The New Yorker leads with six awards; other multiple-award winners are ProPublica with five & Stranger’s Guide with two

NEW YORK (June 10, 2021)—The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) announced winners for the 2021 National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media during a livestreamed presentation held Thursday, June 10. The National Magazine Awards are the most prestigious journalism prizes for magazines and websites. Founded in 1966, the awards are sponsored by ASME in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Presenters for the awards included Jonathan Dorn, vice president and general manager, Outside; Radhika Jones, editor in chief, Vanity Fair; Allison Overholt, general manager, Oprah Daily; Dan Wakeford, editor in chief, People; and Charles Whitaker, dean, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

The 2021 winners tackled the most pressing concerns of the year—Covid-19, environmental degradation, online privacy and the racial reckoning in America. Among the notable stories addressing these issues were Lawrence Wright’s definitive account of the nation’s response to Covid-19, “The Plague Year,” for The New Yorker; Mitchell S. Jackson’s wrenching depiction of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” for Runner’s World; the causes of coastal erosion in “Hawaii’s Beaches Are Disappearing,” from Ash Ngu and Sophie Cocke for ProPublica and Honolulu Star-Advertiser; and Megan DiTrolio’s “Invasion of Privacy: Marie Clarie’s Guide to Protecting Yourself Online,” for Marie Claire.

“The National Magazine Awards honor the hard work of writers, photographers, editors and designers, and celebrate the highest-quality journalism,” said Sidney Holt, executive director of ASME and administrator of the awards. “This year, perhaps more than any other, magazine storytelling, whether it was in print or online, kept us both informed and entertained. We offer our congratulations to all the 2021 winners and finalists.”

The New Yorker led all finalists with a record-setting 14 nominations and won six awards, also a record. Other titles with multiple-award wins were ProPublica with five nominations and five wins, and Stranger’s Guide with two nominations and two wins.

This year’s awards were highlighted by the first-time presentation of the ASME Award for Coverage of Race in America. The recipient of the award was ProPublica for "How COVID-19 Hollowed Out a Generation of Young Black Men,” by Akilah Johnson and Nina Martin, and “Black Men Have the Shortest Lifespans of Any Americans. This Theory Helps Explain Why,” produced by Nadia Sussman and Joe Singer.

The most prestigious honor, General Excellence, went to four publications. Winners were: The New Yorker, capturing its eighth award in this category; T: The New York Times Style Magazine, with its third award; Audubon, with its second award; and Stranger’s Guide, a first-time category winner.

The livestreamed event also included the presentation of the ASME Award for Fiction to Harper’s Magazine, as well as honors for the five winners of the 2021 ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30: Maxine Builder (New York), Mamadi Doumbouya (The New York Times Magazine), Andrea González-Ramírez (GEN), Morgan Jerkins (ZORA) and Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic).

Two hundred and thirty-one national and regional publications submitted entries this year including 440 print, 595 digital and 127 multiplatform. This year marks the first time digital entries surpassed print.

The 280 print- and digital-magazine editors, art directors, photo editors and journalism educators who judged the Ellies this year met virtually in April to choose the 2021 finalists.

Winners receive “Ellies,” the elephant-shaped statuettes modeled on Alexander Calder’s stabile “Elephant Walking,” created in 1942, that give the awards their name.

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National Magazine Awards 2021 Winners

General Excellence, News, Sports and Entertainment

  • The New Yorker

General Excellence, Service and Lifestyle

  • T: The New York Times Style Magazine

General Excellence, Special Interest

  • Audubon

General Excellence, Literature, Science and Politics

  • Stranger’s Guide


  • National Geographic


  • Stranger’s Guide

Feature Design

  • Vanity Fair for "Let the Great World Spin"

Feature Photography

Digital Storytelling

Social Media

  • ProPublica for “Grace: A Failure in Michigan’s Juvenile Justice System”



  • The New Yorker for “Quiet No More,” directed by Eléonore Hamelin

Single-Topic Issue

  • Bloomberg Businessweek for “The Lost Year”

Personal Service

Leisure Interests

Community Journalism

  • ProPublica and Anchorage Daily News for “Unheard,” by Adriana Gallardo, Nadia Sussman and Agnes Chang, ProPublica, and Kyle Hopkins and Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News


Feature Writing

Profile Writing

Essays and Criticism

Columns and Commentary

Public Interest

ASME Award for Coverage of Race in America

ASME Award for Fiction

ASME NEXT Awards for Journalists Under 30

The ASME NEXT Awards were established in 2016 to support the development of print and digital media by honoring magazine journalists of extraordinary promise.

ASME NEXT Awards 2021 Recipients

Maxine Builder, Deputy Editor, The Strategist, New York
Nominated by Alexis Swerdloff, Editor, The Strategist, New York

Mamadi Doumbouya, Photographer, The New York Times Magazine
Nominated by Jake Silverstein, Editor in Chief, The New York Times Magazine

Andrea González-Ramírez, Senior Writer, GEN
Nominated by Brendan Vaughan, Editor in Chief, GEN

Morgan Jerkins, Senior Editor, ZORA
Nominated by Vanessa De Luca, Editor in Chief, ZORA

Robinson Meyer, Staff Writer, The Atlantic
Nominated by Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief, The Atlantic

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About ASME
The American Society of Magazine Editors is the principal organization for the editorial leaders of magazines and websites published in the United States. Founded in 1963, ASME strives to safeguard the First Amendment, support the development of journalism and defend the editorial integrity of print and digital publications. ASME sponsors the National Magazine Awards for Print and Digital Media in association with the Columbia Journalism School, conducts training programs for reporters and editors and publishes the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers.

About Columbia Journalism School
For over a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with instruction and training that stresses academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers master of science, master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees.

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Sid Holt
[email protected]

Kaitlyn Kurosky
[email protected]

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