After a six month review of the Magazine Awards, The Magazine Publishers Association has pushed go on its call for entries. And it will probably be getting a whole heap more this year because Bauer Media, which publishes 20 magazines, has ended its five year embargo and will get back onboard this year.
In the past, Bauer's chief executive and current MPA deputy chair Paul Dykzeul has said the awards were all about gratuitous back slapping and the company instead pledged its support to the Canon Media Awards due to its focus on journalism. But, according to a release, "a refocus on celebrating magazine innovation and publishing excellence alongside a reinvigorated commitment to collaboration and driving advertising share" has changed that attitude.
Over the past few months, the MPA, under John Baker’s leadership and with the full support of Bauer Media, has undergone a strategic review to unlock the true potential of the industry body, which has led to changes across the board (Katrina Horton was hired as commercial director in August last year) and it launched a new tagline of ‘engaging people beyond the page’).
“The magazine industry is incredibly vibrant and resilient in all metrics, from readership to paid sales and advertising share," Dykzeul says. "There has never been a more appropriate time for magazines to take a collaborative approach to celebrating the innovation, creativity and success of our evolving magazine brands … I wasn’t a fan of the previous format. However, I believe the new-look MPA awards will celebrate and inspire not only the talented people working within our media but also the wider creative community,” he says.
Lynley Belton, who led the awards review and represents Fairfax Magazines on the MPA board, says the review has been extensive, including a major research project undertaken in 2012.
"The goal was to elevate the status and credibility of the awards by focusing on the award criteria and judging process. The outcome is fewer but more prestigious awards and a judging process with a greater emphasis on peer review. We have struck a good balance between recognising the 'craft' of magazine publishing and the commercial drivers of the category. The next stage is a ground up review of the event itself to ensure it reflects the contemporary and sophisticated nature of the magazine industry.”
The awards, which are scheduled for September, promote magazine media to readers and advertisers by celebrating excellence, innovation and consistency. The awards will honour magazines that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, journalistic enterprise, innovative techniques to support the titles, imaginative creativity and commercial success.
Revised categories, entry forms and criteria can be found here.