The Canadian Association of Journalists runs an annual awards program that recognizes the best in Canadian journalism—with a particular focus on investigative work. Entries are welcome from any practising journalist whose work has been published or broadcast in Canada.

Most awards come with a $500 prize.

AWARD CATEGORIES AND DESCRIPTIONS

AWARD SUBMISSIONS PORTAL 

PREVIOUS CAJ AWARD WINNERS

AWARDS & FELLOWSHIPS NEWS

AWARD CATEGORIES

Investigative awards –

  • Written News  (formerly Open media)

  • Community written (formerly Community media)

  • Broadcast Feature (formerly Open broadcast feature)

  • Broadcast News (formerly Open broadcast news)

  • Community broadcast

  • Data journalism

  • Online media

General awards –

  • Photojournalism

  • Scoop

  • Daily excellence

  • Written Feature (formerly Text feature)

  • JHR / CAJ Award for Human Rights Reporting

  • JHR / CAJ Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award

  • APTN / CAJ Reconciliation Award

  • CWA Canada / CAJ Award for Labour Reporting

  • Climate Change and Environmental Reporting

  • Student Award of Excellence

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

Investigative awards:

These categories recognize journalism in a variety of media. Entries don’t have to be purely investigative to qualify; investigative entries are given added weight. Items based on the same body of research, regardless of which medium they were released in, can only be entered in one category. Entries in each of these categories  is limited to one piece or a series of up to five related pieces. The recipient(s) of the Don McGillivray Award for Investigative Journalism is/are chosen from these categories.

Written News  – Entries welcome for predominantly text-based pieces published in print or online, in any Canadian media outlet, regardless of publication frequency, circulation or audience reach. 

– Community Media – Entries welcome for predominantly text-based pieces 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 serve a regional or community audience, and provide verifiable data to the awards committee on request. CAJ members pay no entry fee into this category.

Broadcast Feature (formerly 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.

Broadcast News (formerly 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 awards committee reserve the right to recommend entries with longer runtimes be moved into the Open broadcast feature category. 

– 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 serve a regional or community audience and provide verifiable data to the awards committee on request. CAJ members pay no entry fee into this category.

– CAJ / GlobeNewswire Data Journalism –  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 – 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. 

General awards:

These categories recognize exemplary journalism. Recipients are not eligible for consideration for the Don McGillivray award.

– Photojournalism – 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. No supporting letter is required in this category.

– Scoop – Entries welcome from any media in any format published or broadcast in Canada that was the first to bring new or significant information to light of regional or national importance. A supporting letter explaining how the entry met this criteria is mandatory. Entry limited to one piece.

– Daily excellence – Entries welcome from any media in any format published or broadcast in Canada demonstrating excellence in daily, deadline-driven reporting based on same-day research. One piece plus related element.

Written Feature – Entries welcome for any primarily text-based article published Canada that is not specifically investigative in nature. An entry is one piece.

JHR / CAJ Emerging Indigenous Journalist AwardThis award recognizes exemplary journalism being produced by a First Nations, Inuit or Metis journalist who is at the beginning of her or his career. This is a portfolio category of up to five pieces in any format, published or broadcast in Canada in the preceding calendar year, from a journalist with up to five years' experience. The submitted work can be on any topic-- we are seeking to recognize an amazing journalist creating amazing work on the issues they care about. A supporting letter is mandatory and must include information on when the person started working in journalism. It should also include what First Nations, Metis or Inuit community the person is from, where s/he has been recognized as a member of the community.

– JHR / CAJ Award for Human Rights Reporting 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. Entries limited to a single piece, published or broadcast on a single day in the preceding calendar year.

– CWA Canada / CAJ Award for Labour reportingWhat 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.

APTN / CAJ Reconciliation AwardThis award seeks to recognize the work of a non-Indigenous journalist whose reporting has broadened the understanding of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This is work that digs beneath the surface of a news event and educates Canadians on the historic and ongoing challenges of the relationships between Canada’s Indigenous peoples, the people in power and the people who’ve come to call Canada home. This is a portfolio entry of up to five pieces, in any format, broadcast or published in Canada in the preceding calendar year. A supporting letter is mandatory.

Climate Change and Environmental Reporting AwardEntries welcome which have contributed to improving the understanding and awareness of the evolving climate crisis and its impact on the daily lives and well-being of people. An entry is one piece, plus related sidebar.

– CAJ Student Award of Excellence – Entries welcome from students enrolled in a recognized journalism program at a Canadian post-secondary institution and/or whose submissions were published in student media. Feature-style entries encouraged. Proof of enrolment must be provided with entry. No entry fee, though individuals must be CAJ student members. For group entries, contact the awards committee.

Previous CAJ Award winners  

// 2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 2016 /2015 // 

// 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011// 2010 //

Awards archive (coming soon!)

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Awards