Yesterday IEEE Spectrum's executive editor Glenn Zorpette won the business journalism trifecta for his coverage last year of Iraq's efforts to rebuild its electric grid. His victory run, held over lunch at the New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, began when he was awarded the McAllister Editorial Fellowship, which comes with a one-week stint at Northwestern University's school of journalism and a very nice crystal bowl. Truth be told, this honor had already been foretold to his colleagues, a big tableful of whom were sitting in the audience, gnawing on chicken.
But then he got the Jesse H. Neal prize for the best series of articles on a single subject, and this time, everyone at the table cheered themselves hoarse. It had been obvious that Glenn was a serious contender, but his success was by no means a sure thing. Next he garnered the Grand Neal Award, marking him out as the best of all 1,133 entries. The home team shuddered, then it shouted, and finally it puffed up.
As Glenn noted in his remarks, his trip to Iraq represented an immense investment of resources. As he did not note, it also put him in more personal danger than most tech journalists face in their entire careers.
Next up is the National Magazine Award for reporting, for which Glenn has been named a finalist. The other four finalists hail from Esquire, Fortune, Rolling Stone and Time. Not that Glenn's a stranger to such company. He won Spectrum the National Magazine Award back in 1993—the last time he wrote on technology in Iraq.