ASME Broadens Online Magazine Awards

In its call for National Magazine Awards entries for 2009, the American Society of Magazine Editors has split the General Excellence Online category into two, reflecting the maturing of online media.
 
One category will be for sites with less than 1 million average monthly unique visitors, the other for sites with 1 million-plus. That move seems to parallel the treatment of General Excellence for print, which is divided into six circulation categories.
 
ASME has broadened the coveted awards in recent years to reflect the growth of online media, adding categories of personal service and features as well as general excellence online.
 
The organization also has grown sensitive to the growing influence and intrusiveness of online ads. In its definition of General Excellence Online, ASME says that sites should follow its best practices for digital media calling for clear separation of editorial and sponsored content.
 
Separately, ASME is planning to rewrite its guidelines for print as well as online to make them more relevant at a time when advertisers are pushing for more product integration.