Judging

About the Process

The 2024 Digital Publishing Awards consist of 25 categories, which will each be judged by a three-member jury of peers in the digital publishing industry. Juries are selected to maximize the diversity of judges’ expertise and perspectives—such as writing, editing, design, digital development and other criteria pertinent to the category—to encourage a well-rounded and deliberative judging process. In categories that receive entries in both French and English, at least one member of the jury is francophone bilingual. An individual may not serve as a judge if they played any role in the editorial process of a submission entered in the category, or if they are (or were, during the awards year) a staff member of a publication entered in the category. 

As part of our commitment to transparency, we have published specific judging criteria for each category, so that submitters understand the measures by which the judges consider each submission.

Each jury considers and interprets the submissions relative to the category definition and criteria. Judges have 3–5 weeks to review the submissions individually and submit scores on each, and then gather by conference call, moderated by a DPA facilitator, to deliberate and decide on the shortlist of finalists and the Gold and Silver winners.

Supporting our Judges

Judges in all categories receive a “survival guide” which is a written explanation of how the judging process works. Staff will be available to answer any questions along the way. 

Conflicts of Interest
A person shall be considered ineligible to judge in a category if she or he:

  • Is entered as a writer, editor or other contributor or creator in the category;
  • Is the subject of an article entered or has a close association with the writer or creator entered in the category;
  • Is a regular contributor to a publication entered in the category.

In the case of a conflict of interest, judges may be moved to a different jury to resolve the conflict, or may be asked to withdraw. 

An individual may serve as a judge even if they are (or were, during the awards year) a staff member of a publication that has entered a submission in the category they are judging. However, the following conditions must be met:

  • The judge must recuse themselves from evaluating the particular entry from their affiliated publication.
  • The judge is not eligible to serve in a category if they had any hands-on involvement with the submission entered from their publication in that category.

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.