This year the American Society of Magazine Editors changed the venue for its National Magazine Awards, shook up the categories, and turned a cocktail party into a sit-down dinner—all in the interest of injecting the annual tradition with some fun, and rebuilding interest in it.
But the winners were once again dominated by the usual, New York-centric suspects, at least for the most part. New York received two awards; so did The New York Times Magazine. The New Yorker was an exception, something that will no doubt be disappointing to its staff. The magazine usually wins multiple awards, but this year it got just one, for Public Interest, despite having been nominated 11 times, more than any other magazine.
New Yorker parent Condé Nast certainly can’t complain, though; its titles took home four wins, the most for a single company.
There were other surprises that will leave some people disappointed. The biggest, no doubt, is that Rolling Stone didn't take home the prize for an article by Michael Hastings that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who had been the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In the same category—Reporting—The New Yorker didn't win for its blockbuster exposé of the billionaire Koch brothers, written by Jane Mayer.
National Geographic was one of the big winners at Monday night's ceremony, affectionately referred to as the industry’s Oscars. It won in the big (if somewhat misunderstood) Magazine of the Year category, a newish award meant to recognize excellence in print as well as digital, and also got the award for Single-Topic Issue. Not bad, considering its four nominations.
The rest of the General Excellence award winners were a grab-bag of magazines, including Poetry, Women’s Health, Garden & Gun, Scientific American, and Los Angeles.
The complete list of winners:
General Excellence, for News, Sports and Entertainment: New York
General Excellence, for Literary, Political and Professional Magazines: Poetry
General Excellence, for Fashion, Service and Lifestyle Magazines: Women’s Health
General Excellence, for Food, Travel and Design Magazines: Garden & Gun
General Excellence, for Finance, Technology and Lifestyle Magazines: Scientific American
General Excellence, for Special-Interest Magazines: Los Angeles
Design, Print: GQ
Photography, Print: W
News and Documentary Photography: The New York Times Magazine
Feature Photography: ESPN The Magazine
Single-Topic Issue: National Geographic
Magazine Section: New York
Personal Service: Men’s Health
Leisure Interests: Men’s Journal
Public Interest: The New Yorker
Reporting: Harper’s Magazine
Feature Writing: Los Angeles
Profile Writing: The New York Times Magazine
Essays and Criticism: The Paris Review
Columns and Commentary: Vanity Fair
Fiction: Virginia Quarterly Review
Magazine of the Year: National Geographic