The last time we saw former SAJA president Jyoti Thottam on SAJAforum, it was in June 2008, when she was preparing to head to Delhi to be Time's South Asian bureau chief (you can catch our webcast with her). Now, she's back for a short visit to collect a major internal prize at Time Inc. She and a colleague won the Henry Luce Award (named for the founder of Time) for reporting for “The Making of a
Terrorist,” which looked at the Mumbai attacks of 2008:
Time Asia’s Aryn Baker and Jyoti Thottam burrowed into confidential documents and conducted exclusive interviews in two countries to describe the recruitment and radicalization of the only terrorist who survived.
She collects her prize tonight. See editorial honcho John Huey's note about all the award winners and finalists - impressive list, all from one company.
April 7th, 2010
To: Time Inc. Employees
From: John Huey
Re: 12th Annual Henry R. Luce Awards
In an awards ceremony this evening, we announced the winners of the 12th annual Henry R. Luce Awards, which celebrate the journalistic accomplishments of our reporters, writers, editors and designers in print and on the web.
Awards were given out in 13 categories: Reporting, Personal Service, Newsbreaker of the Year, Design, Public Service, Best Blog, Special Interests, Best Video (a new category), Cover of the Year, Outstanding Story, Photography, Web Site of the Year and Magazine of the Year. In addition, we also gave Lifetime Achievement Awards to three individuals who have made significant contributions to Time Inc. over the years.
Luce Awards judging was done in two stages, the first by Charla Lawhon, former managing editor of InStyle, Joelle Attinger, former Time executive editor, and Dick Stolley, former editorial director; the second stage by me, Dan Okrent, former managing editor of Life, Stolley, and, as we did last year, we brought in an outsider, Dorothy Kalins, former editor of Metropolitan Home and executive editor of Newsweek.
And this year’s winners (and finalists) are:
Winner: TIME Asia, “The Making of a Terrorist”
This is a remarkable account of how the lone surviving gunman of the November 2008 massacre in Mumbai made the long journey from a Pakistani village to a bloodstained railroad station. In the multiple assaults throughout the city that day, 165 people were killed. To discover how one of the world’s most brazen terrorist attacks since 9/11 was carried out, Time Asia’s Aryn Baker and Jyoti Thottam burrowed into confidential documents and conducted exclusive interviews in two countries to describe the recruitment and radicalization of the only terrorist who survived. It is a frightening portrait of how a failing state, Pakistan, is a danger to itself, its neighbors and indeed the world.
Finalist: Essence: “Trouble in Paradise,” an investigation into the little-known dangers that gays and lesbians face on the violently homophobic island of Jamaica.
Winner: Sports Illustrated
The three issues submitted demonstrate the enormous scope of the magazine’s photographic coverage. Henri Cartier-Bresson once said of his profession, “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” To ensure that sports’ most powerful moments never vanish, SI photographers will take as many as 40,000 shots at a game to produce the one that its readers will remember forever. And it is not just the big moments that distinguish SI pictures, but little ones culled from all corners of the sports world, and those that recall the most important, and in some cases, largely forgotten, dramas in sports history. Like a great shortstop, the magazine ranges wide.
Finalist: TIME -- for Contributing Photographer Callie Shell’s intimate coverage of the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency.
Winner: All You – “Don’t Be Fooled by Food Labels”
Cutting through the hype the food industry bombards shoppers with every day, the magazine decodes labels and recommends specific products so its readers can make the best choices for their families. One example: Skip the candy bar spiked with antioxidants and grab a piece of fruit instead. Another: just because a package says “no trans fats” doesn’t mean it’s not loaded with other, only slightly less evil saturated fats. This story is typical of All You’s familiar and critical role as sensible consumer advocate.
Finalist: Real Simple -- “The Secret Life of Your Dishwasher,” a funny, fact-filled and handsomely photographed story about all the ways this basic kitchen appliance can be used, such as cleaning flip-flops and even, believe it or not, cooking a salmon.
NEWSBREAKER OF THE YEAR
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SI.com scored an amazing series of investigative stories in 2009, the most spectacular of which was confirmation that Yankee star Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for steroids. The story dominated sports – and often front – pages for days, and was chosen as the 2009 Story of the Year by the Associated Press, even outmuscling the salacious downfall of Tiger Woods. But A-Rod wasn’t the only SI.com scoop. Others included the secret meeting between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and suspended quarterback Michael Vick about Vick’s return to football after leaving prison; the biggest baseball deal of the year, involving two Cy Young winners; and NBA commissioner David Stern’s surprising acknowledgement that he was open to legalized betting in the league. SI.com’s enterprising journalism resonates well beyond the court and field.
Finalist: People.com -- Its up-to-the-second -- and accurate --celebrity news contained as many as 30 new stories a day (like Amy Adams’ pregnancy and Jon Gosselin’s mystery girl friend) for a total of 9,000 last year, produced by its hybrid print-digital team of editors, writers and reporters.
CO-WINNERS: Cooking Light and InStyle
Cooking Light: http://www.timeinc.com/
Although Cooking Light is the largest circulation food magazine in America, it got a wakeup call when Food Network magazine came charging out of the gate in 2009. The result was a soup-to-nuts overhaul in the September issue by designer Carla Frank. Gone was the sleepy look; in its place, new photography, typography, architecture, all meant to dramatize even more effectively the two white-hot trends in this country, the dual obsessions with food and health. The redesign went from the service departments in front, to the well, to the back of the book where a new feature, The Enlightened Cook, provides a kind of brand new cook book every month. All in all, the magazine is rich sustenance for seven million hungry readers.
The other Winner, InStyle, did not reinvent itself in 2009. It just made even more effective use of its familiar bold-faced style and unprecedented access to celebrities and designers. It’s a formula of busy but comprehensible layouts that engage the reader with helpful service, luxurious lifestyles and tons of just-right fashion and beauty products. Each issue exemplified the sophistication of the magazine’s look, from Your Ultimate Staycation Guide that had the feel of a pullout booklet, to the Special Anniversary Issue on the magazine’s 15th birthday, to the yearend Gift Guide and “Shining Stars,” the annual celebration of celebrities and their charities. InStyle’s mission – to present fashion, beauty, lifestyle and stars in gorgeous pages – was mission accomplished.
Finalist: Real Simple – A new look in the spring culminated in a total redesign by year’s end. While retaining the magazine’s signature white space and classic typography, the redesign featured pared-down yet powerful covers, a more dynamic front of the book and modernized formats.
Winner: Sports Illustrated – “What You Don’t Know Might Kill You”
This story was an expose of the sports supplements business, which once simply meant pills for weight lifters. Now it’s a $20 billion juggernaut whose dangerous products are readily available in GNC and Wal-Mart. Because supplement makers often make misleading claims and use insufficiently-tested ingredients, athletes who have taken them have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, with devastating impact on their careers, and even died from liver damage or heatstroke. Within three months after the SI story, two of the companies mentioned were raided by federal agents and the manufacture of one supplement containing steroids – aptly called Monsterdrol – was stopped.
Finalist: Money -- “The Trouble with Public Colleges,” a welcome guide to families on how they can afford to educate their children despite the rising tuition and decreasing services that state universities are being forced into these days.
Finalist: PEOPLE -- “The Endless Search,” a disturbing story about six families – among tens of thousands – hunting for mentally disabled relatives who were sent to institutions and then disappeared. As a result of the People story, four of the families in it found and were reunited with their missing loved ones.
Winner: CNNMoney.com – The Buzz
The Buzz is a daily column written by editor at large Paul R. La Monica, whose goal is to make sense of what is going on with the financial markets, leading corporations, the economy and the various government programs meant to shore it up. Usually posted at noon, the column combines expert sources with La Monica’s own perspective and analysis. He mixes attitude with experience. His tone is often sharp. “No,” he has assured his audience, “the world isn’t going to end.” Reader reaction is included each day, and La Monica spotlights the best feedback in a regular video feature.
Finalist: Health.com -- “I’m a 225-Pound Weight Loss Editor. Get Over It” began in January 2009 with this admission from its author, Associate Editor Shaun Chavis: “I’m an obese African-American woman who lives in the South…a region known for obesity and fattening fare…”
Winner: SI Kids – Its second annual Video Game Issue in August.
Published a full month, fortunately, before its readers have to return to school and concentrate on books, not screens, the issue concentrates on sports video games, emphasizing competition and sweat, not violence and bloodshed. It recommends the top 10 games of the year, explores how video game technology is seeping into real-life sports – college football coaches are using the technology to teach their teams complex plays – and makes news with the disclosure of a controller-free X-Box that has not yet been released. The grasp of video games on the SI Kids audience can hardly be minimized, and this issue helps make sense of what has become a chaotic and controversial industry.
Finalist: EW.com – TV Watch, especially its recaps channel that every day updates as many as 10 shows ranging from America’s Next Top Model to Lost to Vampire Diaries, offering analysis, humor and reader response – 3,000 of them on many days.
BEST VIDEO (new category)
Winner: Time.com – Its cartoon videos or “climatoons” on global warming
This was a unique approach to explaining global warming. These cartoon videos offered lively banter between one character who knows the facts and another who clearly does not and instead spouts conventional wisdom. The three part series took the viewer on a tour of a melting glacier in Alaska, Punta Arenas in Chile and the United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen. Based on solid scientific reporting, these animated pieces offered an entirely different way for viewers to experience and learn about one of the most critical problems on the globe -- and they were a first in newsmagazine journalism.
Finalist: thisoldhouse.com -- “Two Minute Expert,” a lively series in which a homeowner asks questions on subjects like “5 Weekend Fixes that Boost House Value” and “Smart Tips for Single Women Homebuyers” and the expert – really This Old House -- has to answer against a ticking clock.
Finalist: CNNMoney.com -- “Assignment: Detroit”, the multi-media Time Inc. project on that embattled city, whose videos range from a profile on the official who is trying to fix the housing crisis to problems at the morgue where citizens are abandoning their dead relatives because they have no money for burials.
COVER OF THE YEAR (selected by a secret email vote of 6,000 Time Inc. and American Express Publishing business and editorial employees)
Winner: FORTUNE (November 9) – Obama & Google: A Love Story
The President is wearing Google eye glasses to illustrate a story that points out that he and the tech giant seem to agree on most issues, and goes on to ask whether this is “a good thing.”
Finalist: Sports Illustrated (December 21) – a pre-Olympics cover with Stephen Colbert, a great supporter of the American speed skating team, dressed as a speed skater himself
Finalist: TIME (December 7) – a crying baby amidst balloons and confetti illustrates a story on the misfortunes of the 1990s and why the next decade will be better
Winner: TIME – “The Final Days”
This was an inside account of the tense battle between President Bush and Vice President Cheney as they prepared to leave the White House. At issue was Cheney’s insistence on a pardon for his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, who was convicted of lying to officials investigating the Valerie Plame outing case. Bush refused; Cheney pleaded; Bush refused again, three times. The argument pushed the relationship between the two men to the breaking point. The result of months of reporting, the story not only details the last chapter of the Bush presidency, but sheds new light on the relationship that drove eight pivotal years of American history.
Finalist: FORTUNE -- “How Bernie Did It,” an amazingly detailed, 11,000 word account of the scam of the century that involved 75 interviews, 20 of them with former Madoff employees.
Finalist: Sports Illustrated – The headline about this remarkable high school athlete says it all: “At age 17, Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again.”
WEB SITE OF THE YEAR
For a site that was launched only last year, Life.com has made astonishing progress. At the start, the staff’s job was clear: to pay tribute to Life’s unmatched legacy in print while re-imagining what a photo-driven web site could be. To be relevant, the site had to be both classic and current. So it partnered with Getty Images which now provides 3,000 pictures from around the world every day. From the beginning, the editors have conceived and curated a dizzying array of topics, using archival and contemporary images – like never before seen pictures of the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated, exclusive coverage of the Avatar cast, a behind the scenes look at today’s Secret Service, posted hours after the uproar over uninvited guests in the White House. The variety in visual storytelling has proved astoundingly popular. LIFE.com already has a huge and loyal following – 3.5 million unique visitors, generating an average of nearly 40 million page views a month.
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
The three issues submitted exemplify the trademark features of the magazine – great practical advice, celebrity access and interactive experiences. Useful how-to is seen in the Clothes We Love feature, a reader favorite that helps women understand and incorporate the newest trends. Then there are the service features, like 5 Ways to Flatter Your Shape, and shopping pages, like Guilt-Free Guide: 158 Perfect Presents, which is particularly useful if you’re shopping for 158 people. Marquee names are found in every issue – Sandra Bullock poses in the sweeping vistas of Texas, Donatella Versace opens her home in Milan to the magazine, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake explain what’s on their minds these days and celebrities demonstrate their wardrobes in the annual Style 100 roundup. As for an Interactive Experience, all a reader had to do was hold up the December cover of Taylor Swift to the webcam on her computer to receive a 3-D holiday greeting from the young country star herself. Month after month, InStyle finds novel ways to engage loyal subscribers and intrigue new ones.
BRITON HADDEN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
View video here: http://mytime.timeinc.com/TT/
communications/content/ luceawards/2010/Luce_2010_ Lifetime_v15_web.mov
The Award this year honored war photography and was given to three courageous men whose pictures have brought the reality of combat to the pages of Time Inc. magazines for nearly 70 years.
Ralph Morse for his coverage of World War 2. Sent to the Pacific theater as the youngest war correspondent working there, Ralph survived the sinking of the cruiser USS Vincennes off Gaudalcanal; after that, he went to Europe and covered the German surrender to General Eisenhower. At the dawn of the space age, Ralph covered the Mercury space flights so devotedly that he was called “the eighth astronaut” by John Glenn.
The late Larry Burrows who was killed covering the war in Vietnam. The British born Burrows worked in the LIFE bureau in London before distinguishing himself for his photographs of the war in Southeast Asia from 1962 until his death in 1971. He and three fellow photojournalists died when their helicopter was shot down during operations in Laos. Larry’s remains were interred at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., in 2008.
Jim Nachtwey who has covered contemporary wars and was wounded in Iraq. He first made his mark with his photographs of the violence in Northern Ireland in 1981. In South Africa, he saw two photographer friends killed during that country’s first non-racial elections. In Iraq, Jim was injured when an insurgent grenade was thrown into his vehicle. He was the subject of the 2001 Oscar-nominated documentary, “War Photographer.”
Please join me in congratulating all of our winners today.