(LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29, 2009) – The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Westways magazine has received a Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation award, the most prestigious award in travel journalism in the country.
The Society’s Foundation honored Westways with a Bronze 2009 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for “Best Travel Coverage in Other Magazines” (meaning travel coverage in magazines that aren’t strictly covering travel). SmartMoney magazine took the Silver Award and Departures magazine took Gold.
The Society’s awards announcement and judges’ comments praised Westways, stating that “This magazine knows how to serve its readership—perhaps I should be one of them.” Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman submitted three consecutive issues of the magazine, Sept. 2008, Oct. 2008 and Nov./Dec. 2008 that included feature stories on England’s Lake District, Australia’s outback and traveling overseas with grandparents.
The SATW Foundation travel journalism awards are named for the late Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer. The late James Michener, noted author, is the Society’s founding honorary chairman.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the competition. The awards, recognized as the Pulitzer Prize in this field, were announced earlier this month in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the annual convention of the Society.
The competition, for work from spring 2008 to spring 2009, drew nearly 1,200 entries. Judging was done by faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Westways is celebrating its centennial this year, and has been recognized for its contributions to Southern California travel and culture. Westways is the 10th largest circulation of all magazines in the nation. Published by the Auto Club for its members, Westways serves 8 million readers as the region’s premier lifestyle magazine and is a significant voice in local and regional affairs.
Westways was originally published under the name Touring Topics. Its earliest issues focused on touring destinations, advances in automotive technology and efforts to bring modern roads to Southern California. The magazine was re-named Westways in 1934 to reflect the wider range of subjects and geography that it had grown to include.
Westways celebrated its centennial this year with an exhibition, “Scenic View Ahead: The Westways Centennial,” featuring cover art from the magazine, that just closed at the Thomas F. Riley Terminal at John Wayne Airport (JWA). It was the largest collection of Westways cover art ever exhibited. For more about the Auto Club, visit www.AAA.com