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Intended to advance the practice of journalism and promote the value of magazines and websites to readers and advertisers, the National Magazine Awards honor print and digital publications that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy enterprise and imaginative design. Originally limited to print magazines, the awards now recognize magazine journalism published in any medium, including newspapers and newsletters. Founded in 1966, the awards are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and are administered by ASME.
The National Magazine Awards have been reorganized this year to focus on the most essential storytelling categories and to ensure that the awards have a sustainable future by reducing costs (the administration and judging of the awards are entirely supported by entry fees and ASME-member dues). Categories in which relatively few entries have been received in recent years have been discontinued or consolidated with other categories. Some categories have been renamed, and several category descriptions have been rewritten. Rules have also been simplified and eligibility expanded.
As a result, the Feature Design and Feature Photography categories have been consolidated with Design and Photography, and Columns and Commentary has been consolidated with Essays and Criticism. Digital Storytelling, Social Media and Community Journalism have been discontinued. The Personal Service and Leisure Interests categories have been renamed Service Journalism and Lifestyle Journalism, respectively. In addition, the ASME Awards for Photography and Illustration, previously part of the ASME Best Cover Contest, will now be presented with the National Magazine Awards.
Entries consisting exclusively of social media can now be entered in the Service Journalism, Lifestyle Journalism and Public Interest categories. Social media can also be included in entries in General Excellence, Single-Topic Issue and Reporting. Special-interest and newsstand-only publications may be entered in Single-Topic Issue, and entries in Service Journalism and Lifestyle Journalism may include a single-topic issue or consist exclusively of podcasts and videos. Judges will be permitted to nominate additional finalists in Service Journalism, Lifestyle Journalism and Public Interest to allow for the recognition of podcasts, videos and social media in those categories.
Because of these changes in the rules for entry, the number of potential finalists and the consolidation of categories, ASME members will now be permitted to submit four entries instead of three in every category except General Excellence, in which only one entry may be submitted. Nonmembers will still be limited to two entries.
Eligibility has also been expanded. Media organizations eligible to enter the National Magazine Awards now include not only magazines, websites and independent news organizations but also newspapers, newsletters, websites associated with television and radio stations and networks, and audio and video production companies.
The ASME Board of Directors will continue in 2022 to present a special award for coverage of race in America. There are no separate entry requirements for this award this year; judges in every category will have the opportunity to participate in the selection of potential finalists.
Given the importance to magazines and websites of diversity in staffing and coverage, ASME asks organizations entering the National Magazine Awards to provide information about the gender and ethnicity of editorial staff as well as efforts by editorial leaders to address issues of equity and inclusion. This information will be used by ASME to evaluate the composition of the editorial workforce at magazines and websites in general and will also be provided to judges.
National Magazine Awards 2022 finalists and winners will be honored at the annual presentation of the ASME awards at Brooklyn Steel, a music venue in New York’s Williamsburg neighborhood, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Finalists in each category will receive certificates of recognition. Winners will receive an “Ellie,” modeled on the symbol of the awards, Alexander Calder’s stabile “Elephant Walking.” The recipients of the ASME Award for Fiction, the ASME Awards for Photography and Illustration and the ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30 will also be honored.
To enter the ASME Award for Fiction, the ASME Awards for Photography and Illustration and the ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30, visit asmeawards.org.