‘IEEE Spectrum’ article, “Re-engineering Iraq,” wins Grand Neal

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“Re-engineering Iraq,” a two-part series by IEEE Spectrum focusing on the struggle to reconstruct electrical networks in Iraq amid the fighting there, won the Grand Neal Award last Thursday at the 53rd annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards.

The article, which appeared in the February and March issues of EEE Spectrum, was written by Executive Editor Glenn Zorpette.

“There’s a feeling that the chaos in Iraq is linked to a lack of critical infrastructure, which leads to a lack of economic activity,” he said. “There were several Iraqi engineers who spoke to me, and some of them even let me take their picture, which could have meant death.”

Zorpette was also selected by American Business Media as the winner of this year’s McAllister Editorial Fellowship, which promotes the study of b-to-b media by having the recipient spend a week as an adviser to the Medill Magazine Project at Northwestern University.

The three runners-up for the Grand Neal were: CSO’s “The How-to Issue,” published by IDG Corp.; the article “Recipe for Disaster,” which appeared in The American Lawyer (ALM); and the September 2006 issue of Photo District News, which is published by Nielsen Business Media.

The 2007 Neal competition drew 1,333 entries, up from 1,265 in 2006. For print, awards were given in three revenue classifications, based on a combination of gross advertising revenue and gross circulation revenue. Categories were less than $3 million; $3 million to $7 million; and more than $7 million. For the Web, awards were given in three classifications based on unique monthly visitors. Categories were: fewer than 100,000 unique monthly visitors; 100,000 to 500,000; and more than 500,000.

There were several media companies that earned multiple awards. Advanstar Communications won four, including two for Ophthalmology Times. IDG Corp. won five awards, with two going to CSO for best how-to article and best single theme issue and one each to CIO, Computerworld and Macworld. McGraw-Hill Cos. took home four Neal awards, including best start-up publication (GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design) and best Web site with fewer than 100,000 unique monthly visitors (, which has taken great pains to distinguish itself from Forbes, won the Neal for best Web site with more than 500,000 unique monthly visitors.

“You need excellent editorial, a laserlike focus on your audience and a real sensibility to what works on the Web,” said Paul Maidment, editor of, when asked what makes for an award-winning Web site. “You also need a strong commitment to Web publications in their own right. And you have to do it all 24/7.”

Deborah Whistler, editorial director of Newport Communications Group, was selected as the recipient of the 2007 Crain Award, given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the development of editorial excellence in business media. The award is named after G.D. Crain Jr., founder of Crain Communications Inc.

Don Tennant, VP-editor in chief of IDG’s Computerworld, received the Timothy White Award for Editorial Integrity, named after the late Billboard editor. “We need to be in tune and in touch with what our readers are feeling inside,” Tennant said. “If we can do that we will serve them well.”

Below is a listing of the 2007 Neal Award winners:

Grand Neal Winner:
"Re-engineering Iraq," IEEE Spectrum (IEEE Media)
Best single article
Aquatics International, "Who's Watching the Children?" (Hanley Wood)
Pool & Spa News, "In the Minority" (Hanley Wood)
The American Lawyer, "Recipe for Disaster" (ALM)
Best subject-related series of articles
Editor & Publisher, "Knight Ridder Sale and the Industry Fallout"—Nielsen Business Media
Counselor, "Family Business Spotlight" (Advertising Specialty Institute)
Best staff-written editorials or opinion column
Produce Business, "The Fruits of Thought" (Phoenix Media Network)
Computerworld, "Frankly Speaking" (IDG)
Contemporary OB/GYN, Editorials (Advanstar Communications)
Best department
Instructor, "Masterpiece" (Scholastic Inc.)
Custom Home, "From the Trenches" (Hanley Wood)
Baseline, "Hands On" (Ziff Davis Media)
Best how-to article or subject-related series of how-to article
CSO, "The How-To Issue" (IDG)
Contemporary OB/GYN, "Critical Care in OB" (Advanstar Communications)
Medical Economics, "Adding Ancillaries" (Advanstar Communications)
Best news coverage
Editor & Publisher, War Coverage (Nielsen Business Media)
Ophthalmology Times, "Fusarium Outbreak Among Contact Lens Wearers" (Advanstar Communications)
CIO, "IT versus Terror" (IDG)
Best single theme issue of a magazine or newspaper/news tabloid
CSO, "The Career Issue/Dream Jobs" (IDG)
Fire Engineering, "Hurricane Katrina Response and Recovery" (PennWell Corp.)
The American Lawyer, "Litigation Department of the Year" (ALM)
Best single issue of a magazine
BusinessWeek SmallBiz, Summer 2006 Issue (McGraw-Hill Cos.)
Photo District News, September 2006 Issue (Nielsen Business Media)
The American Lawyer, June 2006 Issue (ALM)
Best single issue of a newspaper/news tabloid
Washington Technology, May 29, 2006 Issue (1105 Media)
Ophthalmology Times, October 25, 2006 Issue (Advanstar Communications)
Government Computer News, August 21, 2006 Issue (1105 Media)
Best start-up publication
GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design (McGraw-Hill Cos.)
Best Web site, Engineering News-Record (McGraw-Hill Cos.), CFO (CFO) (Forbes)
Best online article or series, "Driven Dubai" (McGraw-Hill Cos.), "The Best Entrepreneurs Under 25" (McGraw-Hill Cos.), "A Maximum Look at a Mini Mac" (IDG)
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