact on students/make a difference in the lives of others?

  • Does the story provide a complete understanding of an event or issue?

  • How well would this story engage a reader of the intended audience?

Best News Writing

For excellence in reporting and writing under deadline pressure or covering a developing story. Focuses on the ability to tell a story with clarity and direction, while also providing a full picture of the event.

  • How well would this story engage a reader of the intended audience?

  • Has the writer balanced multiple sources properly?

  • Are quotes used effectively and are they properly attributed?

  • Is the story timely, does it have a significant impact and is it locally relevant?

  • Does the article contextualize an issue?

  • Does the writer show strong reporting and research skills?

Best Opinion Writing

For excellence in opinion or editorial-style writing. Opinion can be anything that is a personal judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Must articulate a proper argument on side of an issue.

  • How well would this story engage a reader of the intended audience?

  • Are all arguments backed up by research and presented in a logical manner?

  • Is the writer clear about their point of view, and do they maintain it throughout the article?

  • Does this work identify an issue of some importance, and help the reader to understand it in a new way?

  • Does the article encourage reader response and/or significantly contribute to furthering the debate?

 

Best Political Reporting

For excellence in reporting and writing on national, provincial, municipal or campus-wide political issues.

  • Does this story call attention to a political issue that is of importance to the reader at a significant moment?

  • Does it show in-depth analytical understanding of the political forces and actors involved?

  • Does it evaluate the long-term implications of the situation?

  • Is the situation clearly explained and interesting to those of all levels of political savviness?

Best Sports Writing

For excellence in sports coverage, either as news or a feature. Sports previews, reviews, profiles, and commentaries are all accepted in this category.

  • Has context and background been given to the story?

  • Does the writer provide perspective and analysis into why a game was won or lost and highlight what factors contributed to that result?

  • Does the story play to the senses by conveying the emotion behind these details?

  • Are all statistics presented in a coherent and effective manner?

  • Does the writing make an effort to convey the personalities of their subject(s) to create additional meaning?

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VISUAL

Cover of the Year (paper award)

For excellence in designing a front page of a campus newspaper, which may feature photos, illustrations and article(s).

  • Does the front page have a strong visual presence that impacts the reader?

  • Are colour, the layout, and typefaces used effectively to make important information stand out?

  • Are the main story and photo(s) featured prominently? Is the headline eye-catching?

  • Are all photos/artwork cropped and sized properly?

  • Is there a clear relationship between the story and images on the page?

  • Does the front page have enough impact that someone would want to pick it up?

Graphic of the Year

For excellence in the creative depiction of information or events. Must be hand-drawn or created on a tablet with a clear intention of accompanying a story/article/ The graphic must be appealing, articulate a meaning with the story/article and unique. Factors of judging will be colour, artistry, clarity, and impact.

  • Does the artist display superior creative talent?

  • Does the artist use effective composition, lines, shading and typography to enhance the image?

  • Does the work achieve its purpose by either informing or entertaining the reader (or both) and adding to the clarity of the information provided in the story?

  • Does the image convey a clear message?

llustration of the Year

For excellence in graphic design through creative drawing and art. Must be hand-drawn or created on a tablet with clear intention of accompanying a story/article/ The graphic must be appealing, articulate a meaning with the story/article and unique. Factors of judging will be colour, artistry, clarity, and impact.

  • Does the artist display superior artistic talent?

  • Is the image original, have an emotional humourous impact?

  • Is there a proper use of colour, grays or black and white?

  • Does the artist use effective composition, lines, shading and typography to enhance the image?

  • Does the work achieve its purpose by either informing or entertaining the reader (or both)?

  • Does the image convey a clear message?

  • Are any caricatures of personalities clear, recognizable and effective?

Best Layout

For excellence in newspaper presentation of a one to two page body of work from the interior of a publication. Preference will be given to submissions that demonstrate unique, informative design and/or illustration. Judges will also examine the use of colour artistry, text positioning, fonts, typography, clarity and impact.

  • Does the layout design make for a strong visual image that conveys the intended message?

  • Are typefaces and sizes used well for maximum impact and clarity?

  • Are photos effectively sized and cropped, and used in a manner that clearly communicates a message to the reader?

  • Is there a clear relationship between the story and the photos/art?

  • Is there an effective use of color?

  • Is the design as a whole impactful?

Photo of the Year

For excellence in news, features or arts photography. Entrants may submit one photo for consideration and will be judged on both technical ability and artistic license.

  • Does the photo have a significant impact?

  • Has the scene been photographed in an interesting manner?

  • Does the photo capture the theme/emotion/atmosphere of the subject/topic?

  • Is the photo well cropped, utilize colour well and have good technical quality and composition?

  • Is the lightning effective?

  • Does the photo communicate a story?

  • The image should not be digitally altered other than traditional lighting, darkening or colour balancing.

  • Does the photographer display a concrete grasp of superior photography skills?

  • Has the photographer avoided a clichéd set-up and shown the activity from a fresh view?

    • For news, the following will be considered: Impact, news judgment, timing, reflex, composition and creativity. Natural has serious content and strong human-interest elements of a news event.

    • For arts, the following will be considered: Drama, humour, poignancy, as well as talent within a particular scene relating to the arts. Concert photos must grab the atmosphere of the concert as well as the talent within the artists. Must focus on some aspect of the art from.

    • For features, the following will be considered: Strong human-interest qualities are found that pertain to a certain subject, as an un-staged situation that has elements of human-interest or a fresh view on an everyday scene.

Sports Photo of the Year

For excellence in sports photography. Entrants may submit one photo for consideration and will be judged on both technical ability and artistic license. For sports, the following will be considered: Drama, humour, poignancy, as well as reflex and technical accomplishment. It captures the competitive peak action or spirit of the individual(s) during the sporting event.

  • Does the photo have significant impact?

  • Has the scene been photographed in an interesting manner?

  • Does the photo capture the theme/emotion/atmosphere of the subject/topic?

  • Is the photo well cropped, utilize colour well and have good technical quality and composition?

  • Is the lightning effective?

  • Does the photo communicate a story?

  • The image should not be digitally altered other than traditional lighting, darkening or colour balancing.

  • Does the photographer display a concrete grasp of superior photography skills?

  • Has the photographer avoided a clichéd set-up and shown the activity from a fresh view?

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MULTIMEDIA

Video of the Year

For excellence in the field of video journalism, in which there is an integration of text, images, sounds, video and graphics to tell a story, or in which video is used as a medium to capture the events of an unfolding situation.

  • Is the subject matter of the video clear? Would a viewer be able to understand the overall story (or event) at first watch?

  • Do all clips show proper composition, proper lighting, and effective focus? Are clips well timed and make use of effective transitions? (only if a longer story-type video)

  • If several elements are present—such as text, photo, audio—are they integrated smoothly and do they complement each other and the video as a whole?

  • Does this work either entertain or inform?

  • Is the video impactful? Is it creative and imaginative?

  • Does the video share a story in a way that writing couldn’t?

Best Website with a budget over 150k

For excellence in website design and functionality. This award will be given to a paper that feels they have the best website that incorporates the below criteria. The award will focus on innovation in a digital age, accessibility, functionality and versatility.

  • Does the paper break news online and not wait for print? Does the paper update regularly throughout the day/week?

  • Does the paper offer community voices and blogs, and not just students or staff from the paper?

  • Does the website tell stories in web-native formats (photo galleries, interactive pieces/infographics, live blogs or embeddable content)? How are these incorporated on the home page?

  • Is the website active - something the public can come to frequently? Is it engaging and reflective of campus culture?

  • Is the website easy to navigate through both articles as well as sections and feeds with an effective search method?

  • Does the website offer RSS feed, social media

  • Is the website mobile friendly?

  • Does the paper publish content that has the “cool shit affect” (large web features, data investigations, custom interactive content that is shareable for the web and of the web)?

Applicants are required to submit:

  • The link to your paper’s website

Best Website with a budget under 150k

For excellence in website design and functionality. This award will be given to a paper that feels they have the best website that incorporates the below criteria. The award will focus on innovation in a digital age, accessibility, functionality and versatility.

  • Does the paper break news online and not wait for print? Does the paper update regularly throughout the day/week?

  • Does the paper offer community voices and blogs, and not just students or staff from the paper?

  • Does the website tell stories in web-native formats (photo galleries, interactive pieces/infographics, live blogs or embeddable content)? How are these incorporated on the home page?

  • Is the website active - something the public can come to frequently? Is it engaging and reflective of campus culture?

  • Is the website easy to navigate through both articles as well as sections and feeds with an effective search method?

  • Does the website offer RSS feed, social media

  • Is the website mobile friendly?

  • Does the paper publish content that has the “cool shit affect” (large web features, data investigations, custom interactive content that is shareable for the web and of the web)?

Applicants are required to submit:

  • The link to your paper’s website

Best in Social Media

For excellence in using social media to communicate with an audience. This award will be given to a paper that feels they had the best social media accounts for that given year. The award will focus on innovation and sound, journalistic and social media principles that are practiced by the student paper.

  • Is the subject matter creative and original? Would the audience be engaged by the originality of the content?

  • Does the subject matter showcase great reporting socially through live tweeting, photography and videos?

  • Is the subject matter, use or approach innovative?

  • Does it showcase crowdsourcing through the creation/use of a hashtag, a Google form, a survey, etc.?

  • How are you using social media to drive your storytelling? Does the subject matter supplement the paper’s content?

Applicants are required to submit:

  • An essay/report outlining your paper’s social media efforts. Please focus on projects, events covered and key aspects of your social media presence. Feel free to include metrics and numbers on growth and engagement. Word length maximum 800.

  • Portfolio with tweets, Facebook posts, stories (minimum 5, maximum 10 examples)

  • (optional) Statistics that showcase growth, engagement.

Best in Multimedia

For excellence in using multimedia elements to enhance a web-based article. This award will be given to an individual or group who have contributed exceptional multimedia elements and or writing, adding clarity, direction and aiding a reader`s understanding of an issue.

  • Do the multimedia elements aid storytelling and the reader’s understanding of an issue?

  • Is the article well written, well researched and journalistically sound?

  • Does the article feature interactive multimedia?

  • Does the article feature multimedia connected to social media?

  • Does this article portray a professional use of multimedia?

Applicants are required to submit:

  • A link to the web-based article.

  • The names of all article contributors and how they contributed.

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INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

Student Photojournalist of the Year

This award is meant for an individual who shows great skill as a student photojournalist, and whose experience and ambition will most likely make them a valuable asset to the industry once they graduate.

Applicants should be critical of what they are submitting and should showcase their best work in photojournalism.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • A copy of your resume, which should highlight your past experience in various journalism and photography fields or related areas;

  • A detailed portfolio with a minimum of 5 photos and a maximum of 15 exemplifying what the applicants feel are their best photographs that represent how they see the world and the topics they have covered. Each photograph can have a basic photo caption that should be to the point describing the photo and offering context.

Image manipulation beyond basic cropping, toning, and sharpening is absolutely verboten for the portfolio and will result in automatic disqualification.

Student Journalist of the Year

This award is meant for an individual who shows great skill as a student journalist, and whose experience and ambition will most likely make them a valuable asset to the industry once they graduate.

Applicants must submit a report highlighting the following details:

  • A copy of your resume, which should highlight your past experience in various journalism fields or related areas.

  • A maximum two-page report highlighting any special projects, accomplishments or initiatives you tackled within those positions, and your demonstrated contributions to the pursuit of journalism in a campus environment (contributions may include events, coverage or behaviour). The report should feature links to 2-5 works they have written.

Please note: Nominations are welcome. If you are submitting the following materials on behalf of someone else, please ensure both the name and contact information of the person you are nominating is included in the package.

Student Editor of the Year

This award is meant for an individual who shows great skill as a student editor, and whose experience and ambition will most likely make them a valuable asset to the industry once they graduate.

  • A copy of your resume, which should highlight your past experience in various journalism fields or related areas.

  • A maximum two-page report highlighting any special projects, accomplishments or initiatives you tackled within those positions, and your demonstrated contributions to the pursuit of journalism in a campus environment (contributions may include events, coverage or behaviour). The report should feature links to 2-5 works they have edited.