Tag Archive | Digital Publishing

Toronto Life, Canadian Living lead magazine nominees at 2014 Canadian Online Publishing Awards

The 2014 Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) finalists were announced today, and National Magazine Award winners Toronto Life, The Walrus, Fashion Magazine and Canadian Living are among the leading nominees.

In the Red division (“consumer market niche content and companies”), Toronto Life leads all publications with 7 8 nominations. Other major nominees in the Red division include Money Sense, Style at Home, Cottage Life, Canadian Family and Taddle Creek, all of whom are National Magazine Awards winners.

Awards at the COPAs include Best Website Design, Best Blog, Best Use of Social Media, Best Mobile Solution, and more.

Each of three divisions (red, blue, green) grants awards in 15 digital categories. The COPAs also expanded their mandate this year to include corporations and ad agencies in addition to media companies. As noted on the website:

… as the COPAs have been restricted in the past to media publishers, any company and ad agency this year can enter the COPAs this year. The divisions have also been changed to reflect the blurred lines between traditional and digital media as to the type of content that is produced.

There are also 3 new Best of Canada categories: Best Digital Solution of the Year, Best Online Ad of the Year, and Best Content of the Year.

The 2014 COPA Party will be held on Thursday, November 20, at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, where the winners will be announced.

The call for entries for this year’s National Magazine Awards will be December 1.

Image via COPA website.

A Look at Canada’s Best Magazine Websites

At this year’s 37th annual National Magazine Awards, macleans.ca–the website of Canada’s 103-year-old venerable news magazine–won the award for Magazine Website of the Year.

The award goes to the magazine website (either a companion site or an online-only magazine) that most successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of web-based publishing. A jury convened by the National Magazine Awards Foundation evaluates all entries and comes to a consensus on three finalists and a single winner.

With more than 2.1 million total weekly readers, Maclean’s magazine continues to be a major force in Canadian news and opinion. Online, macleans.ca is a compelling destination for political commentary and discussion, feature stories, social debate and cultural musings. Visitors get full access to exclusive online features, interactive media and the latest from its award-winning bloggers.

The Maclean’s web team presents a platform that can look great on any screen, big or small. Their grid-like display allows for easy translation to a scrollable list format on your mobile device. Functionality and content prominence are what make their simplistic design work.

“For Maclean’s, we are now presenting more information than ever before, while at the same time occupying less screen real estate until you need it,” says senior director and publisher Ryan Trotman.

Their layout choices create a site that is easily digestible and remains consistent with the way we currently consume information through social media. Our surfing habits have changed and macleans.ca has addressed this new social characteristic.

 

HONOURABLE MENTION

The judges awarded Honourable Mention in the category Magazine Website of the Year to Hazlitt and Torontoist.

Five of Hazlitt‘s most recent and popular features play on a slideshow atop the site, which was founded in 2012 as an online literary and cultural affairs magazine by Random House Canada. Sections chosen for Hazlitt’s menu bar communicate their unique role in the world of literary fiction.

Features, Blog, A/V, Comix, Fiction and Hazlitt Originals line the top of their homepage, echoing their core value in exhibiting great writing on diverse subject matter while contributing to cultural at all levels. A grid-like image and title display sits to the right of a list of their ‘most popular’ articles. Their most recent publications and twitter feed follow, appearing atop a freeform of content links organizes in blocks.

Users can scroll titles referring to subsection headings for anything that may be of interest. The style does not present the visitor with rigid sections, but rather allows the content to be displayed in a way that gives all subsections equal treatment.

“Hazlitt aspires to publish great writing on everything,” its editors told the NMAF in a statement submitted with its application. “Politics, art, the environment, film, music, law, business. Books and writers, their ideas, insights and stories, are at the heart of what we do, because books and writers are at the heart of culture, both high and low.”

Displaying a cover photo and a lead to impress visitors to ‘read more,’ the Torontoist site exhibits a format similar to what we see when we open a newspaper to scan for stories. Editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan says this was done intentionally to challenge the idea that online magazines are somehow less informative or not as well-researched as hard copy, printed articles.

“We aim to be the home for people who really care about Toronto, who want to engage in its development and evolution, but who don’t equate formality of tone with substance,” she says.

Regular features, such as ‘Extra, Extra’ and ‘Newsstand’ are Torontoist’s way of offering curated content in what Dotan calls “a downright commitment to sharing work that other publications, including our competitors, are producing.”

In an editorial mandate received by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, the Torontoist editors referred to the site as “compulsively readable and up-to-the-minute… Torontoist is a digital magazine for the modern, edgy urbanite, eschewing categorization in order to serve and reflect a dynamic city full of people who want to learn more about the place they call home.”

Make macleans.ca, Hazlitt and Torontoist part of your summer online reading.

And congratulations to all the winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her research and conducting interviews for this post.

Guide to entering Digital Content in the National Magazine Awards

For the 2013 National Magazine Awards, original content published in a magazine tablet edition or on a magazine website (companion site of a print title or an online-only magazine) is eligible in most written, visual and integrated categories. Check out the digital magazine section of our FAQ for more information.

There are also 5 categories, generously supported by the Government of Canada, which are open specifically to digital content in Canadian magazines:

TABLET MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
Open to: Any single issue of a Canadian tablet magazine published in 2013.
Criteria: The award for Tablet Magazine of the Year will go to a single issue of a Tablet Magazine that successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of tablet publishing.
Entry Fee: $150 (early-bird by Jan 10); $175 (regular by Jan 15)
Meet last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner
: Canadian House & Home
More info

MAGAZINE WEBSITE OF THE YEAR
Open to: Any Canadian online-only magazine or companion website of a print title.
Criteria: The award for Magazine Website of the Year will go to a magazine website (either a companion site or an online-only magazine) that successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of web-based publishing.
Entry Fee: $150 (early-bird by Jan 10); $175 (regular by Jan 15)
Meet last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner: Hazlitt
More info

EDITORIAL PACKAGE – WEB
Open to: Any original package of related or thematic editorial content produced by a Magazine Website.
Criteria: Maximizes the potential of web-based publishing and reflects collaboration by editors and content creators. Elements may include but are not limited to web design, written content, blogs, video, photography, infographics, illustration, social media and user-generated content.
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 10); $120 (regular by Jan 15)
Last year’s winner: The Grid (“Are you going to eat that?“)
More info

ONLINE VIDEO
Open to: A single video produced by a Magazine Website or Tablet Magazine.
Criteria: Eligible content must have been published during 2013, be clearly relevant to the magazine’s editorial mandate, and be part of an editorial process.
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 10); $120 (regular by Jan 15)
Meet last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner
: Hazlitt (“Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh“)
More info

BLOGS
Open to: A regular series of original written content by one or more authors produced by a Magazine Website that has a recognizable unifying voice or theme.
Criteria: Eligible content must have been published during 2013, be clearly relevant to the Magazine Website’s editorial mandate, and be part of an editorial process. Entrants must submit the blog’s main URL and then up to 3 sub-URLs linking specific content for the jury’s attention. The jury will be instructed to review the provided URLs as well as navigate other areas of the site, though only written content is evaluated.
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 10); $120 (regular by Jan 15)
Last year’s winner
Science-ish (Maclean’s)
Read our interview with last year’s winning blogger Julia Belluz
More info

Finally, the category Magazine Website Design is open to submissions from all eligible companion sites and online-only magazines. This award goes to a magazine website with the most successful and original overall combination of visual and graphic design elements with functionality and user experience, including ease of navigation, readability of content, successful integration of audio/visual elements and a clear distinction between paid content/advertising and editorial content. More info.

The 2013 National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions at magazine-awards.com. The deadline for all entries is January 15. Enter by the early-bird deadline of January 10 and save.

The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Off the Page, with journalist and blogger Julia Belluz

Off the Page appears regularly on the Magazine Awards blog. Today we catch up with Julia Belluz, whose blog–Science-ish–published by Maclean’s, won gold in the inaugural National Magazine Award for Best Blog earlier this year.

NMAF: Tell us a bit about Science-ish, what you consider its publishing niche to be, and who your readers are.

Julia Belluz (Photo: Jessica Darmanin)

Julia: Coffee is good for your health! Coffee is bad for your health! Vitamin D will save your life! Vitamin D will kill you quicker! I created Science-ish in response to bewildering and contradictory claims like these that float around in the popular discourse.

This confusion doesn’t end with individual health choices. Politicians frequently make assertions about health that aren’t necessarily informed by evidence, as do journalists, celebrities, and anyone who thinks they can get away with it.

So the blog is a sane place where readers can learn about the actual science behind the headlines. My readers tend to be doctors, nurses, students, policy wonks, researchers, and anyone who is concerned about health and science.

NMAF: What makes an online media outlet such as Science-ish not only trustworthy but indispensable in a news world where there exists so much information and content?

Julia: As a health reporter, I see a great deal of pseudoscience-based journalism in my field, which does nothing to elevate the discourse about science and instead confounds people. To be sure, science is far from perfect. There are a lot of systemic problems with science—the limitations of peer review, the perverting influence of industry, etc.—but I think the act of going back to primary sources and scientific evidence and seeing if there’s something to glean is a worthwhile exercise.

I want to say that every blog entry is balanced, but I don’t think that’s a good word because I’m always taking a stand after reading and interviewing a lot and thinking about the arguments and counter-arguments that I have encountered. I hope that sets Science-ish apart and resonates with readers.

NMAF: What do you think is the significance of having Science-ish win a National Magazine Award, not only for you as a health and science journalist, but also for the medium of online magazine publishing?

Julia: It’s a great honour to be recognized by peers who work across subjects and venues in journalism. It seems to be increasingly true that readers can expect good writing and reporting in many places—blogs, web pages, etc.—and it’s wonderful that the NMA recognizes that with its new online awards categories.

NMAF: You’re currently a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Can you tell us a bit about the program and what you’re working on there?

Julia: The fellowship was designed to be a cultural exchange where journalists could learn more about science, studying alongside future researchers and scientists at MIT, while scientists could learn from visiting journalists. Right now, I’m learning about how science is made, and how it’s applied (or not) in public policy and decision-making. I’m also looking at the forces that shape what science gets done (or not). I hope this will inform my understanding of the interplay between research, policy, and practice, which is very important at a time when we’ve never generated more research, yet in many cases, we’re failing to apply or capitalize on that knowledge.

Julia Belluz is a three-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist. Her profile of the writer Ian Brown, published in the Ryerson Review of Journalism, won her the NMA for Best Student Writer in 2007 and also won a Silver in the profiles category. Science-ish is a joint project of Maclean’s, the Medical Post and the McMaster Health Forum. Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaoftoronto.

Who will win Best Magazine Blog of 2013? Submissions open next week for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards. Deadline: January 15, 2014.

More:
Off the Page
National Magazine Awards archive
Read more about the NMA Blogs category

Award-winning online magazine Hazlitt moves into print

The most decorated online magazine at this year’s National Magazine Awards is publishing a print product. Hazlitt, winner of 3 Gold National Magazine Awards–including the prestigious Magazine Website of the Year–at the 2012 NMA gala this past June, announced this week that it is launching a print edition.

Hazlitt No. 1 (Winter 2014) will be on magazine racks this month and, completing a full circle, will also have an electronic version. According to the publisher, Random House Canada, Hazlitt No. 1 collects some of the greatest hits and seminal tracks previously published on the website alongside newly commissioned work.

Launched as an online magazine in August 2012, Hazlitt won the National Magazine Awards for Best Magazine Website Design and Best Online Video, in addition to Magazine Website of the Year, at the 36th annual NMA gala this past June, its first year of eligibility.

The new print title features work by National Magazine Award winners and nominees Lynn Crosbie, Michael Winter, Billie Livingston, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Alexandra Molotkow and more.

Read Hazlitt’s press release.

More:
Meet the Finalists for Magazine Website of the Year
Meet the Finalists for Best Online Video

MagsBC offers workshops on video production

MagsBCLast year’s National Magazine Awards introduced a new category for Online Video, open to any single video produced by a magazine companion website or online only magazine. As more magazines look to boost online audiences and support creators through diverse digital projects, the new award recognizes these innovations in the Canadian magazine industry.

Similarly, the Magazine Association of British Columbia is offering two workshops — the first tonight, the second next Thursday, October 10 — on “Shooting, editing and uploading to the Web,” targeting magazine professionals who are “interested in attracting more readers and viewers, and expanding your skills and your magazine’s online presence by providing media content.”

The evening workshops, held at Langara College, are open to all magazine professionals, either as a staff member or a freelancer, as well as post-secondary students in publishing and journalism programs.

More info here.

Maclean’s, Toronto Life, Hazlitt headline COPA finalists

The companion sites of Maclean’s and Toronto Life magazines will vie with those of Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Spacing for the title of Best Overall Companion Website at this year’s Canadian Online Publishing Awards, the finalists for which were announced earlier today.

Maclean’s was tabbed for 8 nominations in 15 categories in the COPAs’ Red Division, which consists of consumer magazines (print and online). Toronto Life garnered 4 nominations, including Best Website Design, Best Smartphone App and Best Mobile-Optimized Site.

Hazlitt, the online-only literary publication which earlier this year won the National Magazine Awards for Magazine Website of the Year, Magazine Website Design and Best Online Video, is nominated for 4 COPAs, including Best Overall Online-Only Publication Website, where it will compete against RedNation Online, Torontoist, Tuja Wellness, and What’s Really Good Magazine.

Hazlitt is also nominated for a COPA in Best Website Design, Best Blog and Best Online-Only Article. The online-only city mag Torontoist also nabbed 4 nominations in total.

In the category for Best Tablet Edition, the nominees are Maclean’s, Best Health, Clin d’oeil, Canadian Living and Travel + Escape. And for Best Smartphone App, Maclean’s and Toronto Life will compete against Cool! and YoyoMama.

Check out all of this year’s nominees, including those in the Blue (trade publications) and Green (newspaper & broadcast media) divisions.

This year’s COPA winners will be announced on November 13 at a soiree at The Hoxton in Toronto. Ticket and event info here.

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