North American Digital Media Awards 2021

North American Digital Media Awards 2021

Categories for the 2021 North American Digital Media Awards


Benchmark your most creative and innovative digital projects, and showcase your media company's competitive edge!


With 11 categories distributed in 4 clusters, our Awards represent every area of a modern news media company and the rapidly changing digital media ecosystem.


Editorial Offering: News Website or Mobile Service, Journalism Project and Newsletter. These three categories look for quality content, editorial innovation and impact on readers and their communities.

Business Innovation: Paid Content Strategy, Native Advertising/Branded Content Project and Digital Marketing Campaign for News Brands. These three categories look for innovative business solutions to promote the company's sustainability and help achieve its financial goals.

Audiovisual Storytelling: Data Visualization, Use of Online Video (including VR) and Podcast. These three categories will award the most creative, interactive and compelling ways of telling a story and/or delivering the news.

Audience Engagement: Audience Engagement and News Literacy Project. These two categories focus on the news company's digital audience strategy and growth, and how their readers interact and engage with the content provided.


Applicants can apply to any category or categories of their choice regardless of their clusters.




News Website or Mobile Service

The category will evaluate the content, presentation, and composition of general news sites, including mobile web and apps, as well as desktop (does not include microsites). 

Entries must demonstrate combined excellence in content and UX, as well as value to readers and advertisers. Innovative design, the use of multimedia to better tell the story, speed of access, and the service's overall contribution to revenue goals.

Journalism Project 

This category is open to editorial projects or microsites covering a specific social, political, cultural, or economic reality, phenomenon, or event. The project should include or combine strong and diverse storytelling elements. The use of innovative and useful digital formats, the project’s reach, and social impact, as well as the quality of its journalism, will be evaluated.

This category is exclusive to North America and the winner will not compete at WAN-IFRA's 2021 World Digital Media Awards


This category is open to companies that have successfully included newsletters as a part of their editorial offering. The newsletter should have carefully tailored content serving a specific purpose, a user-friendly interaction, coherent design, an original editorial angle and format, and measurable audience results in terms of growth and engagement. 

This category is exclusive to North America and the winner will not compete at WAN-IFRA's 2021 World Digital Media Awards




Paid Content Strategy

Best new paid content initiative (via subscription, membership or crowd funding), with the aim of increasing revenue from readers. Entries should demonstrate understanding of brand strengths, clarity for the reader or customer, and an effective call to action.

Native Advertising / Branded Content Project

Entries should demonstrate added value to readers/users via excellence in content marketing across multiple platforms. Entries will be measured on creativity, effective use of each media platform, brand voice and providing the best user experience in a post-ad blocking media environment.

Digital Marketing Campaign for News Brands

This category is open for publishers' marketing campaigns for their own news brands. Entries should have clear messaging, an effective social strategy, strong brand voice and efficient targeting.




Data Visualization

Entries should demonstrate excellence in design, usefulness and clarity of information conveyed on infographics, in the context of breaking or non-breaking news, information or entertainment. Special attention will be paid to creativity and visual impact, as well as the effectiveness on mobile devices.

Use of Online Video (including VR)

Entries should demonstrate an ability to relate a story in a concise and objective way to improve the reader experience and engagement with the news brand, while adding value to the narrative.

The appropriate video format for specific platforms (e.g. Facebook vs YouTube vs Instagram), the technical quality of the shooting and realisation, and the possible emotional and aesthetic impact of the video will be taken into consideration.


This category focuses on innovative initiatives that deliver the news through podcasts. Entries must demonstrate mastery of the chosen format, an effective distribution strategy, strong quality of execution, added value to the listeners, and a measurable loyal audience. Original editorial angles and coherence with the media company's brand and identity will also be positively evaluated.

This category is exclusive to North America and the winner will not compete at WAN-IFRA's 2021 World Digital Media Awards




Audience Engagement

Entries should demonstrate an original offering for attracting, retaining and engaging their audience, together with a measurable growth. Audience engagement can be done through social media, newsletters or other initiatives that make best use of the chosen platform, and actively reflect the voice and tone of the news brand.

Project for News Literacy 

Entries must comprise projects aimed at enhancing news literacy skills, promote critical thinking and further the smart consumption of news. Projects that demonstrate strong evidence of success in engaging a specific audience or age group will be granted extra credit.

North American Digital Media Awards 2021