Who may submit? The competition is open to English or French-language online publications based in Canada. The publication must carry some original editorial content (i.e. content published firstly online), and a minimum average of 80% Canadian editorial content (written and/or edited by Canadians living in Canada). Digital publications that are strictly promotional or act as a brochure for a publication or broadcast outlet are ineligible unless they feature some original journalistic content.
Online or digital journalism produced by Canadians (based in Canada) for other outlets including foreign publications (e.g. a freelance piece) is also eligible. Entries should be submitted by the Canadian producer/journalist.
What will be judged? Your work will be reviewed by independent judging panels of highly regarded industry professionals and experts. Some categories have their own specific qualities noted below, but generally, your online publication will be judged based on content and design at the time of judging (over an approx. 2 month period during summer 2013).
Select the appropriate division, either Red or Blue or Green, depending on the type of online publication you publish. The divisions are based on the type of editorial content that your website provides, so that judges are comparing “apples to apples”, i.e. online publications in their competitive set.
Division Red Consumer, custom, religious, public association.
Division Blue Business-to-business, professional association, farm, scholarly
Green Division Daily and community newspapers, radio and tv broadcasters. Ethnic media are eligible to enter.
If you are unsure what division you should be in, check one division on your entry form that you think best reflects your publication, and we'll let you know if it should be moved.
There are 15 categories below. Your work will be judged against other entries in the same category and same division. Red, Blue, and Green Divisions offer the same 15 categories. You can choose to enter your website into more than one category as appropriate.
1. Best overall companion website Awarded to the publication deemed to best serve the needs of its target audience through content, design and use of the web medium. This category is for websites that also have a sister publication that exists in print. The web publication should share the same name, or similar name to the print brand.
2. Best overall online-only publication website Awarded to the publication deemed to best serve the needs of its target audience through content, design and use of the web medium. This category is for online-only websites that do not have a printed companion.
3. Best website design Awarded to the online publication deemed most successful in combining traditional elements of graphic design with functionality and navigational elements necessary for an easy-to-use, fast website.
4. Best news coverage Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through timely, original news reporting. Based on three news articles published between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, selected by the publication’s editor(s) that demonstrate the quality of the site’s reporting and writing.
5. Best blog Awarded to the blog deemed to best serve its intended audience through commentary, opinion, reportage, photography and/or illustration. Single- and multi-contributor blogs are eligible. Blog must be active at time of judging. Based on three posts published between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, selected by the publication’s editor(s) that demonstrate the quality of the blog’s content.
6. Best video or multimedia feature Awarded to the video or multimedia feature (e.g. slideshow or Flash animation) deemed to best serve its intended audience through use of the medium. Based on one video or multimedia feature posted between June 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, selected by the publication’s editor(s), that demonstrate the educational and/or entertainment value of the video feature. Videos must be original to the online publication. Both content and production values will factor into the judging.
7. Best use of social media Awarded to the best use of social media—such as social networks, forums, message boards, user-generated content initiatives, etc.—deemed to best serve its intended audience by bringing together a community or communities of people. Entry can be based on a social network/feature hosted on the publisher’s site and/or appearing on a third-party service such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Based on reading and viewing the relevant social media at the time of judging. The editor(s) may include quantifiable statistics (such as number of users, posts, and/or growth rates) in their written statement.
8. Best online-only article or series of articles Awarded to the article or series of articles deemed to be the best written and best reported among the entries. The article must NOT have appeared in a print publication. Features and service pieces are acceptable.
9. Best cross-platform initiative Awarded to an initiative deemed to offer the best re-purposing, re-packaging and/or extension of a feature from a related print or broadcast product. The print or broadcast content may have been published before or after the online content. Judges will base their scoring on how well the online content enhances the print or broadcast content, integration, use of each medium’s strengths and overall quality of the content. A PDF of the print version should be uploaded as part of the entry, or a description of the broadcast content.
10. Best e-newsletter Awarded to the best e-mailed newsletter or news bulletin. Design, content, editorial strategy and use of the e-mail medium will be considered in judging.
11. Best smartphone app Awarded to the best use of smartphone app technology for editorial purposes. Design, content, editorial strategy and functionality will be considered in judging. This category is generally intended for products distributed through app stores.
12. Best mobile-optimized web site Awarded to the best mobile-optimized web site. Design, content, and functionality will be considered in judging. This category is intended for sites designed for mobile (smartphone) web browsers.
13. Best digital edition (replica) Awarded to the best use of browser-based digital edition replica technology. Judges will evaluate rich media enhancements (e.g. video, podcasts, animations), navigation, user interface and functionality in addition to overall publication design and content.
14. Best tablet edition Awarded to the best use of tablet technology for editorial purposes. Design, content, overall editorial strategy and tablet functionality will be considered in judging.
15. Best infographic Awarded to the best use of data visualization technology and design for journalistic purposes (e.g. interactive maps, animated infographics). Judges will evaluate how well the authors have communicated and presented the relevant information, including ease of use, design, and originality.
-Gold and Silver winners in each category, plus Finalists
Entries must be submitted using the online entry form.
Entry fee: $100 for single entry based on one entry per category. This fee does not include HST.
Fees are payable by credit card via the secured online credit card payment site. Receipts will be automatically sent to contact person’s email address. One payment is accepted per entry. Credit Card statements will show “North Island Publishing”.
In 2013, all winners, finalists and sponsors will be published in the 2013 COPA Yearbook: The Who’s Who of Digital Publishing in Canada. This beautifully printed book will be distributed to all attendees of the 2013 COPA Awards event in Toronto in November (included in the price of your ticket). Extra copies will also be available for online ordering.
Along with the great prestige of being recognized as a winner of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards, winners will have perpetual bragging rights, time in the limelight, explosive traffic numbers to their website, and glares of envy from their online rivals. It’s also great news to share with advertisers, sponsors, and industry supporters too.
On top of bragging rights and envious glory, winners and finalists will receive the following honours and benefits:
- All winners will be presented with a certificate at the COPA reception to be held in November in Toronto, ON.
- Winners and finalists will be provided exclusive use of the COPA Winners and Finalists logos to use on their website, media kits and sales promotions, for their own sales and marketing efforts.
- Winners will receive editorial coverage in MastheadOnline and Masthead Express.
- Press releases will be sent to the advertising, marketing and media trade press and the daily media about COPA winners.
- Winners will be recognized on the online Winners Gallery on the COPA web site.
Awards Reception Short-listed and winning entries will be acknowledged at the 5th annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards reception, to be held in Toronto in November 2013. More news about the party and events will be posted soon. Everyone is invited, so stay tuned.
All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight on July 26, 2013.
Here are answers to some of your most asked questions. If your questions aren’t answered here, please contact us.
1. Is my website eligible for this competition?
The competition is open to English or French-language online publications based in Canada. The publication must carry some original editorial content (i.e. content published firstly online), and a minimum average of 80% Canadian editorial content (written and/or edited by Canadians living in Canada). Websites that are strictly promotional sites or act as a brochure site for a publication or broadcast outlet are also ineligible unless they feature some original journalistic content.
2. Do blogs count?
Yes, as long as your blog contains original content, written firstly for the web, and meets all the other criteria listed above.
3. How do I submit an entry?
You must complete the online entry form. The entry form will have a space provided for the direct URL of the web page, article, or online piece to be judged. Make sure that this URL is a static link and will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged during summer 2013.
4. When is the deadline to submit entries?
The contest ends July 26, 2013. All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight on July 26, 2013.
5. How many entries may I submit?
You may submit as many entries as you'd like to any category in any division. You may submit your website in a multiple of categories, as long as it qualifies for that category. An entry fee is charged for each entry.
6. What is the entry free?
The entry fee is $100 for a single entry, based on one entry per category. This fee does not include HST.
7. How does judging work?
The entry forms are e-mailed to the judging panel, made up of three industry experts. The judges are given several weeks to independently review the websites on their own time, giving a score to each entries. We will total up the scores from each judge at the end of September and release the list of finalists prior to the awards ceremony.
8. What if the links change or content is moved on our website?You need to make sure that the URLs you provide are static links that will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged. Judges will view your website independently, and as judging takes place over a long period of time, you must ensure that your URL remains accurate during the entire judging period. Judging will take place anytime between August, and September 2013.
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