Éric Trottier, vice-president of information and deputy editor of La Presse, accepted the CJF Innovation Award. View the acceptance speech.

In recognition of the innovations driving change in journalism, The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is proud to announce La Presse as the recipient of the CJF Innovation Award. 

With the financial difficulties facing newspapers worldwide, La Presse in 2013 sought to secure its future by developing La Presse+, a platform for a tablet-driven model, offering news for free in an attractive and accessible format. In 2016, as a result of La Presse+’s success, the newspaper ended its weekday print edition, making La Presse the first daily in the world to become fully digital during the week. More than 270,000 people consult La Presse+ daily, far more than its 1971 print peak of 221,250 copies.

Now in its third year, the award was created to acknowledge the unprecedented challenges faced by news organizations and the need to celebrate creative new measures that advance the quality of journalism while confronting the economic forces buffeting existing business models. The winning news organization receives cash prize of $10,000, with thanks to the generous support of new award sponsor Chevrolet. 

The finalists included:

Instead of writing an article to raise awareness of job robotization, staff programmed an online robot to provide a customized, personal report based on a series of questions visitors answered related to job title, age and salary. The robot-writer used information gathered from databases of various public bodies, including Statistics Canada, to produce a unique report, explaining to each visitor the chance of his or her job being at risk for automation. 
Allez-vous être remplacé par un robot? Demandez-le à… notre robot!

CBC News: Face to Face with the Prime Minister
In a break with traditional interview formats, Face to Face with the Prime Minister put 10 Canadians of various ethnicities, ages, regions and socio-economic backgrounds alone for 10 minutes with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his office to ask questions. The Prime Minister did not have a say in who the participants were; he only knew their names and where they lived. Producers, press secretaries and RCMP were not present in the room. 
Canadians interview the prime minister about issues that matter to them
Behind-the-scenes: How we picked 10 Canadians to interview the PM
CBC News Special: Face To Face with the Prime Minister

The Globe and Mail
Recognizing the need for analytics beyond page views and clicks, The Globe and Mail developed a proprietary analytics tool called Sophi that helps its editors understand how, when and what readers consume—clear insights that help drive change by increasing audience loyalty and engagement, and help them understand what readers are willing to pay for. 

The CJF Innovation Award winner was announced at the annual CJF Awards at The Fairmont Royal York on June 8 in Toronto. 

Jury members are:
Chair - Mathew Ingram, senior writer, Fortune
Joshua Benton, director, Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University
Alfred Hermida, associate professor, UBC Graduate School of Journalism
Jennifer Hollett, head of news and government, Twitter Canada


About the CJF Innovation Award

Further strengthening its support of journalistic innovation, The Canadian Journalism Foundation is proud to announce its 2017 CJF Innovation Award now offers the winning news organization a cash prize of $10,000, with thanks to the generous support of new award sponsor Chevrolet. 

At a time when news organizations are facing unprecedented challenges and demands for change, this award recognizes innovations that have a demonstrated impact in advancing the quality of journalism done by an individual news organization.


Innovation can come in a wide range of fields, including (but not restricted to):
•    new formats for audiences;
•    different operating procedures within a newsroom;
•    new storytelling techniques;
•    a new product produced by the newsroom; 
•    the design and/or introduction of new technology;
•    distinctive reporting strategies and techniques;
•    new ways of engagement with audiences;
•    involvement of the community in the news process; and
•    partnerships or team approaches to reporting and producing stories.

It is up to individual applicants to identify and explain the innovation being nominated. While it could have taken more than a year from concept to implementation, the impact of the innovation must have occurred in the previous year.

Each applicant should address the following issues (responses to each issue should be no more than 150 words). Adjudication will consider all these criteria with judges having a particular interest in innovations that help the news organization promote accuracy, social responsibility and accountability.

1. A description of the origin of the innovation, including initial rationale for proceeding, the problem to be solved or the theory to be tested and anticipated results at the time the innovation was proposed
2. How was it proposed/conceived, how much debate was there within the organization before acceptance, who approved it and how did the organization reach the final decision to proceed with the innovation?
3. Time frame from the idea stage to implementation, identifying the parts of the organization that were involved in the process from start to finish, as well as the number of people involved and number and stages of approval from conception to implementation.
4. An explanation of how the organization assessed both the impact and the success of the innovation including whether the anticipated benefits actually occurred and if not, why not.
5. How the innovation has improved the quality of the organization’s journalism.

The CJF Innovation Award winner was announced at the annual CJF Awards at The Fairmont Royal York on June 8, 2017 in Toronto.

Please contact CJF executive director Natalie Turvey should you have any questions.


2016 - Discourse Media 
Discourse Media, an upstart Vancouver-based independent media company, produces in-depth journalism about complex issues using collaborative approaches. During a transportation funding referendum in Metro Vancouver—when journalists had little access to usable data and the public had little context about the issue itself—Discourse Media obtained, analyzed and produced data to share among multiple newsrooms, resulting in its "Moving Forward" project. In one instance, Discourse partnered with academics to access datasets, such as that used in the Cost of Commute Calculator, which allowed users to punch in their commute and see a breakdown of the full cost to themselves and to society.

2015 - Emergent
Emergent tackled the challenge of assessing the huge volume of social media information by checking the veracity of emerging stories, rumours and viral claims