EXTENDED DEADLINE:  Sunday. February 4, 2018 at 11:59 pm ET


The 2018 RTDNA Canada Awards are presented for the best in Radio, Television and Digital journalism first published in 2017.


We are pleased to announce an expansion of the awards to be presented by RTDNA Canada in 2018. This year we are offering awards for Excellence in Innovation, for Excellence in Social Media and for Best Podcast.

We look forward to your upcoming submissions in these new categories as well as in all our categories.

Mark Mietkiewicz
Awards Chair, RTDNA Canada

You are invited to enter the 2018 RTDNA Regional and Network Awards for Excellence in the following categories:

  • Breaking News (*New title*)
  • Continuing Coverage
  • Excellence in Innovation (*New award*)
  • Excellence in Social Media (*New award*)
  • Excellence of Sound (*New title*)
  • Excellence of Video (*New title*)
  • Data Storytelling 
  • Digital Media
  • Diversity
  • In-depth/ Investigative Excellence (multi-platform award)
  • Live Special Events 
  • Long Feature
  • Podcast (*New award*)
  • Opinion and Commentary (*New title*)
  • Radio News Information Program
  • Radio Newscast
  • Sport Feature
  • Sports – Live Special Events
  • TV News Information Program
  • TV Newscast

Please click on the titles below for information about entering the awards or click on the button to proceed to the Awards Submission Site:

Click on the link below to download / print the PDF version of the Entry Guidelines: 

New This Year

Excellence in Innovation   This new multi-platform award is presented to news organizations that innovate their product to enhance the quality of journalism and the audience’s understanding of news. Submit a single entry that demonstrates an innovative use of content, engagement, technology and/or audience experience. A single entry may include audio or video examples; functioning, active URLs; apps; social feeds; or any other platform that demonstrates innovation in journalism. A short, written description (1,000 characters max) explaining how the entry breaks the mould of traditional broadcast journalism is required.

Excellence in Social Media – Awarded for use of social media to enhance the audience’s understanding of a single news story or news event/project. Submit up to 5 examples of functioning, active URLs that demonstrate the exceptional use of social media as evidenced by the quality of journalism and the quantity and quality of user engagement. An entry may include apps or any other platform that demonstrates the best use of social media in journalism. A short written description (1,000 characters max) explaining how the entry uses social media to further the audience’s understanding of the single news story, news event or news project is required.

Best podcast – Awarded to a single podcast or a podcast series (up to 3 episodes) which displays an outstanding use of the aural medium. Content should produced especially for the podcast and not merely repackaging of material which was created for broadcast.

Dates and Deadlines

Note: You can start working on your entries early this year!

December 4, 2017:    Entry period opens

December 4 – January 15, 2018:    Early bird fee period

January 15, 2018:   Early Bird Entry Deadline

January 16 – 31, 2018:    Regular entry fee period

January 31, 2018:    Final Entry Deadline

Early March 2018:    Regional nominees announced

April 2018:    Regional Awards Ceremony | Atlantic

April 2018:    Regional Award Ceremonies | BC, Central, Prairies

Late April 2018:    National & Network nominees announced

May 25-26, 2018:    RTDNA Canada National Conference, Toronto


NOTE: Winners of Regional Awards are automatically entered to compete for a National Award. No additional entry applications or fees are required. National Award winners will be announced along with the Network winners at the RTDNA Canada National Conference Gala on May 26, 2018.

Entry Rules

Consider your best work broadcast (or launched) during the 2017 calendar year only. Create a wish list of entries that you want to submit.

Please read these rules carefully. There are revisions and changes since last year.


  1. ELIGIBILITY: Entries may be submitted by stations, networks, syndication services, website and online news organizations.Only individual members of the RTDNA can submit entries. Your organization may be a corporate member of the RTDNA but in order to submit an entry, your news director or a member of your team/department must be an individual member. That individual may create an awards account, and then journalists working under that person submit awards using that account. Please note the director, or whoever has the account, will receive all email notifications and must manage all awards entries. In addition, anyone with the login information will see all awards submitted under that account.Please note that RTDNA Awards are presented to organizations. Individuals’ names are not announced at awards ceremonies or engraved on the awards presented at those ceremonies.
  2. CODE OF ETHICS: The RTDNA Canada Code of Ethics serves as the basis for judging standards. Please be sure your entry follows this code of ethics.
  3. COPYRIGHT: By entering, you acknowledge that you hold copyright to the material or that you have received permission from the copyright holder to enter the material.
  4. ELIBILITY PERIOD: Entries must have been broadcast for the first time between January 1st and December 31st, 2017.
  5. DEADLINES: Even if your submission is not complete, you MAY pay by the January 15, 2018 Early Bird deadline and benefit from the savings. You have until January 31, 2018 to finalize your submission.
  6. ENTRY FEES: Entry fees are not refundable
  7. LANGUAGE: Entries must be in English or in other languages with English captions or an English transcription.
  8. REGIONAL / NETWORK: Entries must be submitted as either “regional” OR “network.” A network entry is one that was produced for broadcast in more than one province.If an entry was produced to be broadcast in a single market, but was subsequently broadcast in additional markets, it should be submitted as a regional entry.We have four regions. Please note changes in red: 
    East                          PE, NB, NS. NL, NU
    Central                    ON, QC
    Prairies                   AB, SK, MB, NT
    West                        BC, YT
    • Do not enter identical entries in multiple categories. However, you may enter the same topic in more than one category.
    •  Exception: Only one (1) entry is allowed in each of the Best Newscast (Bert Cannings and Byron MacGregor) categories.
    • Exception: A report submitted as a Charlie Edwards Spot News entry MAY be included as part of a Ron Laidlaw Continuing Coverage entry.
    • Each program or station is limited to two (2) entries per platform – so theretically, six entries. 
    • Although the web version may have links to the video (which is being entered separately), there should be enough unique content on the web so that it is not simply a rehash. Aside from text written for the web, that could include Tweets, ScribbleLive, live polling, mapping, original audio and video that was broadcast.
    • A network that has several stations in a region may submit two entries per station each as long as content being entered was not a joint regional effort.
    • You may include the same web link in multiple submissions as long as the rest of the submission is not identical.
    1. All commercial breaks must be removed from the entry.
    2. No show opens or custom opens may be edited onto the entry. You may leave in the existing show opens. The intent is that submitters should not create something brand new to enhance the entry.
    3. The story must be entered as it appeared on air. A late in and an early out are permitted. But no fine editing is allowed, e.g. removing 30 seconds from the body of the piece.
    4. “15 minutes” and “30 minutes” refer to the total length of the submission. For categories with 30-minute maximums, you may submit three separate clips from the same program with the same airdate. Each clip may only be edited as described above (10c).
    5. Your entry must be submitted in one single, functioning clip per medium.
    6. Host/anchor intros and extros may be deleted from the submission. A transcript of intro and extra may be uploaded as Word doc or pdf.
    7. If the host/anchor intro and extro is included in the clip, it must be counted in that clip’s duration.
    8. A host-reporter talkback may be included in the entry as long as the talkback is not edited and the combined clip and talkback do not exceed the category’s maximum length. Do not include a transcript of the talkback with your entry.
    9. Live Special Events category: Newsbreaks, weather, traffic, sports may be removed to allow back-to-back interviews to fit time constraints.
  11. You may submit a report that aired in two parts (e.g. in Diversity and Sports categories) as long as maximum category duration limits are observed.
    1. Entry must include related items from two or three platforms (TV/Radio/Digital)
    2. Entry must include any combination of two broadcast clips (1 radio and 1 TV; 2 radio; or 2 TV clips.)
    3. Running time of all broadcast clips should not exceed 30 minutes.
    4. You may include five web links as part of a multiplatform entry.
  13. WEB LINKS:
    1. Web links (maximum 5) should only be included in digital and multiplatform entries.
    2. All websites must be live until June 1, 2018. Check and double-check your links even well after you have submitted your entry. We cannot judge what we cannot access. If the link is not active at time of judging, the entry will be disqualified immediately and entry fees will not be refunded.
    3. Sites to be judged must not require registration or be password-protected.
  14. TIME LIMITS: Respect category time limits. Judges are instructed to only watch or listen up to the allotted time for each entry. You are permitted to exceed limit by a maximum of 10 seconds.
  15. PROMOS:
    1. A promo is required for each entry but is NOT judged as part of your entry. Promos belonging to winning National and Network entries will be shown at the RTDNA National Awards Gala.
    2. You are welcome to enhance your promo with added graphics and stings.
    3. TV and radio promos should run 30 seconds (35-second maximum.)
    4. For web entries, you have a choice. You can produce a 30-second promo or you can send us three high quality screenshots
  16. Each entry must be accompanied by a separate online entry form and the appropriate entry fee. Entries will not be judged unless the fee has been received by RTDNA Canada.
  17. An entry that does not adhere to all competition rules may be disqualified.
  18. All entries become the property of RTDNA Canada which reserves the right to use this material as the Board of Directors deems appropriate.
  19. JUDGING: The decisions of the judges are final. At the discretion of the judges, awards may not be granted in some categories. If few entries are received for a particular award, RTDNA reserves the right to combines awards.

We strongly recommend you make a copy of each of your entries prior to submission.

Award Categories

Please click the links to view Regional and Network Award categories.

How to Prepare Your Entry

All entries must be submitted online. All accompanying media must be uploaded using this website. DVDs/CDs are no longer accepted. Submitting your Awards Entry online is a simple process. However, it requires some preparation at your end. We strongly recommend that you follow the procedures outlined below.

Note: You do not need to complete your submission in one sitting. The system will remember your information in draft form until you submit it.

We recommend you start this process well before the January 31, 2018 deadline.

  1. Only members of the RTDNA can enter for award submissions. See “Entry Rules: Edibility” for details.
  2. If you are not a current active member of the RTDNA, please click here to become one.
  3. For the next step, you will need your RTDNA Membership Number. If you don’t know it, log into your Membership Account. The 8-digit “User ID” is your Membership Number.
  4. You can now create an Awards Account . Include your contact information. Note: Usernames and passwords from previous years will not work.
  5. After registering, you can now sign in to your Awards Account.
  6. If you have been working on submissions that are not yet complete, you will now see those drafts listed. You can continue working on them.
  7. Otherwise, click the “Begin new submission” button.
  8. Select the appropriate Award Category.
  9. Select whether it is a network or regional submission. (Note: Inapplicable choices are greyed out.)
  10. Select whether it is a radio, television, or digital submission. (Again, inapplicable choices are greyed out.)
  11. Supply the title of the entry, your station name and the name of the person who will accept the award should you win. You will need to supply a shipping address (if different.)
  12. The title should be what would appear on the award plaque should you win.
  13. You have until Jan 31, 2018 at midnight (EST) to make any edits to your submission.
  14. A separate online submission is required for each entry that you intend to enter into the competition.

Fees and Payment


Early Bird Fee (Dec 4, 2017 – Jan 15, 2018)

Regular (Jan 16-31, 2018)

  • Radio – $75.00
  • Digital – $90.00
  • TV – $110.00
  • Multi-platform – $110.00
  • Radio – $85.00
  • Digital – $100.00
  • TV – $120.00
  • Multi-platform – $120.00


Early Bird Fee (Dec 4, 2017 – Jan 15, 2018)

Regular (Jan 16-31, 2018)

  •  All entries – $150.00
  • All entries – $165.00

MULTI PLATFORM AWARDS (Regional & Network)

(Excellence in Social Media; In-Depth/Investigative)

Early Bird Fee (Dec 4, 2017 – Jan 15, 2018)

Regular (Jan 16-31, 2018)

  • $110.00
  • $120.00


You may benefit from the Early Bird fees by paying for your entry by January 15 and submitting it by January 31.


  • You have the option to pay by credit card or by cheque. If you choose cheque, a pdf invoice will be available for download. Print it and mail it along with your cheque to the address indicated on the invoice.
  • After you have chosen cheque or submitted your credit card information, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.
  • You should now find yourself on the “Edit Submission Page.” Before you continue, we recommend that you review the Technical Guidelines in order to prepare your audio and video media files for upload.
  • Entry fees are not refundable.

Technical Guidelines

For uploading and playing back audio/video files, please ensure you are using the latest version of your web browser: Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

  • All media file uploads must be no greater than 4GB in size.
  • Video uploads are accepted in the following formats: .avi, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg
  • Audio uploads are accepted in MP3 format only.
  • Video and audio submissions via URL (e.g. on YouTube, Vimeo, ctvnews.ca, globalnews.ca, cbcnews.ca, etc.) are acceptable if the following conditions are observed:
    • Entry must remain accessible until July 2018 for judging purposes.
    • Entry must NOT be password protected.
    • If entry is contained within a larger newscast, you MUST indicate “IN” and “OUT” times for entry.
  • Document uploads are accepted in PDF and Microsoft Word format only.
  • If you are having issues uploading large video files, please try using Google Chrome to perform your upload, or upload your video to YouTube (with a privacy setting of “unlisted”) and add the YouTube URL as an attachment to your submission.

An entry that does not adhere to the technical guidelines may be disqualified.

Complete Your Award Entry and Upload Your Media File

  • You should now be on the “Edit Submission Page.”
  • In the first section of the page, “Submission attachments,” choose whether you’d like to provide a URL so the entry can be screened online or upload your media file to the RTDNA Canada Awards site.
  • Uploading your file may take a while but you do not need to remain on the webpage while this is happening.
  • On subsequent visits to this web page, you will be able to review/listen to the file that you have uploaded, and if desired, you may upload a revised file.
  • Note: If you have a Word or PDF document that you would like to be considered as part of your entry (e.g. another award citation, a letter of support or a clipping), you can also upload them here.
  • Should you have any technical questions during this process, please email admin@rtdnacanada.com or use the Help Button, located in the top right corner of that web page. It will create an email to our technical staff who will be pleased to assist you.
  • In the second section of page, “Submission details,” complete the remaining questions about your entry (air date, duration, etc.) as well as a description of your entry (objectives, results, and any noteworthy elements).

Prepare The Promo Materials For The Award Ceremonies

IMPORTANT: Promos are required but they are NOT judged as part of your entry

  • You are required to upload a 30-second (may be slightly shorter) promotional spot for each radio and television entry and an image of your submission for any digital entry (which must be indicated as the ‘promotional’ spot). This spot may be used during the award ceremonies.
  • Images (including screen grabs) should be high quality since they will projected to fill a large screen.
  • Radio format: MP3
  • TV formats: avi, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg
  • For digital award entries, you may shoot a promo or submit a still.
  • Digital formats: pdf, jpeg, url

Submit Your Entry

When done, press “SUBMIT” at the bottom of the page to complete the entry process.  

NOTE: If you accidentally submit your entry before you are ready, you may make changes as long as the final deadline has not passed. On your account page, click on “My Submissions” at top right. Find the award you would like to edit and under “Actions” you should be able to click on Edit.

Good Luck!

Entry FAQs


Q:        We have a multiplatform series that fits the category. Can I submit separate Digital, TV and Radio entries for Diversity on the same topic?

A:        Yes. You may also include the same web link in multiple submissions as long as the rest of the content submitted is not identical.

If you want all your Digital, TV and Radio content judged in a single submission, you would need to enter the Multiplatform In-depth or Investigative (Dan McArthur) Award. Please ensure the content matter is suitable for that award.


Q:        We engaged our listeners on FACEBOOK and our website.  Are we permitted to submit links to our other platforms as further proof of engagement?

A:        Yes


Q:        Do the three links need to be the same author? Could there be three links with the same author, but different subjects?

A:        The three links do not need to be the same author, as long as it is the same subject. Alternatively you can submit three different subjects, as long as it is the same author.


Q:        Prior to our provincial election, we created a public forum to discuss the options – to hear from the proponents and detractors of each voting option. It was in a local school cafeteria, and live broadcast on our webpage and on Facebook. Huge turnout, dynamic event. Lots of engagement. Does it qualify for Live Special Events Category?

A:        Yes


Q:        Should I include a URL link to a web piece based on the story, even if the submission is for a radio or TV submission?  

A:        You are welcome to add the URL. Judges may elect to take a look but are not required to do so.



Q:        When submitting in a Digital category, is all of the material on the page considered? For example, any embedded videos or audio?   

A:        Judges may screen and consider some of the embedded content, but we could not reasonably expect them to watch them all. If there were two or three pieces of media on a web page – and five pages in an entry – multiplied by several entries in a category, that would be far too onerous for the judges. In other words, expect the judges to click on some, but not all, just as a visitor to your page might do.


Q:        Is there a character limit for the text fields on the awards entry? Are additional Word document allowed as part of the submission?

A:        1,000 characters. No additional documents may be submitted.


Q:        I created an award entry account and password last year. Can I reuse it?

A:        No. You will need to create a new one.


Q:        I submitted my entry and would like to make a revision/correction. Can I?

A:        If you accidentally submit your entry before you are ready, you may make changes as long as the final deadline has not passed. On your account page, click on “My Submissions” at top right. Find the award you would like to edit and under “Actions” you should be able to click on Edit.


Q:           Can multi-part series which aired over three days be entered for the Long Feature (Dave Rogers) Award?

A:            No. Entries for  Long Feature (5-10 minutes) and the Short Feature (under 5 minutes) awards should be single items. The “Feature” categories recognize the challenge and art of crafting a single documentary that stands on its own. Multi-part items can be entered in the “Continuing Coverage” or the “In-depth or Investigative” categories, as long as the items meet those categories’ other criteria.


Q:           I am going to be entering a Live Special Event. It was broadcast both in Inuktitut and English. Our bilingual host did the show in both languages and much of the script was the same in both languages. She would first talk in Inuktitut and then repeat in English. Do I still have to have all of the Inuktitut translated into English?

A:            No. You do not need to do a line-by-line translation – especially if it was essentially translated on-air. A summary will suffice. Much more detail is needed for items not translated on-air. But it does not need to be a line-by-line transcript unless one is readily available.


Q:           I have translated portions of the submission from Inuktitut into English. Where shall I include the translation as part of my entry?

A:            Include your translation in a Word document and upload it as part of your entry. To do that, click on the red “Add File” button at the top of the “Submission attachments” page. In addition, in the box “Description of submission,” add a line that you are uploading the translation document so that the judges will keep an eye out for it.


 Q:         My radio entry contains commercial theme music and then goes straight into natural sound. Is the commercial theme music permitted?

A:         Yes, commercial theme music is permitted but will not be judged as part of the entry. Only theme music created by the station will be judged.


Q:         I am part of a winning team. Can I order an additional award for myself? With my name on it?

A:         Additional awards may be ordered through the RTDNA. Please note that awards presented at our awards galas include the name of the category, the name of winning entry and the winning organization. Names of individuals who worked on the entry do not appear on that award. If you would like to order an additional award with your name on it, please include a supporting email from a senior manager in your organization verifying that you were part of the winning team and approving your request. Regional awards cost $75.00 per award and National/Network awards costs $82.00 per award (plus tax and delivery costs) and must be ordered by June 29, 2018. Should you wish to order an duplicate award, please complete the order form by clicking here.

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