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2007 Top Innovators: Glenn Zorpette, executive editor, 'IEEE Spectrum'

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Glenn Zorpette Division: Small
Title: Executive Editor, IEEE Spectrum
Company: IEEE Spectrum
Comment: Zorpette took great risk when he went to Iraq last year to investigate the country's effort to rebuild electrical grids amid increasing warfare.

Glenn Zorpette, executive editor of IEEE Spectrum (385,000 circ.), captured the trifecta at ABM's Neal Awards in March.

His article "Re-engineering Iraq," which ran as a two-part series in the February and March 2006 issues of IEEE Spectrum, earned the Grand Neal Award, from a pool of 1,133 entries. The story, which Zorpette reported from Iraq, examined the country's efforts to reconstruct its electrical grids amid growing sectarian violence.

"If we didn't do [the article], it never would have gotten done," said Zorpette, who has been executive editor of IEEE Spectrum since 2002 and has covered electrical power for nearly two decades.

Not long after the story ran, Zorpette recounted his experiences in a New York Times Op-Ed piece.

"Re-engineering Iraq" also won the Neal Award for best subject-related series of articles for magazines with gross advertising/circulation revenues of more than $7 million.

Zorpette also received the McAllister Editorial Fellowship, which will have him spending a week as an advisor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

While conceding the risks of traveling through Iraq, Zorpette said a more difficult challenge is to maintain the print version of IEEE Spectrum amid the increasing migration of readers and advertisers to the Internet.

"Going to Iraq was straightforward. Keeping print strong is much more complicated," Zorpette said. "My challenge is to make sure print doesn't suffer."

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