Tomorrow, the James Beard Foundation Will Begin Accepting 2011 Nominations; Journalism Awards Sweepingly Changed


Although it feels like the James Beard Awards just happened last week — lord knows the ceremony lasted long enough — the James Beard Foundation is already putting out the call for nominations for next year’s awards, which will take place May 9. Beginning tomorrow at noon, anyone can send in their nominations for the Restaurant and Chef, Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Design and Graphics Awards.

But Journalism Award candidates take note: for the first time in recorded history, the awards (which will take place on May 6) will undergo “sweeping changes” that will result in a “sweeping revolution”: per the press release, “judging will be based solely on content and not on the outlet.” That means that stories previously confined to specific media categories will now be able to compete against one another, regardless of whether they first appeared in a magazine or newspaper or on a blog. Total anarchy, in other words.

The foundation is also adding a “special” Publication of the Year category to “recognize excellence” in magazines, newspapers, and Web sites. Also new: an Individual Food Blog category, which will recognize personal, smaller-scale blogs instead of pitting them against monoliths like Serious Eats, which won Best Blog this year.

The full list of categories follows after the jump.

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Recognizes a single article of exceptional literary merit pertaining to food and/or drink published in any medium.

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award: Recognizes discerning criticism of enduring value which contributes to the larger discourse on cuisine or restaurants. An entry consists of three restaurant reviews or critiques published in any medium, attached as one entry.

Food Section of a General Interest Publication: Recognizes excellence in food writing, reporting, and packaging of a regularly-published food section in a non food-focused publication. Entries may be from any medium and consist of three complete examples of the full section.

Food-related Feature: Recognizes excellence in a single food- or drink- related article published in any medium that demonstrates enterprise, curiosity, and rigor.

Personal Essay: Recognizes excellence in a first-person essay on any food or drink-related topic, published in any medium. An entry consists of one eloquent essay that demonstrates a unique voice, perceptiveness and style.

Humor: Recognizes a single piece of written and/or visual food- or drink-related satire, parody, or other form of humor, published in any medium.

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction: Recognizes excellence and innovation in food service journalism. It honors originality and seeks fresh approaches–both written and visual–to make cooking methods, ingredient knowledge, and recipes accessible to a wide audience. An entry consists of three pieces published in any medium.

Profile: Recognizes a dramatic presentation that brings to life the world of a chef, restaurateur, grower, producer, or other figure or group of significance to food or drink, published in any medium.

Food Culture and Travel: Recognizes the importance of place, culture, and history in food journalism. An entry consists of a single piece, or series of related pieces or posts, published in any medium, that makes the connection of food to a community or location.

Environment, Food Politics, and Policy: Recognizes excellence in investigative reporting, analysis, or other public service journalism on environmental, political, or policy-related issues regarding food or drink, published in any medium. An entry consists of a single piece or a series of related pieces or posts.

Health and Nutrition: Recognizes enlightening journalism on food- or drink-related health or nutrition topics published in any medium. An entry consists of one definitive article or series of thematically-related pieces or posts.

Food-related Columns and Commentary
: Recognizes the work of an individual that demonstrates thought-provoking opinion and a compelling style. An entry consists of three examples, regularly published in any medium.

Wine and Spirits: Recognizes distinctive style and innovative approach. An entry consists of a single article on wine, spirits, or other alcohol beverages, published in any medium.

Multimedia Food Feature: Recognizes excellence and innovation in storytelling or communication. Entries consist of an integrated package of one piece, or a series of up to three pieces, on food-or-drink-related topic which integrates multiple tools (such as video, audio, narrative, links, social media), published in any medium which allows for these tools.

Individual Food Blog: Recognizes individual enterprise and excellence in a single food-or drink-related blog that is the product of one primary voice, or a small group of regular contributors. An entry consists of three days, weeks, or threads of posts, whichever best represents the publishing schedule of the work.

Publication of the Year: Recognizes excellence in one magazine, newspaper, or website. It is awarded by the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation and is based on nominations presented to them by the full roster of Journalism judges and by former James Beard Journalism Award winners.


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