LOWELL THOMAS TRAVEL JOURNALISM COMPETITION
Awards For Works Published in 2016 - 2017
OVERVIEW OF AWARDS
New York Times Scores 12 Awards in SATW Foundation
Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition
The New York Times won Gold for best Newspaper Travel Coverage in the 2017 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition overseen by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. The newspaper also garnered 11 other awards, two of them gold places.
Los Angeles Times travel writer Christopher Reynolds is Travel Journalist of the Year, commended for his wide range of engaging, inspiring and “exceedingly entertaining” stories.
The Silver newspaper winner was the Washington Post. Bronze went to the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) received Honorable Mention.
Southbound won Gold as Best Travel Magazine. Via was Silver winner. Bronze went to National Geographic Traveler and Honorable Mention to Air Canada enRoute.
For the second consecutive year, Coastal Living was the Gold winner for Travel Coverage in Other Magazines. National Parks won Silver. Bronze went to Outside, and Midwest Living received Honorable Mention.
Outside magazine earned five awards, and Afar and National Geographic Traveler magazines each received four awards.
The Lowell Thomas awards, recognized as the most prestigious in travel journalism, were announced in Portland, Oregon, at the annual conference of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators.
Faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism did the judging. The competition, for work from spring 2016 to spring 2017, drew 1,190 entries. This year, the SATW Foundation is giving 89 awards in 24 categories and nearly $20,000 in prize money to journalists in recognition of outstanding travel journalism.
Individual winners: Travel Journalist of the Year Title Goes to Los Angeles Times Travel Writer
With a diverse portfolio of work in the past year, Christopher Reynolds, travel writer for the Los Angeles Times, won the Grand Award and title of Travel Journalist of the Year. He will receive $1,500 and a crystal award.
Judges from the University of Missouri School of Journalism praised his original voice and eye for offbeat details. Adding that his pieces are refreshingly unconventional, authoritative and smart, the judges lauded Reynolds’ work as “an enormous pleasure to read.”
Also honored for Grand Award travel portfolios: Mark Sundeen, freelance writer of Fort Collins, CO, taking Silver; Kerri Westenberg, travel editor of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Bronze; and Paula Froelich, founder of ABroadAbroad.com of New York City, Honorable Mention. Froelich won two other individual awards.
In Travel News/Investigative Reporting, freelance writer Karen Schwartz earned Gold for “Recent Incidents Put a New Focus on Sexual Assault on Airplanes” in the New York Times.
In Travel Blogs, Cory Lee Woodard took Gold for Curb Free With Cory Lee, focused on wheelchair-accessible destinations and attractions.
What the Judges Said
The competition, for work from spring 2016 to spring 2017, drew 1,190 entries. Faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism did the judging.
Judges said they were impressed by the use of narrative techniques in this year’s entries, said Prof. John Fennell, who helped coordinate the judging. “Like classic short stories, many of the entries built tension and suspense that culminated in resolution,” he said. “This is great story telling at its best — and so effective when writing about destinations.”
As winner in Best Newspaper Travel Coverage, the New York Times was cited for its variety of topics and styles along with informative and entertaining stories that include diverse elements, from explanatory graphics to compelling narratives. “Whatever the approach,” said the judges, “the work is of high quality.”
In awarding the Gold in Special Packages/Projects to BBC Travel for “The US National Parks Turn 100,” the judges said it “offers reverence, respect and responsibility in hefty servings. … The writers created a rich, wide and deep package jammed with information and humor.”
Of Liz Carlson’s Gold in Video Travel Broadcast for “Svalbard — When a Book Inspires a Journey,” the judges said, “Gorgeous video and a charismatic host combine to make this video blog entry a standout.”
This year, the SATW Foundation is giving 89 awards in 24 categories and nearly $20,000 in prize money to journalists in recognition of outstanding travel journalism.
The Grand Award earns the Gold winner $1,500, the Silver winner $750 and the Bronze place $500.
In individual categories, first-place Gold winners each receive $500, with $250 going to Silver and $150 to Bronze winners. The categories for Best Newspaper Travel Coverage, Best Magazines and Best Travel Journalism Websites are not given monetary awards.
The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer during five decades in travel journalism.
The sustainability of this competition is supported by generous contributions from our first Gold level supporter, Carnival Corporation, whose 10 brands include Carnival Cruise Line, Princess and Holland America.