At the American Society of Magazine Editors awards Thursday night, Dahlia Lithwick won for commentary and Pamela Colloff won for feature writing. No women won either category last year because no women were nominated in them.
ASME Chief Executive Sid Holt told Poynter last year that criticism of the awards’ nominations, which failed to nominate women in the feature writing, reporting, profile writing, essays and criticism or columns and commentary categories, was “kind of silly.” And yet this year’s nominations were far more representative of the industry they survey.
“It’s depressing that ‘women write good stuff’ is news, and it feels silly to congratulate ASME for doing its job,” Katie J.M. Baker wrote in Jezebel earlier this month, “but it’s a dramatic improvement, and we’re psyched.”
The awards’ categories still consider magazines aimed at men in “News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines,” while it considers magazines aimed at women in the “Service and Fashion Magazines” category.
Holt told me last year “there’s no men’s category — 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.” Women’s magazines, in ASME’s eyes, don’t.
Women again dominated the public interest category: All five nominees this year were women. Last year all but one were.
Pitchfork won a general excellence award in digital media. (The site’s Daily Prophet-like approach to features is in fine display in this profile of Savages.) New York is the magazine of the year, and its Hurricane Sandy cover — whose backstory Caitlin Johnston reported about for Poynter last year — won Best Cover.