Judging Process

Updated September 2018

The following is the National Media Awards Foundation’s guidelines for judging.

Writing Awards Judging Process
Entries for the Writing Awards are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category will have a three-person jury evaluating English entries and a three-person jury evaluating French entries.
  • Each jury will evaluate and score all entries in their category.
  • Each jury will consist of at least one editor and one writer, with the third juror either a second editor or writer, or a journalist or other person with topical expertise in that category.
  • Each entry is judged according to three criteria in equal proportions:
    Style and Creativity (1/3 of score), Content (1/3 of score), Impact (1/3 of score)
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each English jury will be convened via conference call to deliberate and discuss the entries, and work towards consensus on the nominations. French juries partake in a conference call if clear nominees or winners don’t emerge from the scores, or at the jury’s request.
    • Judges will have a period of time following the conference call to review entries and modify/finalize their scores.
    • In order to be considered for nomination, an entry must have a minimum average score of 24 (on a 30-point scale) from all three judges.
    • There will be a maximum of 10 nominations (minimum 3) in each category.
    • Finalists will be proportional by language to the submissions received.
    • The top overall score (English and French) will receive the Gold Medal; the second-highest overall score (English and French) will receive the Silver Medal. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
    • With respect to French- and English-language entries being evaluated by separate juries:
      • Juries in both divisions receive identical criteria and scoring procedures;
      • In the event of a scoring outcome in which the final average scores of the top English and French entries are within 3% of each other, the NMAF Judging Committee will convene a Bilingual Advisory Panel to analyze the results and either uphold the results or award a tie.
    • For the award Best New Magazine Writer, there will be a maximum of 5 finalists and a single Gold winner.

Visual Awards Judging Process
Entries for Visual Awards are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category will have a three or four-person jury evaluating all entries.
  • Each jury will have bilingual representation.
  • Depending on the category, panel members may include an illustrator, a photographer, a magazine art director, an editor, or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each entry is judged according to three criteria in equal proportions:
  1. Quality of the visual content (1/3 of score);
  2. Appropriateness of the visual content to the text it accompanies it (1/3 of score);
  3. Functionality: does the treatment make you want to read the article or magazine? (1/3 of score)
  • Each jury will be convened via conference call to deliberate and discuss the entries, and work towards consensus on the nominations and the gold and silver medal winners. If consensus is not possible, the winners will be determined by a majority vote. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
  • There will be a maximum of 10 finalists (minimum 3) in each category.

Editorial Awards Judging Process
Entries for Editorial Awards are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category* will have a 3 to 5-person jury evaluating all entries.
  • Each jury will have bilingual representation
  • Depending on the category, panel members may include an editor, a publisher, an art director, and/or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each Editorial Award has its own set of criteria and scoring procedures.
  • Each jury will be convened via conference call to deliberate and discuss the entries, and work towards consensus on the finalists and the gold and silver medal winners. If consensus is not possible, the winners will be determined by a majority vote. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
  • There will be a maximum of 10 finalists (minimum 3) in each category, except for the category of Editor Grand Prix, which will have three finalists.

*Based on the number of entries received, the Best Editorial Package category may be judged by separate French and English juries.

Best Magazine Awards Judging Process
Entries for Best Magazine are adjudicated as follows:

  • Each category will have a 4 to 5-person jury evaluating all entries.
  • Each jury will have bilingual representation.
  • Depending on the category, panel members may include an editor, a publisher, an art director, and/or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 4-5 weeks to review all submissions and then submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • Each jury will be convened via conference call to deliberate and discuss the entries, and work towards consensus on three finalists, and from them a single Gold winner. If consensus is not possible, the winner will be determined by a majority vote. The finalists will receive Honourable Mention.
  • In each category, there will be three finalists and from them one single winner.

 

Magazine Grand Prix Award Judging Process
Entries for the Magazine Grand Prix Award, which are automatically generated from the winners of Best Magazine Awards, are adjudicated as follows:

  • A 3-person jury will evaluate all entries.
  • If there are entries in both French and English, there will be bilingual representation.
  • Panel members may include an editor, a publisher, an art director, and/or an industry member with relevant expertise.
  • Each individual judge will have 2-3 weeks to review the submissions and submit numerical scores, based on provided criteria and scoring procedures, on each entry prior to the group discussion.
  • The jury will be convened via conference call to deliberate and discuss the entries, and work towards consensus on one single Gold winner. If consensus is not possible, the winner will be determined by a majority vote.

Outstanding Achievement Award
The recipient of this award, which honours an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the Canadian magazine industry, is chosen by the Board of Directors of the National Media Awards Foundation. The board will take into consideration the career achievements of the individual; his/her other contributions to the magazine industry, such as teaching, mentoring, volunteering experience; the quality and relevance of the letters of nomination included in the submission package.

 

 

 

 

Other Procedures

 

Supporting our Judges

Judges in all categories receive a “Judging Guide” which is a written explanation of how the judging process works, as well as criteria and scoring procedures. For most awards judges are requested to participate in a conveniently scheduled conference call with other judges on their panel.

 

Small Categories

For any category that receives fewer than 15 entries, the NMAF reserves the right to limit the number of finalists to 5 and present only a Gold Award (no Silver Award).

 

Conflict of Interest

A person shall be considered ineligible to judge in a category in which that person is entered as a writer, handling editor or other contributor. A person who appears on the masthead of a magazine entered in a particular category may not serve as a judge for that category. If a person is the subject of an article, has a close association with the writer, is a regular contributor to one of the entering publications, or has any other conflict, that person may still be eligible to judge that category but may be asked to abstain from judging the entry for which a conflict of interest exists.

 

Category Review

Honouring our commitment to reflect evolving methods of presentation and publication of content, the NMAF will review its categories on an annual basis.

 

Stakeholders from the industry are asked to provide feedback on the clarity of category description, the relevancy of the current roster of awards and to note any areas of content and creation that are not included.

 

The bottom 20 per cent of categories, in terms of the number of applicants, will be reviewed annually to ensure their ongoing viability to the Foundation and relevance to the industry.