The National Magazine Awards Foundation is to launch a new Digital Publishing Awards program in the new year. According to a release today, the inaugural call for entries will be sometime in January.
Canadian digital publishers—including those that support established brands in magazine, newspaper, broadcast and other journalism, as well as those that serve their audiences exclusively as digital brands—will be eligible to participate, including those that publish in either English or French....
"Digital publishing in is robust and exciting, and now there will be a truly national and not-for-profit awards program and publicity campaign to support its achievements," said , the founding editor of BuzzFeed Canada and one of the advisors on the project. "Our vision for the Digital Publishing Awards is a program that accurately and fairly reflects the incredible landscape of online media in Canada. It will recognize excellence amongst our peers, serve as inspiration and education to continue to engage audiences with impactful digital media, and will be celebrated by our editorial teams, our readers and consumers, and our sponsors and advertisers."The awards will recognize excellence in 15 categories, including recognition for achievement in tablet and web design and development, news coverage, feature writing, video production, podcasts, editorial packaging, blogs, and the use of online multimedia and social media tools to create successful and engaging online news and storytelling.
There will be cash prizes for most gold and silver winners, certificates and seals for all finalists and winners and the results will be announced in June 2016. A complete list of categories, eligibility requirements and other details will be announced on the Digital Publishing Awards website scheduled to be launched in December. Submissions will open in for digital content created this year.
In recent years, the Magawards has attempted to include digital categories in a parallel program or in the main awards gala. The new awards are a recognition of the proliferation of online or digital sites.
The announcement will inevitably put the NMAF in some degree of competition with the annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards (were made most recently last week) which are owned and managed by North Island Publishing, the publishers of Mastheadonline.com. It will also make the June awards season just a little more crowded, what with the main magazine awards, the Kenneth R. Wilson awards for business media, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors Editor's Choice awards and, now, the DPAs.