The Atlantic named Magazine of the Year; Gayle Butler joins Hall of Fame

New York, NY (February 1, 2016)—The winners of the 2016 National Magazines Awards for Print and Digital Media were announced tonight at the Ellie Awards Annual Dinner at the Grand Hyatt New York. The Atlantic was named Magazine of the Year for “advancing the national debate on issues of critical importance.”  Also honored was the former editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens, Gayle Goodson Butler, to whom ASME presented the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame Award. The dinner was hosted by Tamron Hall, national correspondent for NBC News and day-side anchor for MSNBC.

Known as the Ellies, for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant” given to each winner, the National Magazine Awards are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia Journalism School and are administered by ASME. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the awards; the first award was presented to Look in 1966.

The Ellie Awards Annual Dinner was held in conjunction with the American Magazine Media Conference, the premier event for industry leaders. The 2016 Ellie Awards were sponsored by Texture by Next Issue and Publishers Press. Annual dinner ticket sales provide support for the Osborn Elliott Scholarship at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Named in honor of the former Newsweek editor and Columbia dean, the scholarship is awarded to students who intend to pursue careers in magazine journalism.

More than 500 magazine editors and publishers attended the 2016 dinner. Sixty-seven media organizations were honored as finalists in 21 categories; 18 publications won awards. New York was the only publication to receive more than one award, winning Ellies for General Excellence, Magazine Section, Website and Multimedia. This was the 11th year in a row that New York was awarded at least one Ellie.

The Hollywood Reporter won its General Excellence category, for special interest magazines, for the second year in a row. Vice News was also honored in the same category for the second consecutive year, winning the 2016 Video award for “Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks In to Ukraine” after receiving the Ellie last year for “The Islamic State.”

Eight titles were first-time winners: BuzzFeed News in Public Interest; The California Sunday Magazine in Photography; Eater in Leisure Interests; FamilyFun in Personal Service; The Intercept in Columns and Commentary; Lucky Peach in General Excellence, Service and Lifestyle; Matter in Reporting; and Politico in Feature Photography. The Atlantic’s Ellie for Magazine of the Year was its first in the category. This was also Oxford American’s first Ellie for General Excellence, Literature, Science and Politics.

Other winners were Bloomberg Businessweek in Single-Topic Issue; Esquire in Essays and Criticism; The New Yorker in Feature Writing; Wired in Design; and Zoetrope:  All-Story in Fiction. Esquire’s award in Essays and Criticism was the magazine’s 17th Ellie since David Granger was named editor in chief in 1997 and the magazine’s first Ellie in Essays and Criticism since 1978, when Esquire was honored for Michael Herr’s “High on War.”

The winners covered some of the most important stories of 2015, including the Ebola epidemic in Matter’s “My Nurses Are Dead, and I Don’t Know If I’m Already Infected” in Reporting; the immigration system in BuzzFeed News’ two-part series “The New American Slavery” and “All You Americans Are Fired” in Public Interest; and the presidential primaries in Politico’s “Front Row at the Political Theater” in Feature Photography. Other notable winners included Barrett Brown’s columns, written from prison, for The Intercept, in Columns and Commentary and Bloomberg Businessweek’s 38,000-word “Code: An Essay,” by Paul Ford, in Single-Topic Issue.

Editors accepting Ellie Awards for their publications were James Bennet of The Atlantic; Eliza Borne of Oxford American; Scott Dadich of Wired; David Granger of Esquire; Amanda Kludt of Eater; Mark Lotto of Matter; Douglas McGray of The California Sunday Magazine; Janet Michaud of Politico; Janice Min of The Hollywood Reporter; Jason Mojica of Vice News; Adam Moss of New York; Ellen Joan Pollock of Bloomberg Businessweek; Michael Ray of Zoetrope: All-Story; Betsy Reed of The Intercept; David Remnick of The New Yorker; Mark Schoofs of BuzzFeed News; Joanna Sciarrano of Lucky Peach; and Elizabeth Shaw of FamilyFun.

The presentation of the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame Award to Gayle Goodson Butler highlighted the awards dinner. Appointed editor in chief of Better Homes and Garden in 2006, Butler led the aggressive expansion of the brand onto digital platforms and set new standards of editorial excellence for the title, leading to the nomination of BHG for the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in 2015. Butler retired from Meredith Corporation in 2015. Tom Harty, the president of Meredith’s National Media Group, presented the award to Butler on behalf of ASME.

“The Ellie Awards demonstrate the extraordinary strength of magazine media in print and online,” said Sid Holt, chief executive of ASME.  “On the same night long-celebrated titles like The Atlantic, The New Yorker and Esquire won Ellies, digital-only publications like BuzzFeed, Eater and Matter also got well-deserved recognition. Tonight’s winners are shaping the multiplatform future of magazine media.”

Two hundred eighty-two publications entered the Ellie Awards this year, submitting 1,590 print and digital entries. The awards were judged by 295 editors, art directors, photography editors and journalism educators. The judging was held at the Columbia Journalism School on January 6-7. The nominations were announced in an hour-long Twittercast on January 14.

Twelve media organizations were first-time finalists: BBC News Magazine (US), BuzzFeed News, Car and Driver, Eater, FamilyFun, The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post Highline, The Intercept, Lucky Peach, the Marshall Project, ProPublica and WSJ. Digital-first finalists included 16 titles: BBC News Magazine (US), BuzzFeed News, Eater, The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post Highline, The Intercept, the Marshall Project, Matter, Nautilus, Pitchfork, Politico, ProPublica, Refinery29, Slate, Tablet Magazine and Vice News.

Also nominated were Aperture, Audubon, Backpacker, Bicycling, Bon Appetit, Chicago, Conde Nast Traveler, Cooking Light, Cosmopolitan, ESPN The Magazine, Fast Company, Foreign Affairs, Golf Digest, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Harper’s Magazine, Los Angeles, Modern Farmer, Mother Jones, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Parents, Poetry, Popular Mechanics, Rolling Stone, Runner's World, San Francisco, Seventeen, Smithsonian, Sunset, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vice, Virginia Quarterly Review, Vogue, W and WSJ.

Ellie Awards 2016 Winners and Finalists

General Excellence

News, Sports and Entertainment
Honors publications covering politics, business and technology as well as pop culture and leisure interests

Winner: New York

Finalists: Esquire; Fast Company; GQ; The New York Times Magazine; The New Yorker; Newsweek

Service and Lifestyle

Honors publications covering health and fitness as well as fashion, design, food and travel

Winner: Lucky Peach

Finalists: Bon Appétit; Golf Digest; Harper’s Bazaar; Parents; Seventeen; T: The New York Times Style Magazine

Special Interest
Honors publications serving highly defined reader communities, including city and regional magazines

Winner: The Hollywood Reporter

Finalists: Backpacker; Car and Driver; Modern Farmer; San Francisco; Smithsonian; Tablet Magazine

Literature, Science and Politics
Honors smaller-circulation general-interest magazines as well as publications covering the arts

Winner: Oxford American

Finalists: Aperture; Foreign Affairs; Nautilus; Poetry; Virginia Quarterly Review

Honors overall excellence in print magazine design

Winner: Wired

Finalists: Bon Appétit; GQ; New York; The Pitchfork Review

Honors overall excellence in print magazine photography

Winner: The California Sunday Magazine

Finalists: National Geographic; New York; Vanity Fair; WSJ.

Single-Topic Issue
Honors print magazines that have devoted a single issue to the comprehensive examination of one subject

Winner: Bloomberg Businessweek for “Code: An Essay,” June 15-28

Finalists: National Geographic for “The Climate Issue,” November; The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” April 26; San Francisco for “The Chinese-American City,” April; Vice for “The Prison Issue,” October

Honors magazine websites and online-only magazines

Winner: New York

Finalists: AudubonBloomberg BusinessweekRefinery29Vogue

Honors digital storytelling and the integration of magazine media

Winner: New York for “This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn,” at nymag.com and November 16-22 print issue

Finalists: BBC News Magazine (US) for “The Hurricane Station,” by Rajini Vaidyanathan, August 24 at bbc.com/news/magazine; The New York Times Magazine for “Desperate Crossing,” photography and video by Paolo Pellegrin, text by Scott Anderson, at nytimes.com and September 6 print issue; Runner’s World for “40 Million Steps Around the World,” written by Rachel Swaby, edited by Christine Fennessy, produced by Robert Reese and Dan Fuehrer, at runnersworld.com and April print issue; Slate for “The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes,” by Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie, June 25 at slate.com

Honors the outstanding use of video by magazine media

Winner: Vice News for “Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks In to Ukraine,” June 16 at vicenews.com

Finalists: GQ for “Inside the Atlanta Strip Club That Runs Hip Hop,” by Lauren Greenfield, July 10 at gq.com; The New York Times Magazine for “Walking New York,” by JR, Chris Milk and Zach Richter, April 23 at nytimes.com; Pitchfork for “Vince Staples—Over/Under,” July 1, “T-Pain—Over/Under,” September 29, and “Rick Ross—Over/Under,” December 11, at youtube.com; Vice for “Red Right Hand: The Cleveland Strangler,” November 3 at vice.com

Public Interest
Honors magazine journalism that illuminates issues of national importance

Winner: BuzzFeed News for “The New American Slavery,” July 24, and “All You Americans Are Fired,” December 1, by Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine, at buzzfeed.com

Finalists: Cosmopolitan for “Pregnant? Scared? Need Options? Too Bad,” August print issue, “Save the Mother, Save the Baby,” April 6 at cosmopolitan.com, and “I Felt Set Up,” December 17 at cosmopolitan.com, by Meaghan Winter; The Huffington Post for “Dying to Be Free,” by Jason Cherkis, January 28 at huffingtonpost.com; The Huffington Post Highline for “Welcome to Beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia,” by Mariah Blake,  August 27 at highline.huffingtonpost.com; The Intercept for “DuPont and the Chemistry of Deception,” August 11, “The Case Against DuPont,” August 17, and “How DuPont Slipped Past the EPA,” August 20, by Sharon Lerner at theintercept.com

Personal Service
Honors magazine journalism that serves readers’ needs and aspirations

Winner: FamilyFun for “The Happy Family Playbook,” by Jennifer King Lindley, May

Finalists: Cooking Light for “The Healthy Cook’s Guide to Fat,” by Sidney Fry, MS, RD, and Robin Bashinsky, November; Cosmopolitan for “Surf the New Wave: Cosmo’s Guide to the Modern Period,” by Laura Beil and Anna Maltby, November; Popular Mechanics for “How to Buy a Car,” July/August; Wired for “All Work and All Play,” with Rashida Jones, July

Leisure Interests
Honors magazine journalism that provides practical information about recreational activities and special interests

Winner: Eater for “The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World,” August 26 at eater.com

Finalists: Bon Appétit for “Cook Like a Pro,” April; GQ for “What’s Blowing Up,” April; Los Angeles for “Taco City,” July, and “Taco Week,” July 20, by Lesley Bargar Suter with Bill Esparza at lamag.com; Sunset for “Welcome to Camp Sunset,” May

Magazine Section
Honors the editorial direction of print or digital departments or sections

Winner: New York for “The Culture Pages”

Finalists: Backpacker for “The Play List”; Bon Appétit for “BA Kitchen”; GQ for “Manual”; Popular Mechanics for “How Your World Works”

Honors reporting excellence as exemplified by one article or a series of articles

Winner: Matter for “My Nurses Are Dead, and I Don’t Know If I’m Already Infected,” by Joshua Hammer, January 12 at medium.com/matter

Finalists: The Atlantic for “Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?” by Jeffrey Goldberg, April; Matter for “Ghost Boat,” by Eric Reidy, October 6 at medium.com/matter; Mother Jones for “The Fever [How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease],” by David Ferry, January/February; The New York Times Magazine for “Purgatory [The Deported],” by Luke Mogelson, December 13; The New Yorker for “Where the Bodies Are Buried,” by Patrick Radden Keefe, March 16; Rolling Stone for “Yemen’s Hidden War,” by Matthieu Aikins, August 13

Feature Writing
Honors original, stylish storytelling

Winner: The New Yorker for “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, July 20

Finalists: Bicycling for “Spun,” by Steve Friedman, June; Chicago for “Here We Are,” by Scott Blackwood, November; ESPN The Magazine for “The Education of Alex Rodriguez,” by J.R. Moehringer, March 2; The Marshall Project and ProPublica for “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, December 16 at themarshallproject.org and propublica.org; New York for “The Hustlers at Scores,” by Jessica Pressler, December 28, 2015-January 10, 2016; The New York Times Magazine for “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield,” by Daniel Engber, October 25

Feature Photography
Honors the use of original photography in a feature story, photo-essay or photo portfolio

Winner: Politico for “Front Row at the Political Theater,” photographs by Mark Peterson, November/December

Finalists: The California Sunday Magazine for “In the Tenderloin,” photographs by Pieter Hugo, May 3; New York for “The Seven Ages of Woman,” portfolio by Rachel Feinstein, August 10-23; Vanity Fair for “He Says Goodbye, She Says Hello,” by Buzz Bissinger, photographs by Annie Leibovitz, July; W for “Best Performances,” by Lynn Hirschberg, photographs by Tim Walker, February

Essays and Criticism
Honors interpretative and critical journalism

Winner: Esquire for “The Friend,” by Matthew Teague, May

Finalists: Condé Nast Traveler for “Postcard From East Africa,” by Jonathan Franzen, September; GQ for “The Accident,” by Michael Paterniti, March; Matter for “Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours,” by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, June 29 at medium.com/matter; Poetry for “How It Feels,” by Jenny Zhang, July/August

Columns and Commentary
Honors political and social commentary; news analysis; and reviews and criticism

Winner: The Intercept for three “The Barrett Brown Review of Arts and Letters and Prison” columns by Barrett Brown: “A Visit to the Sweat Lodge,” July 16, “Santa Muerte, Full of Grace,” August 24, and “Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels,” October 6

Finalists: ESPN The Magazine for three “The Truth” columns by Howard Bryant: “Down for the Count,” July 20, “The King Has Spoken,” September 14, and “The Power of Sight,” October 12; Harper’s Magazine for three “Easy Chair” columns by Rebecca Solnit: “Abolish High School,” April, “In the Shadow of the Storm,” August, and “The Mother of All Questions,” October; The New York Times Magazine for three “On Photography” columns by Teju Cole: “A True Picture of Black Skin,” February 22, “Shadows in São Paulo,” August 23, and “The Shadow Remains,” October 18; Poetry for three “Poetry Magazine Podcasts”: “Cast Poems in the River and Tell Them You Remember,” April 1, “Cranberry Cranberry Cranberry,” July 1, and “Things No Longer There,” September 1

Honors fiction originally published in magazines

Winner: Zoetrope: All-Story for “The Grozny Tourist Bureau,” by Anthony Marra, Fall

Finalist: Harper’s Magazine for “Interesting Facts,” by Adam Johnson, June; The New Yorker for “Who Will Greet You at Home,” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, October 26

Magazine of the Year
Honors magazines for print and digital editorial excellence and for the success of branded content and services, including conferences and events

Winner: The Atlantic

Finalists: The Hollywood Reporter; National Geographic; New York; The New Yorker

All publication dates 2015 unless otherwise indicated

About ASME

The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for magazine journalists in the United States. The members of ASME include the editorial leaders of most major consumer and business magazines published in print and on digital platforms. Founded in 1963, ASME works to defend the First Amendment, protect editorial independence and support the development of journalism. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards in association with the Columbia Journalism School and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.

About Columbia Journalism School

For over a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with instruction and training that stresses academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers master of science, master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees. Learn more at journalism.columbia.edu.


Sid Holt
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Susan Russ
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