The list of finalists for ASME’s Magazine of the Year award are out, and this year, Esquire, New York, Time, The New Yorker and Popular Mechanics will be competing for the big prize. The lack of women’s titles mirrors the rest of the 2012 Ellies nominee list, which has drawn criticism for being overwhelmingly dominated by male writers and reporters.
Although females took the majority of nominations in the Public Interest, Personal Service and Fiction categories, not a single one of the 25 writers nominated in the prestigious categories of Reporting, Feature Writing, Profile Writing, Essays and Criticism, or Columns and Commentary was a woman.
In an email, ASME CEO Sid Holt told Poynter that claims of this year's finalists list overlooking women is “kind of silly.” Holt defended the nominations, writing, “There were 345 judges this year, including editors from nearly every magazine you can name. There were women’s-service editors judging the reporting and writing categories, and there were male sports editors judging the service categories…You can argue with their decisions, but you can’t argue with the process.”
The fact that women’s magazines nominated for General Excellence awards have to compete in their own category while men’s titles like GQ or Esquire are assigned to the general-interest category has also created some controversy. Holt told Poynter that there’s no specific men’s category because “that’s not the way the magazine business works, as a trip to any newsstand will show—and these magazines compete against other magazines in the same category for readers and advertisers.”