Off the Page, with journalist and blogger Julia Belluz

Off the Page appears regularly on the Magazine Awards blog. Today we catch up with Julia Belluz, whose blog–Science-ish–published by Maclean’s, won gold in the inaugural National Magazine Award for Best Blog earlier this year.

NMAF: Tell us a bit about Science-ish, what you consider its publishing niche to be, and who your readers are.

Julia Belluz (Photo: Jessica Darmanin)

Julia: Coffee is good for your health! Coffee is bad for your health! Vitamin D will save your life! Vitamin D will kill you quicker! I created Science-ish in response to bewildering and contradictory claims like these that float around in the popular discourse.

This confusion doesn’t end with individual health choices. Politicians frequently make assertions about health that aren’t necessarily informed by evidence, as do journalists, celebrities, and anyone who thinks they can get away with it.

So the blog is a sane place where readers can learn about the actual science behind the headlines. My readers tend to be doctors, nurses, students, policy wonks, researchers, and anyone who is concerned about health and science.  Continue reading “Off the Page, with journalist and blogger Julia Belluz”

Award-winning online magazine Hazlitt moves into print

The most decorated online magazine at this year’s National Magazine Awards is publishing a print product. Hazlitt, winner of 3 Gold National Magazine Awards–including the prestigious Magazine Website of the Year–at the 2012 NMA gala this past June, announced this week that it is launching a print edition.

Hazlitt No. 1 (Winter 2014) will be on magazine racks this month and, completing a full circle, will also have an electronic version. According to the publisher, Random House Canada, Hazlitt No. 1 collects some of the greatest hits and seminal tracks previously published on the website alongside newly commissioned work.

Launched as an online magazine in August 2012, Hazlitt won the National Magazine Awards for Best Magazine Website Design and Best Online Video, in addition to Magazine Website of the Year, at the 36th annual NMA gala this past June, its first year of eligibility.

The new print title features work by National Magazine Award winners and nominees Lynn Crosbie, Michael Winter, Billie Livingston, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Alexandra Molotkow and more.

Read Hazlitt’s press release.

Meet the Finalists for Magazine Website of the Year
Meet the Finalists for Best Online Video

MagsBC offers workshops on video production

MagsBCLast year’s National Magazine Awards introduced a new category for Online Video, open to any single video produced by a magazine companion website or online only magazine. As more magazines look to boost online audiences and support creators through diverse digital projects, the new award recognizes these innovations in the Canadian magazine industry.

Similarly, the Magazine Association of British Columbia is offering two workshops — the first tonight, the second next Thursday, October 10 — on “Shooting, editing and uploading to the Web,” targeting magazine professionals who are “interested in attracting more readers and viewers, and expanding your skills and your magazine’s online presence by providing media content.”

The evening workshops, held at Langara College, are open to all magazine professionals, either as a staff member or a freelancer, as well as post-secondary students in publishing and journalism programs.

More info here.

Maclean’s, Toronto Life, Hazlitt headline COPA finalists

The companion sites of Maclean’s and Toronto Life magazines will vie with those of Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Spacing for the title of Best Overall Companion Website at this year’s Canadian Online Publishing Awards, the finalists for which were announced earlier today.

Maclean’s was tabbed for 8 nominations in 15 categories in the COPAs’ Red Division, which consists of consumer magazines (print and online). Toronto Life garnered 4 nominations, including Best Website Design, Best Smartphone App and Best Mobile-Optimized Site.

Hazlitt, the online-only literary publication which earlier this year won the National Magazine Awards for Magazine Website of the Year, Magazine Website Design and Best Online Video, is nominated for 4 COPAs, including Best Overall Online-Only Publication Website, where it will compete against RedNation Online, Torontoist, Tuja Wellness, and What’s Really Good Magazine.

Hazlitt is also nominated for a COPA in Best Website Design, Best Blog and Best Online-Only Article. The online-only city mag Torontoist also nabbed 4 nominations in total.

In the category for Best Tablet Edition, the nominees are Maclean’s, Best Health, Clin d’oeil, Canadian Living and Travel + Escape. And for Best Smartphone App, Maclean’s and Toronto Life will compete against Cool! and YoyoMama.

Check out all of this year’s nominees, including those in the Blue (trade publications) and Green (newspaper & broadcast media) divisions.

This year’s COPA winners will be announced on November 13 at a soiree at The Hoxton in Toronto. Ticket and event info here.

Meet the NMA Finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year

This year for the first time the National Magazine Awards are recognizing excellence in tablet magazine publishing. The award for Tablet Magazine of the Year will go to a single issue of a tablet magazine that most successfully fulfills its editorial mandate, represents the highest journalistic standards and serves its audience by maximizing the possibilities of tablet publishing.

This award is supported by the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund. The winner will be revealed at the 36th NMA Gala on June 7.

Here are this year’s three finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year:

Canadian House & Home (The Colour Issue, March 2012). Editor: Suzanne Dimma. Art Direction: Mandy Milks and Shanna Pollard. Contributions from: Brandie Weikle and Trevor Koebel.

What the judges said: “The tablet edition of this venerable title oozes planning and creativity and is an enhancement not just of a magazine, but a media brand. Well executed, this is way more than a print product in digital form. It’s an excellent melding of medium and message that takes full advantage of its tablet form while enriching the House and Home experience with vibrant colours, immersive options and e-commerce convenience. Bright, gorgeous, immersive, fun, integrated, detailed, thoroughly thought-out.”

Maclean’s (Canada’s Best Restaurants, September 2012). Editor: Mark Stevenson. Art Direction: Erika Oliveira and Rachel Tennenhouse. Contributions from: John Cullen, Jacob Richler, Liza Cooperman, Stacy Lee Kong, Thushjanthan Sivagurunathan, Tate Young, Brian Coleman and Jeffrey Flores.

What the judges said: “This issue from Maclean’s shows what a special interest publication can do when given the power of a tablet. Restaurant stories, food and atmosphere come alive through engaging images, video and, of course, top-notch food writing. Subdued and classy. The photography and typography really complement each other, and the recipes on every page are a smart and handy touch. It’s useful, slick, and tons of fun.”

Chez Soi (Noël 100% déco, mai 2012). Rédactrice : Solange Beaulieu. Direction artistique : Nathalie d’Amour.

Ce que les juges ont dit : “Bien pensée, intuitive, et le résultat certain d’une vision multiplates-formes réfléchie, l’édition pour tablette de Chez Soi témoigne d’une perspicacité de premier ordre. L’intégration de la vidéo dans la mise en page, et l’utilisation d’images surdimensionnées à fort impact est un concept rafraîchissant. Jusqu’aux instructions pratiques, astucieuses, qui donnent le ton et laissent présager l’expérience de lecture divertissante à venir. La visite de maisons, dans l’édition pour iPad de Chez Soi  a été une merveilleuse expérience, qui donne vie au mandat de la publication, d’une manière que n’aurait jamais pu restituer l’édition imprimée. Un produit captivant et enrichissant.”

What the judges said: “Smart, intuitive, and an obvious result of multi-platform thinking, the team at Chez Soi brought their A-game to the tablet edition. Incorporating video into layouts and big, bold images was a fresh concept. Even the how-to instructions are clever and foreshadow the immersive, entertaining experience to follow. Touring homes on Chez Soi‘s iPad edition was a wonderful experience, bringing its mandate to life in a way that print never could. An engaging and enriching product.”

Congratulations to the three finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year. The winner will be revealed at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7 at The Carlu in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Meet the NMA Finalists for:
Art Direction for an Entire Issue
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Best New Magazine Writer
Magazine Covers
Online Video
Portrait Photography
Magazine Website of the Year
Best Single Issue