Digital Convergence comes to the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) in 2016.

TORONTO, May 17, 2016 /CNW/ - A vision born in the late 1990's for the publishing industry foresaw that "media convergence" would occur during the Internet age. Fast-forward 20 years and that vision has been realized with the growth of digital media. The best example of this is radio, which use to broadcast using radio waves. Today, that content can now be heard through an app or website on smartphone, tablet or computer. The medium has crossed over into other categories like magazines and news. Rock station Indie88, has created a website that is more music magazine than radio station, and 680News has their own local news site.

Michael Zimmerman, one of the digital experts on the COPA judging panel on his view of this media convergence:

"Think of a "Best website" category as eventually becoming as irrelevant as a "Best publication to read while sitting down" — great brands and content providers are spanning and personalizing their offerings to meet consumers where they already are, instead of using different channels to merely funnel and force a reader into their one flagship offering. Our devices are becoming merely appliances, and we're accessing one online service through multiple ways more than ever."

The media industry today is one big melting pot with media brands crossing over each other in the digital world. In TV, a specialty station looks more like a magazine than a TV station, with HGTV Canada as the best example. Then there is the magazine Cottage Life that has their own specialty TV station. As you can see the worlds are colliding and converging. The definition of media is changing and magazine style content is no longer just in print, it can come in TV, App, website or email newsletter. The only constant is that it be "authentic arm's length" content and this viewpoint was also heard at the recent Digital Day put on by the AD Club in Toronto on May 12. This is being fueled by a growing mistrust of the Internet, as there is rampant criminal activity in a digital world with no borders.

The organizers have made changes to the COPA divisions to be more reflective of media convergence in the industry and have introduced special awards for Best Website based on content – Trade Magazine, Associations, Men's service, Women' service, News/Sports, Community News and Radio Stations. The COPAs in 2016 is looking to be more inclusive across Canada will have regional recognition for the Best of Canada Award winners with the finalists coming from the West, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

The COPA 2016 judging panel has been released with new judges coming from all over Canada, including Linda Sibbald, a web designer with Fresh Brands Inc. from Vancouver; Brenda Johnstone, the publisher of Convenience & Car Wash magazine based in Winnipeg; Francince Hochereau, Executive Director of Protégez-Vous in Montreal; and Dennis Kelly an agency media director in Toronto. This year's judging panel will have 75 judges with a special sub-committee for French language entries. See a full list of COPA judges.

The 8th annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards is an industry showcase of Canadian talent in the digital publishing industry and is produced by Masthead magazine a website covering the publishing industry in Canada. The COPA awards, established in 2009 have been the benchmark of digital excellence in the Canadian content publishing industry. The competition is open for all types of organizations that produce content for the digital medium in words, picture, audio and video. The awards also recognize the total content experience in both traditional (TV, radio and print) and digital platforms. The COPA call for entries began May 2 with an entry deadline of July 11. To learn more about the COPAs visit their website at


SOURCE Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA)

Image with caption: "New judges for COPA 2016: Amanpreet Dhami, Editor, Elevate Magazine; Francince Hochereau, Executive Director, Protégez-Vous; Nathalie Bedard-Morin, Director Digital, TVA Publications; Linda Sibbald, Web Designer, Fresh Brands Inc.; Camile Diodati, Circulation Consultant, Brenda Johnstone, Publisher of Convenience & Car Wash Magazine; Neil Parmar, Deputy Editor; Fernando Carneiro, Editor, Metro Canada; Dennis Kelly, Media Director (CNW Group/Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA))". Image available at:

For further information: Martin Seto, COPA Producer, 416-907-6562.


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