(LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2011) – The Automobile Club of Southern California’s Westways magazine has received a Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Foundation award, considered the most prestigious awards in travel journalism in the country.
The Society’s Foundation honored Westways with a Silver 2011 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for “Best Magazine in Other Magazines” (meaning travel coverage in magazines that aren’t strictly covering travel). Southern Living magazine took the Gold and Outside took the Bronze awards in the competitive category.
The Society’s awards announcement and judges’ comments praised Westways, stating that “Variety is the spice of this magazine, but it’s also chock-full of helpful information. I especially appreciated the reader focus of the TravelSmart feature.” Westways Editor in Chief John Lehrer and Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman submitted three consecutive issues of the magazine that included feature stories on Pub crawls in Dublin and a day trip to an ethic neighborhood in Southern California; visiting a camel fair in India and planning an annual family reunion.
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 27th anniversary of the competition. The awards, recognized as the Pulitzer Prize in this field, were announced earlier this month at the annual conference of the Society.
The competition, for work from spring 2010 to spring 2011, drew more than 1,200 entries. Judging was done by faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Published by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Westways serves 6 million members covering relevant topics in local and regional affairs as well as the many benefits of AAA membership.
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, geography, and products (like vacation planning and insurance) that it had grown to include.