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'Farm Journal' wins 2005 Grand Neal Award

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Farm Journal , the flagship publication of Farm Journal Media, captured American Business Media's Grand Neal Award last month at the 52nd Annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards.

The awards ceremony at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was attended by nearly 500 people. Marshall Loeb, chairman of the Neal Board of Judges and a columnist for MarketWatch.com, presented the Grand Neal Award.

Farm Journal's series of articles, "Asian Soybean Rust Takes Root in the U.S.," chronicled the hardship U.S. farmers have faced because of a funguslike disease, which arrived in this country last November.

"The challenge was to warn farmers how to deal with a disease for which there's no cure," said Pam Henderson, technology editor of Farm Journal , who wrote the series of articles and traveled to Brazil to investigate its origins. Andrew Burchett, former chemicals and seeds editor, also contributed to the series.

Henderson said that one of the essential elements in the articles was a detailed illustration showing how the disease infiltrates soybean plants. Farm Journal (440,000 circ.) won the top prize from a pool of more than 1,200 entries, up from 1,168 last year.

IEEE Spectrum articles "China's Tech Revolution" and "Who Killed the Virtual Case File?" were first and second runners-up, respectively, for the Grand Neal. This was the first year that Grand Neal runners-up were recognized. IEEE Spectrum is published by IEEE Media.

Another first for the Neal Awards this year: three separate best web site awards, based on the number of monthly unique visitors. Porkmag.com, from Vance Publishing, won in the category of fewer than 25,000 unique visitors; aviationnow.com, the Web site for McGraw-Hill Cos.' Aviation Week & Space Technology , won in the category of between 25,000 and 100,000 unique visitors; and CIO.com won in the category of more than 100,000 unique visitors.

For print, awards were given in three revenue classifications, based on a combination of gross advertising revenue and gross circulation. The categories were: less than $3 million; $3 million to $7 million; and more than $7 million.

IDG wins three

Tech publishing giant IDG won three awards, with two going to CSO Magazine , for best single article and best single issue of a magazine (May 2005). IDG's other award was for CIO.com.

IDG's chief rival, Ziff Davis, garnered two awards. One went to Baseline for best editorial department and the other to CIO Insight for its special issue on globalization.

Advertising Age, which like BtoB is owned by Crain Communications Inc., won two awards: for best news coverage among dailies and weeklies and best single issue of a news tabloid (May 2, 2005).

Scott Donaton, editor of Advertising Age , won the McAllister Editorial Fellowship. He will spend about a week teaching b-to-b media to students at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. "In school, I was not taught about b-to-b media as an option and it's still not an option," Donaton said, accepting the fellowship. "With this comes the responsibility to lead and teach the next generation."

Joe Hanson, founder of Folio :, and currently chairman of the Professional Media Group, was selected as the recipient of the 2006 Crain Award.

The award, named after G.D. Crain Jr., founder of Crain Communications, is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the development of editorial excellence in business media.

Hanson, who got his start well before "dot-com" became part of the business lexicon, said he's a big believer in Web-based marketing. "It complements and enhances print products," he said, "and gives you a chance to make magazines more effective."

There was no winner this year for the Timothy White Award for editorial integrity, which was named after the late editor of Billboard.

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