EARLY BIRD DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2021
You are invited to enter the 2021 RTDNA Regional and National Awards for Excellence in the following categories:
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:
Here are the important dates to keep in mind.
December 16, 2020 – Entry period opens
December 16, 2020 – January 31, 2021 – Early Bird period
January 31, 2021 – Early Bird Deadline EXTENDED
January 16 – February 21, 2021 – Regular entry fee period
February 21 – Final Entry Deadline
Mid-April 2021 – Regional nominees announced
Late-April 2021 – Regional Winners Announced – West | Prairies | Central | East
May 2021 – National & Best Canadian Local News nominees announced
Spring 2021 – National & Best Canadian Local News winners announced
NOTE: Winners of Regional Awards are automatically entered to compete for a Best Canadian Local News Award. No additional entry applications or fees are required. Best Canadian Local News Award winners will be announced along with the National winners in Spring 2021.
Consider your best work broadcast (or launched) during the 2020 calendar year only.
Please read these rules carefully. There are revisions and changes since last year.
11. DURATIONS & EDITING: All commercial breaks must be removed from the entry.
12. You may submit a report that aired in two parts (e.g. in Sports categories) as long as maximum category duration limits are observed.
13. WEB LINKS:
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.
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
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.
All entries must be submitted online. All accompanying media must be uploaded using this website. 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 February 7, 2021 deadline.
|Early Bird Fee (Dec 16, 2020 – Jan 15, 2021)||Regular (Jan 16 – Feb 7, 2021)|
|Early Bird Fee (Dec 16, 2020 – Jan 15, 2021)||Regular (Jan 16 – Feb 7, 2021)|
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT EARLY BIRD FEES:
You may benefit from the Early Bird fees by paying for your entry by January 15 and submitting it by February 7, 2021. The entry does NOT need to be complete by January 15 but it does not to be paid for by that date.
For uploading and playing back audio/video files, please ensure you are using the latest version of your web browser: Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
An entry that does not adhere to the technical guidelines may be disqualified.
IMPORTANT: Promos are required but they are NOT judged as part of 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.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MULTIPLATFORM?
Q: What happened to the multiplatform option for category submissions?
A: Because most news organizations are integrated, delivering coverage on various platforms (TV, radio, online, podcasts) we have changed RTDNA platform categories to VIDEO, AUDIO and DIGITAL. This means a news organization can submit an entry no matter how it was delivered. For example: a video news story that appeared on a traditional TV newscast could compete against a video news story that appeared online only.
WHY ARE YOU NOT RECOGNIZING DIVERSITY ANYMORE?
Q: There is no longer a diversity category? Why?
A: The RTDNA believes including diverse voices, interviews and content in all news stories is important. It is why, after consultation with a committee reviewing award categories, it was decided to include recognizing diversity in the community as a criteria for every entry, not as a stand-alone award.
BREAKING NEWS – HOW LONG IS IT “BREAKING?”
Q: I would like to submit a digital Breaking News entry. The story developed over several days. How much coverage can I submit?
A: You may submit coverage from when the first story was published. Include that first story in your entry. If that is too limiting, consider entering Continuing Coverage.
THE NORTH – REGIONAL OR NATIONAL?
Q: I work on a program that is broadcast in all three territories. Should that be entered as Regional or National?
A: Regional. Although the three territories cover a huge geographical area, we are talking about a total population of only 110,000. It would be unfair to make an entry like that compete against a genuine National entry that theoretically covers a country of 35 million.
HOW ABOUT REGIONAL AND NATIONAL?
Q: Our item was broadcast (in slightly different versions) both regionally and on the network? Can we enter both?
A: Not usually. You really can only get one kick at the can. It depends on the original intent when produced – for regional or national broadcast. If the answer in this case was “both” (which is unusual but not impossible) then you could choose one or the other, regional OR national. The only time that two might be permissible is if the final products were radically different (radically does not mean a shortened version.) Please contact RTDNA before you enter a similar item for both regional and national awards.
LIVE SPECIAL EVENTS ON MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
Q: Coverage of our local election started on TV, then continued online (only) and then returned to TV at the end of the evening. Can we include an URL for the online coverage as part of our TV entry?
A: Yes. But the judges will consider the video portion of the website only. In other words, they will NOT take into consideration any articles, interactives, audio, etc. as part of a TV entry.
Q: In our digital entry, can I submit articles written by our co-production partners that appeared on our website?
A: Yes. Since they appeared on your website, you may include them.
TWO ITEMS IN ONE ENTRY?
Q: Can I submit a 2-part radio story for the Excellence in Sound Award. Both pieces, the original and follow-up, total less than 10 minutes.
A: Yes, if no editing is required. This would also be allowed in the Excellence in Video category. There should be five seconds of silence for an audio entry or five seconds of black for a video entry between the two segments. Alternatively there can be an audio or video “slate” dividing the two segments.
EDITING A NEWSCAST
Q: I am entering best TV Newscast. Can I edit my entry?
A: For the Best Newscast (TV or Radio) and Best News Information Program (TV or Radio) categories, you may submit three separate clips from the same program with the same airdate. 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.
BEST RADIO NEWSCAST AND TOP-OF-THE HOUR COVERAGE
Q: For the Radio Newscast, our news hits at the top of the hour are around 5 minutes — can we use multiple clips over the course of one day as long as it’s below the half-hour limit?
A: Yes. You choose whatever clips you’d like up to a maximum of 5.
COPYRIGHT AND B-ROLL
Q: Our story has a significant amount of the B-roll shot by another source. Is there any problem with submitting this story?
A: If you hired a freelancer, that would be okay even if he/she is not an employee. Do not submit an entry where a significant amount was found online or simply given to you. The footage should have been produced under your direction.
LIVE SPECIAL EVENTS AND REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCASTS
Q: Our regular 11 pm newscast covered our local election. Can we entered it under Live Special Events?
A: If the entire newscast was devoted to that single event only, yes.
Q: We have a Best Newscast entry and within that 30-minute piece, there is one item we would like to submit for Excellence in Video. Will this be acceptable for judging?
A: Yes. A maximum of one item (less than 3 minutes) may overlap between Best Newscast and another entry.
Q: We’re using our election coverage for a couple different categories — mostly with no overlap, but one thing we want to use in multiple spots is our Facebook Live show we did leading into our regular broadcast on election night. We’re thinking it fits as a Live Special Event (Digital), but we also want to include it as part of the Excellence in Social Media AND the Excellence in Innovation awards. How much leeway to we have to reuse something like this?
A: You could enter election coverage for each with one URL that overlaps between the entries.
IS THIS PROPER FOR “INNOVATION?”
Q: As part of our Election coverage, we hosted candidates debates for all seven of our city’s area electoral districts. The one-hour debates were broadcast live on radio but, in order to embrace new ways of reaching our audience, we conducted the debates in larger venue and streamed them over Facebook Live in real-time. I would like to submit our Facebook broadcasts of the debates for an Excellence in Innovation Award and would like to know if this is the right category for us. Also, we are a radio station but wouldn’t be submitted audio… instead it would be URL’s to the videos. Would that be okay?
CLIPS AND CONTINUING COVERAGE
Q: Continuing Coverage entries can have a maximum of five clips. Can the same clip have two reporters?
A: Yes. A “clip” would be contiguous (non-edited) programming. If you originally went from one reporter straight into another into another reporter (and there’s no editing), that would be one clip.
CONTINUING COVERAGE AND THE “INITIAL COVERAGE”
Q: We did a series on the 30th anniversary of the death of a black man at the hands of the police. Is that too long of a range for this to fit into Continuing Coverage? Because it covers a theme and a local issue, but it doesn’t have a moment of “initial coverage.”
A: That is acceptable. Be sure to include your initial report in your entry.
Q: Should I submit as Small/Medium or Large Market station?
A: The following are Canada’s Large Market Stations: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal. Entries from ALL OTHER CITIES should be submitted as Small/Medium.
DURATION AND URLs
Q: When filling out an entry, what duration should I enter when linking to an URL?
A: Leave that field empty.
IS THIS OKAY OR DOUBLE DIPPING?
Q: I would like to enter a great newscast. That newscast had a great item that I would also like to submit. May I submit both?
A: Identical content can appear in two categories. For example, an Enterprise Journalism entry which appeared as part of a Best Newscast entry. However, the duration of the overlap should not exceed 25% of the duration of the second entry.
SAME TOPIC FOR SAME CATEGORY IN AUDIO AND VIDEO?
Q: Can you enter the same category in both radio and TV? For example, a flood for Breaking News.
A: If they are different reports – and the radio is not simply the audio track of the TV report – yes.
NO KEYS? OKAY?
Q: My item has no keys or supers. Is that okay?
EXCELLENCE IN SOUND AND THEME MUSIC
Q: My Excellence in Sound entry contains commercial theme music that goes straight to natural sound. Is the theme music permitted?
A: Yes, the theme music is permitted but it will not be judged if it’s commercial music. Mention this in your entry. If it happened to be original, you should also mention this in your entry so that it could be judged.
CAN A NEWSCAST BE AN INFO PROGRAM?
Q: Our evening TV newscast goes behind the headlines and focuses on features, analysis and reporter debriefs. Can we enter TV News Information Program rather than TV Newscast?
A: No. It is still a TV Newscast.
TWO CITIES, ONE PROVINCE, ONE WEBSITE
Q: Our province only has one website. My city would like to enter Continuing Coverage (Digital) and so would the other city. Can we both enter the same category?
A: Yes, if there is no overlap on the stories between the two cities.
ENGAGEMENT AND FACEBOOK
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?
LIVE SPECIAL EVENTS
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?
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.
ENTRY CHARACTER LIMIT / SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
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: ALL of our text fields have limits of 1,000 characters. That’s approximately 140 words. No additional documents may be submitted.
AWARD ENTRY ACCOUNT AND PASSWORD
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.
OOPS. I SUBMITTED TOO SOON
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.
MULTI-PART SERIES IN FEATURE CATEGORY
Q: Can multi-part series which aired over three days be entered for the Feature News Award?
A: No. Entries for Feature News (10 minutes) Award should be single items. The category recognizes 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 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. Contact email@example.com for details on ordering additional awards.