National Geographic magazine won a National Magazine Award on Tuesday. The American Society of Magazine Editors named Gender Revolution the best single topic issue of 2017.
The issue, published in January of last year, examined the ways in which human understanding of gender is shifting and evolving on a global scale. It was also named a finalist in the 2017 Pulitzer Prizes for explanatory reporting.
The issue illuminated the stories of young girls in war-torn Sierra Leone rejecting the cultural norm of female genital mutilation, men in Sweden making use of extended parental leave, and complexities about the science of gender. The issue featured Avery Jackson, the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of National Geographic magazine. “The best thing about being a girl,” says Avery, “is now I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”
The annual National Magazine Awards, known as the Ellies, are administered by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The New Yorker won three awards this year, more than any other publication, including a win for overall general excellence in the News, Sports, and Entertainment category. GQ won two awards, including best feature writing for A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof.
In addition to its win for Gender Revolution, National Geographic was also nominated in four other categories, including general excellence and best overall photography, for stories about climate change in Antarctica, and the complicated debate over the ethics of trophy hunting.
National Geographic also received a nomination for best reporting, for a joint investigation with ProPublica into how the U.S. drug war triggered a massacre in Mexico. National Geographic Traveler magazine received a nomination for best digital innovation for a whimsical immersive journey into remote Norwegian islands.
This year's National Magazine Awards saw 1,368 entries from 281 publications. Fifty-four publications received nominations, with several receiving first-ever nods, including SB Nation and The Outline. For the fifth year in a row, New York magazine received the most nominations, with 10. The New Yorker followed with 8, and The Atlantic and National Geographic received the third-most nominations, each with 5.
The National Magazine Awards were established in 1966. Originally limited to print magazines, the awards now honor high-quality journalism published in any medium. The award itself, the “Ellie,” is modeled on the “Elephant” stabile sculpture, designed by acclaimed American artist Alexander Calder.
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on February 1 upon announcement of the nominees. It was updated on March 14 after winners were announced.