2013 Utne Media Awards: The Winners


2013 media award winners

After much deliberation, some back-issue rereading, and more than one impassioned speech, we're very pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Utne Media Awards. With a loaded field of top-notch nominees, choosing the winners wasn't easy, but the following publications stood out to us this year.

General Excellence — YES! Magazine
YES! Magazine earned our recognition for General Excellence this year simply because every quarterly issue we read was chock-full of articles we couldn’t wait to reprint and share with our readers.

One of our main criteria for selecting the winner was how often we found ourselves trying to reprint stories from the magazine in question. When we considered YES!, we realized that not only did we try to find room for one of its articles in nearly every issue of Utne Reader last year, but that those articles were consistently among our favorites when we did a post-issue assessment. Some of these included a profile of Boulder, Colorado’s effort to kick out the corporate-controlled power utility and start its own wind/solar-based utility, a soldier-run coffee shop that helps veterans cope with PTSD, and various articles related to debt forgiveness.

It’s also worth recognizing that despite the precarious state of independent publishing these days, YES! has remained committed to its non-profit, ad-free, and Creative Commons-friendly ideals, and is dependent on subscriptions and donations for its survival. Thankfully, optimism and hope for a better future are still important to enough people to keep a magazine like YES! in print. Which, when you think about it, is really good news for us all. 

Best Writing The New Inquiry
The New Inquiry is the sort of website that makes the loss of print seem a lot less frightening. Founded during the darkest years of liberal arts cutbacks and publishing house closures, TNI pulls together a lost generation of students and writers to form a truly unique online community. With an irreverent, accessible style, the site’s engaging critical lens—covering everything from the anti-social mores of social media to student debt—is refreshing, challenging, and always unexpected.

Best Political Coverage Tom Dispatch
Emerging in the early days of the War on Terror, Tom Dispatch’s fierce devotion to truth has proven essential to navigating our Orwellian post-9/11 planet. Combining some of the most insightful and courageous voices on the web, the site strikes at the very foundations of power and propaganda. As we face down a new decade of drone warfare, counterinsurgency, and climate chaos, Tom Dispatch’s forceful analysis and sharp investigative authority could scarcely be more vital. 

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