Posts Tagged ‘New York’

National Geographic won big last night at the Ellies, the National Magazine Awards presented by the American Society of Magazine Editors. This is an event I’ve never attended, but it sounds like a lot of fun, especially based on all the hashtag Ellies tweeting I saw going on late into the evening!

One magazine that was recently reviewed here, New York, won for a special section, called “Strategist,” that it ran in three issues during 2010. Another magazine that was recently reviewed here, Backpacker, got passed over for awards in General Excellence and for Magazine of the Year.

AdAge reported that National Geographic got those two major awards, while magazines such as The New Yorker — long accustomed to award sweeps — took home only one trophy.

One great pick was ESPN The Magazine for feature photography in its Bodies issue, which if you’ve never seen it, you’re really missing out. It’s everything about bodies, from the beautiful (semi-nudes) to the grotesque (injuries), and it’s mesmerizing to look through. In another photography category, W won — and W does have captivating photography, but it really beat National Geographic, which is known for its photos? The only way that can make sense is that National Geographic won two other such major awards. The rest of the winners and finalists have made my short list for reviews coming up soon!

Click here to see a complete list of the finalists, with links to content available online.

–Tyler W. Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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New York (

Issue reviewed: September 27, 2010, Vol. 43, No. 30

  • Published in New York, N.Y., by New York Media LLC
  • Circulation: 427,000; 7.4 million unique views per month online
  • 110 pages, saddlestitch


  • median age: 44
  • median HHI: $94,604
  • 36% professional/managerial, 16% top management at their companies
  • 52% women


The writing is so good throughout New York. I kept skimming articles so I could get through the magazine a little faster, but they kept drawing me in and I’d end up reading the whole piece. So I didn’t get through it very quickly! New York’s writing is informative, sympathetic, diverse and eclectic. Until you get to the last few pages, which are about what to do and where to do it, New York appeals to readers anywhere in the country who care about politics and entertainment.


The design is good in parts but lacking in others. On The Approval Matrix, the last page of the Sept. 27 issue, it’s a cute idea — separating people, books, songs, shows, etc., into quadrants of interest (highbrow/lowbrow and brilliant/despicable). The content is very good, but the page lacks a focal point or that one great thing that makes you read the page. Good photos, just not draw-you-in use of the photos.

What’s Best

  • Comments: On page 6, New York includes a summary of reader commentary about articles in a previous issue. The comments are written prose style, so you’re actually reading a story about what people thought of the topics. Very smart, very engaging. And who wouldn’t, after reading this section, want to submit their comments to the New York e-mail address?
  • The Neighborhood News: This graphic representation of a few city news briefs is so readable. The blocks of copy are so short and random (“Lady Gaga ordered a pizza to go at the Grimaldi’s takeout counter.”) that you can’t help but read them.
  • Illustrations: New York uses tons of illustrations — including tons of cartoons/comic strips to illustrate celebrity-isms, like in Gossipmonger, and to highlight political issues, like at the beginning of Intelligencer. Original and fun to read.

What’s Worst

  • Comments: Is it ironic that I have the same section in under “worst” as I do “best”? The reason is, I love the content. I really dislike the design. It’s so plain, so textbook, so uninviting. New York, please don’t let readers skip over this great section because they’re not invited to read it!
  • Gray matter: I’m a big fan of words and of using a lot of them. But some of the pages are so full of gray copy that the reader hesitates to jump in. On the pages where the designers got to design, the graphics generally looked great. But on mostly-words pages, it’s apparent the designers lost the battle against space, time and the almighty editorial department.

Overall Opinion

New York is an interesting read, even for a non-New Yorker like me. I would definitely pick up another copy. In some spots, the design looks a little dated, although I assume that’s because New York’s staff is trying to maintain some sense of old-school, the-standard, newsy-type look. I don’t fault them that, but I would enjoy more color and more white space. But for its value as a resource (along with its complementary website) and as a guide to the politics and entertainment its readers enjoy, I give New York an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review