American Society of Magazine Editors

ASME Announces National Magazine Awards 2006 Finalists

March 15, 2006

The Atlantic Monthly Leads Magazines With Eight Nominations.

NEW YORK, NY (March 15, 2006)—Marlene Kahan, Executive Director, American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), today announced the slate of finalists for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards (known as The Ellies), the magazine industrys highest honor.

Twenty-two finalists will receive the coveted Ellie (named after the Alexander Calder Stabile Elephant) at an evening awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, New York City.

The 2006 finalists offer examples of the best in magazine journalism written on an array of diverse topics. Emerging themes among the 2006 nominees include:

  • Health care: Nominated articles covered subjects from fighting sports injuries to navigating the options for breast cancer treatment.
  • The war in Iraq and the war on terror: Reports included a sobering analysis of why Iraqs attempts to build a viable Army have failed, to an investigation of the shadowy programs of brutal interrogation that the United States has embraced in its war against terrorism.
  • Global warming: Nominations included how Exxon Mobil may be secretly funding some of the fiercest critics of climate change, as well as how it may already be too late for us to stop the dramatic global warming changes in our environment.

This years finalists showcase the tremendous pool of creative editorial talent that is the hallmark of our industry, said Ms. Kahan.  Magazines endure because of their ability to serve the ever-changing needs of readers with world-class content that informs, entertains and delights.

An analysis of the 2006 finalists reveals:

  • Twenty-five finalists are magazines based outside of New York: in Austin, Boston, Berkeley, Cambridge,Charlottesville, Chicago, Conway (AR), Emmaus, Los Angeles, New Haven, San Francisco, Santa Fe andWashington, DC.
  • First-time finalists include:  Legal Affairs (recently closed), Backpacker, Town & Country Travel, McSweeneys, and
  • The Atlantic Monthly leads the list of 115 finalists, with a total of eight nominations in seven categories.
  • Twenty-three other titles received multiple nominations: Aperture (2), Backpacker (2), Cond Nast Traveler (2), Esquire (2), Everyday Food (2), Field & Stream (3), GQ (5), Harpers Magazine (5), Legal Affairs (2), Martha Stewart Living (2), Mens Health (3), National Geographic (5), New York (5), The New Yorker (5), O, The Oprah Magazine (2), The Oxford American (2), Rolling Stone (3), Scientific American (2), Texas Monthly (3), Time (3), Vanity Fair (3), The Virginia Quarterly Review (6), W (2).


The awards honor print and online magazines for superior execution of stated editorial objectives, innovative editorial techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise, and imagination and vigor in layout and design. Established in 1966, the National Magazine Awards is the preeminent program in the magazine industry to honor editorial excellence.  The awards program is sponsored by ASME in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Finalists were chosen by a panel of 215 judges from among the 1,643 entries submitted by 356 print and online publications.

The categories and finalists are:

GENERAL EXCELLENCE:  This category recognizes overall excellence in magazines.  The award honors the effectiveness with which writing, reporting, editing and design all come together to command readers attention and fulfill the magazines unique editorial mission.

Circulation under 100,000:

Aperture, The Believer, Legal Affairs, Ready Made, The Virginia Quarterly Review

Circulation of 100,000 to 250,000:

Chicago, Foreign Policy,  Harpers Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Town & Country Travel

Circulation of 250,000 to 500,000:

The Atlantic Monthly, Backpacker, New York Magazine, Texas Monthly, Technology Review

Circulation of 500,000 to 1,000,000:

Esquire, Everyday Food, House & Garden, Marie Claire, Runners World, Wired

Circulation of 1,000,000 to 2,000,000:

ESPN The Magazine, Fortune, Martha Stewart Living, The New Yorker, Vogue

Circulation over 2,000,000:

Glamour, National Geographic, O, The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Time


PERSONAL SERVICE:  This category recognizes excellence in service journalism.  The advice or instruction presented should help readers improve the quality of their personal lives.

Field & Stream, Mens Health, National Geographic, O, The Oprah Magazine, Self


LEISURE INTERESTS:  This category recognizes excellent service journalism about leisure-time pursuits.  The practical advice or instruction presented should help readers enjoy hobbies or other recreational interests.

Bicycling, Cond Nast Traveler, Golf, GQ, Mens Health


REPORTING:  This category recognizes excellence in reporting.  It honors the enterprise, exclusive reporting and intelligent analysis that a magazine exhibits in covering an event, a situation or a problem of contemporary interest and significance.

The Atlantic Monthly (two nominations), Harpers Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone


PUBLIC INTEREST:  This category recognizes journalism that has the potential to affect national or local policy or lawmaking.  It honors investigative reporting or groundbreaking analysis that sheds new light on an issue of public importance.

The Atlantic Monthly, Legal Affairs, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, Texas Monthly


FEATURE WRITING:  This category recognizes excellence in feature writing.  The award honors the stylishness and originality with which the author treats his or her subject.

The American Scholar, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Outside, The Oxford American


PROFILE WRITING:  This category recognizes excellence in profile writing.  The award honors the vividness and perceptiveness with which the writer brings his or her subject to life.

The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, GQ, Los Angeles Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone


ESSAYS:  This category recognizes excellence in essay writing on topics ranging from the personal to the political.  Whatever the subject, the award honors the authors eloquence, perspective, fresh thinking and unique voice.

Harpers Magazine (two nominations), Vanity Fair, The Virginia Quarterly Review (two nominations)


COLUMNS and COMMENTARY:  This category recognizes excellence in short-form political, social, economic or humorous commentary.  The award honors the eloquence, force of argument and succinctness with which the writer presents his or her views.

Field & Stream, Inc., The New Yorker, Scientific American, Vanity Fair


REVIEWS and CRITICISM:  This category recognizes excellence in criticism of art, books, movies, television, theater, music, dance, food, dining, fashion, products and the like.  The award honors the knowledge, persuasiveness and original voice that critics bring to their reviews.

The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Harpers Magazine, New York Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review


MAGAZINE SECTION:  This category recognizes excellence of a regular department or editorial section of a magazine, either front- or back-of-book and composed of a variety of elements, both text and visual.  The award honors the sections voice, originality, design and packaging.

Backpacker, Cond Nast Traveler, Entertainment Weekly, Mens Health, New York Magazine


SINGLE-TOPIC ISSUE:  This category recognizes magazines that have devoted an issue to an in-depth examination of one topic.  The award honors the ambition, comprehensiveness and imagination with which a magazine treats its subject.

National Geographic, The Oxford American, Saveur, Scientific American, Time


DESIGN:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine design.  The award honors the effectiveness of overall design, artwork, graphics and typography in enhancing a magazines unique mission and personality.

Everyday Food, GQ, Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together, Martha Stewart Living, New York Magazine, Nylon


PHOTOGRAPHY:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine photography.  The award honors the effectiveness of photography, photojournalism and photo illustration in enhancing a magazines unique mission and personality.

Departures, Gourmet, New York Magazine, Time, Texas Monthly, W


PHOTO PORTFOLIO/PHOTO ESSAY: This category recognizes a distinctive portfolio or photographic essay. The award honors either photos that express an idea or concept, or documentary photojournalism shot in real time.

ApertureField & Stream, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, W


FICTION:  This category recognizes excellence in magazine fiction writing.  The award honors the quality of a publications literary selections.

The Atlantic Monthly, McSweeneys, The Virginia Quarterly Review (two nominations),  Zoetrope:  All-Story


GENERAL EXCELLENCE ONLINE:  This category recognizes outstanding magazine Internet sites, as well as online-only magazines and weblogs that have a significant amount of original content. The award honors sites that reflect an outstanding level of interactivity, journalistic integrity, service and innovative visual presentation. 

Beliefnet,,, National Geographic Online,