Chris Christensen is a winner in the 2014 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking an Honorable Mention in the Travel Broadcast — Audio category for “Amateur Traveler: Travel to Flanders in Belgium” on AmateurTraveler.com. The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer during five decades in journalism.
This is the 30th annual competition sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced Sept. 16 at the SATW convention, held in Iceland.
The competition drew 1,177 entries and was judged by members of the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
This year, the SATW Foundation presented 90 awards in 25 categories and nearly $20,000 in prize money to journalists. Since the first competition for work in 1984, the SATW Foundation has presented more than 2,100 awards and $420,000-plus in recognition of outstanding travel journalism.
In honoring work, the judges said:
The Amateur Traveler podcast by Chris Christensen was well done. The first episode only featured narration by Christensen, which is challenging to produce. His incorporation of natural sound was a great addition to keep the show interesting and engaging. It offered both great historical context as well as important tips for travel to Flanders. The show was well produced and interesting.
Among other winners, Jill Schensul, senior writer for The Record of northern New Jersey, earned the title of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year for a portfolio of her work in the past year. It is the third top title for Schensul, who over the years has won 29 Lowell Thomas awards for herself, and The Record travel section has taken 39 in total. National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Travel + Leisure and AFAR magazines are top media winners in 2014.
The Foundation distributes nearly $20,000 annually in prize money to individual winners. Donations by this year’s Underwriter, the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels, and many other supporters helped make the prizes possible.
For more information about the awards, including a full list of winners and judges’ comments, and SATW, visit www.satw.org.