Why don't women's magazines earn more National Magazine Awards?

New Republic | Maynard Institute | Gawker

The front cover of the British magazine Port's 10th issue captured a lot of attention because it featured six white men under an assertion that we live in a "new golden age" of magazines.

Something else jumped out at Jessica Grose: "a men’s magazine, GQ, was included, while no women’s magazine editors made the cut." The magazines Port said were ushering in this golden age reveal "another pernicious assumption: that what women’s magazines publish is not as influential or important as what men’s and general interest magazines publish."

That's reflected in the National Magazine Awards, presented by the American Society of Magazine Editors: "Not a single women’s magazine has been nominated for profile writing in more than a decade, while GQ and Esquire have received multiple nominations," Grose writes. “Literary journalism is not central to women's magazines' editorial mission—which is one reason these magazines are rarely nominated in these categories," ASME chairman Sid Holt told Grose.

Men's magazines do "publish more stories about subjects of global import—fracking, Bin Laden, Benghazi—subjects you’d be hard pressed to find regularly in a women’s magazine," Grose writes. But journalists who write for them should "keep pushing back against this persistent and not entirely correct assumption that the work done by women’s magazines is insufficiently important."

Mathew Ingram highlighted Grose's story on Twitter, contrasting it with a tweet Cosmopolitan sent during the Guardian's chat Monday with famous leaker Edward Snowden:


Related: Dori Maynard reacted Friday to Time's "Letters from Dad" Father's Day feature, which featured no black dads: "This is why I don’t read Time very often....In today’s world, I don’t think any publication wants to so visually remind potential readers why they don’t read it," she writes.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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