Epicurious, Slate and Esquire took home the top prizes at the second annual National Magazine Awards for Digital Media, which were presented today in New York after a year of rapid changes to the landscape and some of its players.
The digital awards, an extension of the long-running National Magazine Awards, were created last year to accommodate new prizes for magazines' digital properties, both on their regular websites and in their mobile apps. The traditional National Magazine Awards, delivered annually by the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, will be handed out in May.
The awards are also known as Ellies for the Alexander Calder stabile "Elephant" that winners receive.
Where one property, New York magazine, won for general excellence in digital media last year, two got that prize this year: Conde Nast's Epicurious, in the service and lifestyle category, and Slate, in the news and opinion category.
Epicurious -- the only double winner this year -- also took home a Digital Ellie in the interactive tool category for its recipes and shopping iPad app.
Neither Epicurious nor Slate even has a print edition. Two others without a print counterpart also won: Life.com for photography in digital media and Tablet magazine for blogging.
The Ellies' first mobile edition award, a desirable prize given the hopes that many publishers have staked on tablet computers, went to Esquire's iPad edition. Editor in chief David Granger thanked actor Javier Bardem for helping legitimize the concept of a moving cover for the edition's inaugural October 2010 issue.
Other winners at the Digital Ellies included Foreign Policy for news reporting; Fast Company for its online department section "Co. Design"; The New York Times Magazine for its digital media design; Virginia Quarterly Review for the multimedia package "Assignment Afghanistan"; Life.com for its digital media photography; and Poetry magazine for its podcast.
Slate and National Geographic had the most nominations, with four each.
For the full list of winning titles and nominees, as well as links to Ellie-winning content, click here.
The awards were presented at the end of the morning's MPA Digital: E-Reading conference, which included panel discussions and short presentations relating to trends in mobile apps, especially for tablet devices.