The lead on almost every story about last night's National Magazine Awards show in New York will focus on National Geographic and how it won three awards—two for photography (more on that in a second) and one for General Excellence.
I was at the awards, and I was a judge in the Photojournalism category (won by Geographic). And I love that magazine, so it wasn't a surprise for me that it won all those awards.
What surprised me was how oddly funny former baseball player Lenny Dykstra was as a presenter last night. Dykstra was there because these days he's also a magazine honcho, having launched a title called The Player's Club, which is supposed to provide financial and lifestyle advice to pro athletes. (Do they really need that? Probably. According to this story, Dykstra's magazine is having a difficult birth, in part because he spent $400,000 on a launch party.) At any rate, he enlivened the proceedings considerably, just as he once did the Mets locker room.
Back to the awards: Go here for a complete list of the winners. As I noted, National Geographic picked up the award for Photojournalism, for a story about malaria in the July 2007 issue shot by John Stanmeyer. It was a great piece featuring true photojournalist story-telling, and I was glad it won.
Here's an observation for the American Society of Magazine Editors, which administers the awards through the Columbia University Journalism School: Since this was a photo category, you shouldn't list the writer of the article ahead of the photographer in the official press releases you send out.
National Geographic also won the National Magazine Award in the Photography category, which honors use of photography in three complete issues. Geographic won for its March, April, and June 2007 issues.
In the Photo Portfolio category, Vanity Fair won for a story by Annie Leibovitz called "Killers Kill; Dead Men Die: A 2007 Hollywood Portfolio" in its March 2007 issue. Annie was in the audience, as editor in chief Graydon Carter accepted the award. She was smiling and didn't seem any the worse for wear following the controversy over her Miley Cyrus pictures.—David Schonauer