Automobile Magazine's New York Bureau Chief, Jamie Kitman, has won the 2009 National Magazine Award in the Columns and Commentary category for his monthly column, Noise, Vibration, and Harshness.
Sponsored by the National Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), the National Magazine Awards, also known as the "Ellies," are widely considered to be the most prestigious form of recognition for American print and online magazines. The Columns and Commentary category, according to ASME, "recognizes excellence in short-form political, social, economic or humorous commentary. It honors the eloquence, force of argument and succinctness with which the writer presents his or her views." Kitman's award marks the first time, to our knowledge, that any car-enthusiast magazine has won an Ellie in the 44-year history of the awards.
Kitman won his Ellie for three columns that appeared in Automobile Magazine in 2008:
1. In "They Fought the Laws (of Supply and Demand), and the Laws Won," September 2008, Kitman discussed how the Detroit Big Three were unprepared for the paradigm shift in the new-car market brought on by the rise of gasoline prices.
2. In "Lease Me to the Moon: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Finance?" November 2008, Kitman commented on the huge losses sustained by carmakers due to an over-reliance on cheap lease deals.
3. In "Bailout Time for the Big Three. None Dare Call them Republicans," December 2008, Kitman declares that "Detroit can't stand on its own feet" as the Big Three head to Washington to ask for bailouts.
"It's a great honor," said Kitman, who has been a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine since the magazine's inception in 1986. "But it also reminds me what a great and supportive group of editors I've worked with. In a field known for rewritten press releases, Automobile Magazine has never flinched when I wanted to tackle a tough topic."
"Like all the best critical columnists, Jamie Kitman pushes our envelope, our buttons, and our preconceived notions of how things should be with style, humor, and bravery," said Jean Jennings, President and Editor-in-Chief of Automobile Magazine. "Whether or not you agree with him, he is always a great read."
Click the links below to read the complete text of two of Kitman's three winning columns.