The Week magazine, a division of Dennis Publishing, honored four journalists at its inaugural Opinion Awards to recognize the nation’s outstanding columnists:
— Columnist of the Year: Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
— Single-Issue Advocacy Columnist of the Year: Paul Krugman, The New York Times
— Blogger of the Year: Joshua Micah Marshall, Talking Points Memo
— Local Columnist of the Year: Tommy Tomlinson, The Charlotte Observer
The awards were presented at a luncheon in the home of Harold Evans, chairman of The Week Opinion Awards Committee and consulting editor of The Week magazine, and presided over by William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week. “There are many admirable awards for good reporting, but insufficient recognition, it seemed to us, of the value of lucid, reasoned, even outrageous, opinion,” said Harold Evans.
The distinguished judges of The Week Opinion Awards included: John Brademas, Robert Caro, Susan Cheever, Monica Crowley, Mario Cuomo, Edward Jay Epstein, Harold Evans, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Vartan Gregorian, Lani Guinier, James Hoge Jr., Philip Howard, Lauren Hutton, Walter Isaacson, Alex Jones, Steven Rattner, Edward Rollins, and Wendy Wasserstein. An expert committee on weblogs (blogs)– Jeff Jarvis, Daniel Radosh, and Glenn Reynolds– chose the finalists and winner in that category.
Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times is “not afraid to change his mind to accommodate changing circumstances,” according to Mario Cuomo. John Brademas said that Paul Krugman “effectively combines professional expertise, clarity of expression, and moral conviction in analyzing great issues of national economic policy.” The judges found that Tommy Tomlinson “brings a perspective and a voice that both surprises and instructs,” and Joshua Micah Marshall’s blog in particular is a place where “the influential reach(es) the influential.”
To select the winners for the four awards, the editors of The Week compiled the best opinion columns on a weekly basis and met monthly to review the work and winnow down the field. Readers of The Week magazine nominated the candidates for Local Columnist of the Year. At the end of the year, the editors presented five finalists in the Columnist, Single-Issue Advocacy Columnist, and Local Columnist of the Year categories as well as a selection of their most powerful columns to a distinguished panel of 18 judges. The judges reviewed the work and chose the winners.
At the awards ceremony, each winner received a $1,000 gift for the library of their choice. Nissan North America (NNA), the exclusive partner of The Week Opinion Awards, matched that award, for a total of $2,000 to the following libraries: The Brooklyn Public Library (Krugman); Kol Shalom Synagog in North Bethesda, MD (Friedman); Fawcett Memorial Library at the Webb School in Claremont, CA (Marshall); and the Library of Charlotte, Mecklenburg City, SC (Tomlinson)
On January 23, 2003, a special twenty-page Opinion Awards supplement will be published with The Week magazine. The supplement will contain in-depth profiles of each winner, analysis of the finalists’ work, and the judges’ commentary on the finalists and winners.
Already a successful and influential newsweekly in Britain, The Week magazine brings American readers the best reporting and writing from the United States and the international press. With its global perspective and advertising deliberately limited, The Week is unique among American magazines.