The American Scholar Brings Home Another “Ellie”

The American Scholar, the magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, has received a 2012 National Magazine Award  for Digital Media for William Zinsser’s weekly blog “Zinsser on Friday.”

This is the fifth time the Scholar has been recognized by a National Magazine Award, the industry’s most prestigious editorial honor.
“We publish The American Scholar in the intent of providing a forum for the intelligent exploration of important issues,” said John Churchill, secretary of Phi Beta Kappa. “The publication of William Zinsser’s winning blog  is a superb example of the success that our editor, Robert Wilson, is having in fulfilling that purpose.”      
The Scholar and Zinsser won in the category for commentary, which honors excellence in opinion journalism published on digital platforms. The other finalists in this category included The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, and CNET, making competition for the award especially keen. 

In addition to writing for the Scholar, Zinsser is the author of eighteen books, including On Writing Well, the classic guide to writing nonfiction. The complete “Zinsser on Friday” is available to the public on the Scholar’s website, as part of the magazine’s free online content.

The National Magazine Awards for Digital Media — known as the Digital Ellies for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant,” which is given to each winner — were presented in conjunction with “MPA Digital: Swipe,” the premier conference for magazine editors and publishers focusing on tablets, e-readers, smartphones, and apps.
The awards are presented annually by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  
On March 20, more than 300 editors, publishers, and guests attended a lunch at the Grand Hyatt New York to honor the fifty-five finalists and eleven winners. The lunch was hosted by Larry Hackett, managing editor of People and ASME president, and Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of SELF and ASME secretary. The presentation of the awards was sponsored by Adobe.  
New York, Wired, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, Men’s Health, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, and TIME also received “Ellies” for digital media this year.
For a complete list of winners and citations, click here.

Top left: The “Ellie” award, a copper-colored stabile sculpture by Alexander Calder resembling an elephant. Above: William Zinsser working in his office in mid-Manhattan.