TORONTO, April 4, 2022 /CNW/ - The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is proud to announce its shortlist for the annual CJF-Meta Journalism Project (MJP) Digital News Innovation Awardwhich recognizes news organizations that power journalism's future through digital journalism. The winner receives $10,000. 

"It was difficult to determine the finalists because every entrant was strong, to the extent that the point difference among the best candidates was negligible," says Anita Li, media consultant and Ryerson University journalism instructor. "I was incredibly impressed by the depth and breadth of innovation, ranging from the editorial to the business sides of journalism. Clearly, the future of journalism innovation in Canada is very bright."

The three finalists for this year's award and the stories or initiatives shortlisted for the award are:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for "Black On the Prairies," an interactive project to ensure that the experiences of Black people in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were included in the global and national discourse on anti-Black racism. To meaningfully tell the stories of Black communities in the Prairies, CBC created a 10-member community board to advise on the project from ideation to delivery. This project has since been adapted into a teacher's guide for all grades across the Prairies.

New Canadian Media (NCM), an online outlet providing nonpartisan news representing Canadian immigrant communities, for its Collective Membership Model. Through an alliance with the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and affiliation with the National NewsMedia Council, NCM members gained access to pre-publication advice and professional development opportunities. The alliance has resulted in an increase in NCM-CAJ members, a 33-percent-growth in the NCM's newsletter audience and an increased capacity for NCM to publish five articles a week, making its reporters eligible for National Newspaper Awards.

Taproot Edmonton, an online outlet covering local affairs in Edmonton, for its innovative coverage of Edmonton's 2021 municipal election. Taproot developed an interactive survey that allowed voters to find which candidates best aligned with their values. The survey received more than 21,000 responses and now serves as a reusable engine that can be employed for future elections.   

The CJF-MJP Digital Innovation Award promotes the work of Canadian startups, local and national news outlets, as well as supports new initiatives and projects. Innovation can come in a wide range, including new formats for audiences, new storytelling techniques, data-driven storytelling, new newsroom digital products, community involvement in story development, or partnerships and team approaches to reporting and producing stories.

The winner will be announced at the CJF annual awards ceremony on June 7 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. For tickets, tables and sponsorship opportunities, see contact information below or visit the CJF Awards page.




As news organizations continue to face unprecedented challenges and demands for change, the CJF-MJP Digital News Innovation Award recognizes innovations in digital media that have a demonstrated impact in advancing the quality of digital journalism.

Innovation can come in a wide range of approaches, including (but not restricted to): new formats for audiences (e.g. mobile products, etc.); new storytelling techniques; data-driven storytelling; a new digital product produced by the newsroom; involvement of the community in story development; or partnerships or team approaches to reporting and producing stories.

It is up to individual applicants to identify and explain what is innovative about the approach or technique they are nominating, and provide evidence of audience response and engagement.

While it may have taken more than a year from concept to implementation, the impact of the innovation must have occurred in 2021.

Judges will have a particular interest in innovations that help the news organization increase the size of its audience while attracting new audiences for its journalism.

The winning news organization will receive a cash prize of $10,000, with thanks to the generous support of award sponsor Facebook Journalism Project.


View the jury. 



- 2021: Indiegraf, a startup that helps fill the gap left by the loss of local news by empowering small digital news publishers to serve diverse and underserved communities, was the recipient of the inaugural Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF)-Facebook Journalism Project Digital News Innovation Award. View the acceptance speeches by Indiegraf's Erin Millar, co-founder and CEO, and Caitlin Havlak, co-founder and CTO.




For inquiries:
Natalie Turvey, President and Executive Director, The Canadian Journalism Foundation,




About the Meta Journalism Project
The Meta Journalism Project works with publishers around the world to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It also helps address the news industry's core business challenges. Our trainings, programs, and partnerships work in three ways: build community through news, train newsrooms globally, quality through partnerships.