National Geographic magazine won two National Magazine Awards last night, one for General Excellence for magazines with a circulation of over 2 million, and one in the Photography category. The other finalists in the Photography category were Country Home, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living, and W magazine.
The Photography category requires magazines to show excellence in three complete issues. National Geographic won the award for issues with a wide range of photography, including the December 2006 issue with James Nachtwey’s documentary of medics treating wounded soldiers and civilians in the Iraq war.
In the Photo Portfolio category, which honors specific photo features, the winner was City (link: begins on pg. 86) magazine, which won for a black-and-white fashion story by photographer Horacio Salinas. The other nominees were Details, Vogue, W, and another entry by City.
But the biggest surprise came in the brand new Photojournalism category. Nachtwey’s story from Iraq was also a finalist in this category, as was his story in Vanity Fair about the effects of Agent Orange. The New Yorker was nominated for Robert Polidori’s images of post-Katrina New Orleans. Aperture was nominated for an Alexandra Boulat portfolio about the lives of Muslim women.
But the award went to a magazine seldom associated with photography — The Paris Review. Best known as a literary magazine, Paris Review won for photographer Jonas Bendiksen’s story “Kibera,” about a Nairobi slum.
The awards were presented at a black-tie event at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The big story of the evening was New York magazine, which won five awards. New York won for General Excellence for magazines with circulations of 250,000 to 500,000, as well as for Profile Writing, Magazine Section, Design, Interactive Feature (for nymag.com).
To spruce up the ceremony in recent years, celebrity presenters have been invited to give out many of the awards. Among those who took the stage last night were actors Kevin Bacon, Edie Falco, and Carrie Fisher.
Journalist Michael Weiskopf presented the Photojournalism award. In 2003, Weiskopf was injured, along with James Nachtwey, while riding in the back of an open humvee in Baghdad. A grenade was thrown into the vehicle and exploded as Weiskopf tried to throw it out. He lost his right hand, “my writing hand,” he said last night. Nachtwey received shrapnel wounds. That experience led him to do his story on medics for National Geographic.
The complete list of finalists and winners can be found here.