Have the National Magazine Awards Become Too New York-Centric?
Of 128 Ellies finalists, 78 are based in NYC.
The finalists for the National Magazines Awards were announced yesterday. Andâ€”like every yearâ€”the list included some surprises (Good), snubs (Esquire) and the requisite head-scratchers (Bloomberg Markets?) that make any awards process fun.
And, also like every year, the list, like a lot of things in the consumer magazine industry, was dominated by a disproportionate number of magazines about or originating in New York.
Of the 128 finalists for this yearâ€™s Ellies, at least 78 are based (or have significant staff) in New York City. Thatâ€™s over 60 percent, for those of you scoring at home. (The New Yorker and New York magazine combined for 21 nominations alone.)
Itâ€™s always been a criticism of the media at-large. It locks its viewfinder on New Yorkâ€”to a lesser extent, L.A.â€”and nothing else. And the media that covers mediaâ€”particularly the journalists that cover the magazine and advertising industriesâ€”are especially prone to overstating the importance of New York, or, perhaps more accurately, not expanding the scope beyond Manhattan enough.
I think itâ€™s a valid gripe to have, but an unfair one, too. For starters, what is a journalist covering the magazine industry supposed to do when the American Society of Magazine Editors is not exactly hunting down new nominees (sorry, the Virginia Quarterly Review doesnâ€™t count anymore)? And when virtually every major magazine publisher works or has a sales office in New York, itâ€™s tough not to have your view distorted.
While we, at FOLIO:, always talk about representing the entire swath of magazine publishers in such far-flung places as â€śWashington D.C.â€ť and â€śChicago,â€ť weâ€™re admittedly part of the machinery that gives New York its big head. (Weâ€™ll shoot video and liveblog the Ellies in May, for example, like every other magazine media outletâ€”and we should.)
But who cares what I think. What do you think? Has ASME become too New York-centric? Have the National Magazine Awards become the New York Magazine Awards? Will the MPA ever tire of Adam Moss?
Drop your comments below â€¦
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